The serving overseer of the Citadel Global Community Church (CGCC) (formerly Latter Rain Assembly), Pastor Tunde Bakare, has said that what Nigeria needs at present is a President who is most competent to drive the country to the Eldorado and not agitation for power rotation.
He said this on Friday while fielding questions from State House reporters after a private visit to President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Bakare, who said he dispensed what’s in his heart to the President, said it was political “immaturity” that drove the nation to the clamour for power shift when various zones that produced Nigerian leaders in the past had not fared better after many years of independence.
Asked about his position on the ongoing debate on power rotation, he said: “I’d said it on the 3rd of October. It’s our immaturity, politically and otherwise, that makes us say power must either be in the North or be in the South, instead of looking for the best, the fittest, the most competent, and people of character who love this nation.
“Listen to me, if where the president comes from will make the place he has come from to be better, the Northern part of Nigeria should be richest and should be the most progressive and the most developed because out of 61 years, the North has produced either the president or heads of state for 40 to 41 years and yet, see the retrogression in the North.
“If it’s from the South, why should a person like former President Olusegun Obasanjo freeze and seize the account of Lagos State in his own tenure? If it’s from South-South or South East, why couldn’t former President Goodluck Jonathan use all his powers to develop South-South/South East?
“Not where they come from, it’s what they carry and what they have to offer. May the best of the best of Nigerians rise, whether they’re from the East, from the West, from the North, and from the South.
“If there are agreements between politicians among themselves on rotation, a bargain is a bargain. That’s between them. But as far as this country is concerned, what we need at this stage is a man who can drive us to the Eldorado.”
On whether he would contest the Presidency in 2023, Pastor Bakare expressed readiness to do so if “God” and Nigerians would appreciate it.
He said: “Every Nigerian, who is of age and who is not disqualified by any means, is free. I’m a nation builder, if God wants me to do that, and the people of Nigeria will appreciate that, why not? I’m as free as anybody to do anything with my time. I’ve pastored a church for 33 years, now we raise new leaders. I want to focus on nation building.
“The Office of the President is only one office, there’s so many other things we can do as people to support whoever is there to make sure that we do not go into retrogression, but begin to make steady progress as a people. I’ve already communicated clearly, my future plans to Mr. President, and it stays between us.”
He described the adoption of electronic transmission of election results as one of the best things the present National Assembly had done.
He said it would be a wonderful idea to allow Nigerians in diaspora and the usually disenfranchised 22.3 million students vote during the next elections.
Pastor Bakare, who was asked to explain how he wanted Nigeria to be restructured, said it could be done without shooting any gun.
He said the founding fathers had already agreed on the type of government and that the goal post must not be changed in the middle of the game.
He stressed that restructuring must however be based on equity, justice, fair play and rule of law.
He said: “We need to do it, to move this nation forward. The founding fathers of this nation;Sir Ahmadu Bello, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Prime Minister Tafawa Balewa, alongside with their entourage, in Lancaster House and everywhere, agreed on what type of government Nigeria should have. We must not change the goalpost in the midst of the game.
“We are better off together as a nation than going our different ways. But it must be based on equity, justice, fair play and a rule of law.”