Tunde Bakare says power shift is not necessary, wants restructuring, others

A Nigerian cleric, Tunde Bakara says the calls for power shift are not necessary rather; Nigerians should concentrate more on competence when electing the next President in 2023.

He said the region or part of the country from which contestants come from does not matter because the country deserves the best as President.

He made the remark in an interview with State House Correspondents soon after he met behind closed doors with President Muhammadu Buhari .

He said: “I said it on the 3rd of October, it is our immaturity politically and otherwise that makes us say that power must either be in the North or be in the South instead of looking for the best, fittest or most competent people of character who love this country.

“If where the president comes from will make the place he has come from to be better, then the northern part of Nigeria should be the richest, most progressive and most developed. Because out of 61 years, the North has produced either President or Head of State for 40-41 years and yet, see the retrogression in the North.

“If it is from the South, why should a person like former President Obasanjo freeze the account of Lagos State during his tenure? If it is from the South-South or South-East, why couldn’t former President Jonathan use his powers to develop the South-South or South-East?

“May the best and best of Nigerians rise whether they are from the East, West, North or South, but if there is an agreement between the politicians to rotate power among themselves, that is between them but as far as Nigeria is concerned, what we need at this stage, is men who can drive us to the Eldorado.”

On calls for restructuring, Pastor Bakare said he is in full support of that because he sees it as the best thing for the country.

“I’ve said it before, the documents are there, it is there for everyone to see and I have presented copies to the President. We can do it without shooting any gun. We need to do it to move this nation forward. The founding fathers of this nation; Sir Ahmadu Bello, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Dr Nnnamdi Azikiwe, Prime Minister Tafawa Balewa, alongside their entourage, in Lancaster House and everywhere agreed on what type of government Nigeria should have. We must not change the goal post in the middle of the game.

“We are better off together, as a nation than going different ways but it must be based on equity, justice, fair play, and the rule of law,” he stressed.

Bakare’s statement is a reiteration of his support for the idea of restructuring the country.

Earlier this year, the cleric in one of his State of the Nation addresses was of the opinion that “we have failed to realise that a strong federal government working with strong federating units can guarantee the security and prosperity of the Nigerian people”.

When asked about his ambition for 2023, he said his plans have been made known to the president alone upholding that every Nigerian who is of age and is not disqualified can contest for President.

“I am a nation builder and if God wants me to do that and the people of Nigeria will appreciate that, why not? I’ve pastored the church for 23 three years and now I want to focus on nation building,” he said.

Bakare used the opportunity to commend the Nigerian Senate for approving the transmission of election results electronically and for the adoption of electronic voting to ensure that no Nigerian of eligible voting age, including those in the Diaspora, are disenfranchised.

He said: “It is one of the best things the present National Assembly has done, especially the Senate, because with that, Nigerians can vote and the results can be transmitted easily. Not only that, if we cannot transmit results electronically and also vote electronically, that will be wonderful.”


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