Tunde Bakare, senior pastor of Citadel Global Community Church, on Sunday said he supported President Muhammadu Buhari because God told him Buhari has a role in stabilising Nigeria.
Bakare, a critic of successive past administrations who once said he is not under any obligation to protest against the Buhari government, made this statement in a state-of-the-nation broadcast on Sunday.
Highlighting his role in the coalition of political parties that birthed the All Progressive Congress and the eventual emergence of Buhari in 2015, Bakare said God had in a vision shown him that Buhari has a critical role in the stabilisation of Nigeria.
“After the controversial and divisive 2011 elections, as Nigeria drifted along with sectional undercurrents and the nation sought a unifying force, some of us prevailed on General Muhammadu Buhari not to quit the stage but to take back his words and form a coalition of the best of the North and the best of the South to salvage our nation,” Bakare said.
“I must admit that I played a critical role in that mission. God had shown me in a vision that GMB still had a role to play in stabilising Nigeria.”
Since assuming power in 2015, Buhari has shown no commitment towards stabilising the country. His actions have often cast him as a sectional leader who does not care much about Nigeria’s diversity.
Columnist and Public Affairs analyst, Professor Farouk Kperoogi, detailed how the President publicly betrayed his “deep-seated loathing” of Igbos, Nigeria’s third-largest ethnic group.
The President has often been accused of prioritising issues concerning his Northern Fulani ethnic group, particularly the nomadic herdsmen, to the detriment of other tribes.
Buhari’s manifest clannish sentiments have heightened renewed agitations among secessionist and self-determination groups, including IPOB and some Yoruba activists.
In his last Christmas sermon, fiery cleric, Bishop Hassan Kukah, warned that the country risked disintegration if the President does not reverse his nepotistic attitude to governance.
In its 2020 human rights practices report on Nigeria, the US stated that the Buhari administration was in the habit of handing out important federal positions to “particular ethnic groups.”
Lamenting the country’s spate of insecurity under the watch of Buhari, however, Mr Bakare said security governance is “superficial” and “inadequate.”
Peoples Gazette quoted Bakare to have said, “Years after the government assured Nigerians that Boko Haram had been “technically defeated,” we are once again confronted with entire villages being overrun.
“While I commend the bravery of our armed forces, the worsening security situation is an indication that our approach to security governance is simply superficial and inadequate to deal with the root causes of the problem.”
Bakare further urged the Buhari government to consider a national rebirth conference focused on “devolution of policing powers to the subnational governments”, arguing that calls for “restructuring” are not an attack on Nigeria’s unity.
“Restructuring means empowering the North West, the North Central, the North East, the South West, the South-South and the South East so that every part of our country will be safe and prosperous,” Mr Bakare said. “Show me one person who does not want this for our country, and I will show you an enemy of Nigeria.”