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Politics of Monday, 28 December 2020

Source: dailytrust.com

2023: Disquiet over Bakare’s ‘endorsement’ of Tinubu

Pastor Tunde Bakare Pastor Tunde Bakare

Pastor Tunde Bakare’s penultimate Sunday’s homily for the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, is still generating ripples in Yorubaland, Daily Trust can report.

The development, it was learnt, has further deepened the division in the South West over the 2023 presidency and the perceived ambition of Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos State.

In what appeared like an endorsement of the former governor, Bakare, the serving overseer of the Citadel Global Community Church, (CGCC) (formerly Latter Rain Assembly), had in a sermon to his congregation, which went viral last week, hit at some Yoruba leaders whom he described as “rancorous elements” who were in the habit of querying Tinubu’s ancestry.

In the 11-minute video, Bakare said: “I have a word for those Yoruba rancorous elements, noisemakers who had not achieved as much as Asiwaju Bola Tinubu had achieved but they are always querying and worrying themselves about his ancestry.

“His traducers are quick to tell you he is from Iragbiji in Osun State. He is not from Lagos State as if that would resolve the issues that we face today.”

According to Bakare, a running mate to President Muhammadu Buhari when he ran on the defunct Congress for Progressives Change (CPC) in 2011, the victory of APC in 2015 and 2019 would have been impossible but for the “cooperation and political dexterity” of Asiwaju.

“He delivered Lagos State and nearly all the South-West states from the onslaught of the PDP from 1999 to 2007,” he said, adding, “I am not sure many of his traducers would have survived if they had gone through the vicissitudes of life that Asiwaju Bola Tinubu went through.”

But Bakare’s remarks about Tinubu have unsettled the South West region as some Yoruba leaders, especially within the Afenifere fold, are said to be unhappy over the development.

The Yoruba leaders are said to be dazed over the sudden change of mind by Bakare, who is the convener of the Save Nigeria Group (SNG).

One of the SNG promoters and spokesman of Afenifere, the pan-Yoruba socio-cultural group, Mr Yinka Odumakin, said yesterday that the group’s leader, Pa Ayo Adebanjo, was heartbroken over Bakare’s ‘political address.’

Writing on his Nigerian Tribune column yesterday, he said, “It is the very height of the abuse of the rostrum for a pastor to say to us no matter how God-forsaken the country has become that if somebody is accused of being a thief, the rest of us should go and become thieves as well.

“That is some weird Sunday school of demonic dimension bordering on arrogance and total disdain for your congregation whom you no longer see as children of God but political instruments that can be abused for any purpose and desire.”

Also, a chieftain of the PDP, retired Capt. Tunji Shele, speaking with Daily Trust, disagreed with Pastor Bakare, saying, “He (Pastor Bakare) has desecrated the pulpit, insulted his congregation and insulted the Yoruba in general.”

According to him, the Yoruba people are very clever and know what they want at every point in time and as such, they cannot be tele-guided.

But a supporter of Tinubu and the founder of Tinubu 2023 Not Negotiable (TNN), Hon. Kunle Okunola hailed Pastor Bakare for his remarks which, he said, represented a blow to some Yoruba leaders who are against the former governor.

He said Asiwaju Tinubu remains the only saviour of Yorubaland, adding that he was not surprised by the reaction of some Afenifere leaders whom he described as Tinubu’s detractors.

“It is indisputable that Asiwaju is the only saviour for the Yoruba nation. If their leaders have lost out and they think they can pull Asiwaju down, they are wrong and Bakare was so emphatic about it. We are proud to have Asiwaju as our leaders in Yoruba land,” he added.

Spokesman of Lagos APC, Hon. Seye Oladejo, speaking with Daily Trust said Pastor Bakare had said the truth.

“Pastor Bakare, like any other Nigerian, is entitled to his opinion on issues and personalities.

“I’m amused that the same wailing crowd praised Pastor Bakare to high heavens when he used the same platform to criticise Asiwaju,” Oladejo said.

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