The founder of Citadel Global Community Church, Pastor Tunde Bakare said he would run for the 2023 presidency if God and Nigerians ask him to.
The cleric, who was Buhari’s running mate in the 2011 general election on the platform of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), commended the senate for approving electronic transmission of election results.
Pastor Bakare also took a swipe at those clamoring for the rotational presidency, describing the clamour as a political immaturity, noting that the region where the President of the country came from had never been better than other regions.
When asked the agenda of his meeting with Buhari, the cleric said, “It’s a private visit to His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, and I’ve dispensed what’s in my heart.”
Tunde Bakare Says He Would Contest 2023 Presidency
The cleric, who described himself as a nation builder, said he would contest the 2023 presidential election only if God and Nigerians want him to.
Bakare said, “Every Nigerian, who is of age and who is not disqualified by any means, is free.
“I am 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 are 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, my plans to Mr. President, and it stays between us.”
Electronic Transmission Of Election Results In Nigeria
When asked about his take on the decision by the senate that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should transmit election results through electronic means, Bakare said it would deepen the nation’s democracy.
He said, “Perhaps one of the best things the present National Assembly has done, especially the Senate, because with that, Nigerians can vote, and then results can be transmitted so easily.
“Not only that, part of the State of the Nation address that I did on October 10, I emphasized how Nigeria youth, especially undergraduates, are disenfranchised in our country.
“22.3 million students are registered, but during the election, campuses are shut, they will not be able to return there to vote, therefore disenfranchised.
“If we can do not just transmitting results, but to be able to vote electronically, that will be wonderful. It will deepen and enhance our democracy.
“Not only that, the Diaspora sends above $25 billion to Nigeria. Nigeria in Diaspora should also be able to vote as they do in every other country in the world. The more the merrier. Yes, democracy is a game of numbers, but our people should have the final say.
“So, the office of the citizen must be as important, if not more than the office of the governor or the president because they are the people who put them in power. Sovereignty still lies in the hands of the people of Nigeria.”
Tunde Bakare Speaks On Restructuring Of Nigeria
As an advocate of restructuring, asked how he would want Nigeria to be restructured, he said, “I had said it, it’s in the open, the documents are already there, it’s not something I can cover in five minutes.
“We can do it without shooting any gun. The lecture after lecture after lecture, I have prepared and I’ve made copies available to Mr President.
“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 their entourage, in Lancaster House and everywhere, agreed on what type of government Nigeria should have. We must not change the goalpost amid 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.”
Tunde Bakare Speaks Against Zoning 2023 Presidency
Further asked to comment on the ongoing debate on power rotation, the cleric played down the importance of power rotation in Nigeria, saying that leaders should be judged from ‘not where they come from, but what they have to offer’.
He said, ”I had 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 President Obasanjo freeze and seize the account of Lagos State in his tenure? If it’s from South-South or Southeast why couldn’t President Jonathan use all his powers to develop South-South/Southeast?
“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 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.”
KanyiDaily recalls that Pastor Tunde Bakare had said there is “gross failure” in the administration of President Buhari, insisting that a Northerner can still emerge as Nigeria’s president in 2023.