By Remi Oyeyemi
“Let me tell you the truth by the spirit of God, neither (President Olusegun Obasanjo), OBJ, Atiku (Abubakar), IBB and this tall one, (Muhammadu) Buhari are part of the new. They are part of the old that is decaying. That old one is passing away. The new is emerging and these ones are not part of that new.”
Pastor Tunde Bakare, the Serving Overseer of The Latter Rain Assembly, Lagos and the Vice Presidential Candidate to Retired General Muhamadu Buhari, on the platform of the CPC in 2011 Elections, in the PUNCH of October 2, 2006.
“..Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatory. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.”
1 Samuel 15:22-23
If people are going to doubt God, you would think such would be those who have not known God. Or one would think this would be those who have other reasons not to believe in His existence. There are those whose circumstances, like that of Job in the Bible, have forced to ask whether God was on His throne or not. Being human, you could expect those who are close to God to actually doubt God for sundry reasons occasionally. But to go outrightly against God’s instructions in terms of total disobedience, you would not expect one of his prophets, (at least that is what Pastor Tunde Bakare called and probably still calls himself), to do so.
The last person you would expect to disobey God would be the one who claims to hear the voice of God all of the time and try to interpret to the rest of us what God is saying and what He is expecting of and from us. As they have presented themselves to us, they know what God is thinking and what He is wishing. Their closeness to God, has endowed them with some clairvoyance to see the future accurately and warn the rest of us accordingly so as to avoid possible pitfalls. But unfortunately, the HEALER in Pastor Tunde Bakare did not heal himself and he also failed to hearken to his GOD.
To a lot of us who try to ascribe credibility to Pastor Bakare, it has been difficult for us to fathom the rationale for him to accept to run as the Vice Presidential candidate to the retired General Mohamadu Buhari whom, according to him (Bakare), God has revealed that he (Buhari) would never win the presidency of Nigeria again. In a report for PUNCH newspaper by Ademola Oni on October 2, 2006, Pastor Bakare’s vision was detailed as follows:
“The Serving Overseer of The Latter Rain Assembly, Lagos, Pastor Tunde Bakare, on Sunday said the dream of a former military President, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, to rule the nation in 2007 would fail.
Bakare, who spoke at a special programme of the church titled, ‘If the truth must be told” in Lagos, said the script to install Babangida was already being acted out.
He said, “As it is right now, only God can stop IBB from becoming the president of this nation again. You are likely to disagree but the strategy to bring him back has been perfected and the script is being acted out.
The cleric, who did not tell his audience the strategy to stop the Minna-based General from becoming the president in 2007, added that none of the presidential front runners would make Aso Rock.
Bakare said, “Let me tell you the truth by the spirit of God, neither (President Olusegun Obasanjo), OBJ, Atiku (Abubakar), IBB and this tall one, (Muhammadu) Buhari are part of the new. They are part of the old that is decaying. That old one is passing away. The new is emerging and these ones are not part of that new.’ ” (emphasis mine)
After convincing the rest of us that this is what God has revealed to him he still went ahead and ran on the same ticket with the divinely rejected Mohamadu Buhari on the platform of CPC. For some of us who cherish reasonability, logical explanation of actions and integrity of the supposed “men of God,” Pastor Bakare’s action, to say the least, was and is still confounding. If his revelation was authentic and correct, then he has not only engaged in a perfidious act against God, he has clearly disobeyed God. Like King Saul in the Bible he has disobeyed God and the following in 1 Samuel 15: 22-23 will suffice for him:
“And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.
For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatory. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.”
If the result of this election which installed President Goodluck E. Jonathan (GEJ) is the handiwork of God, then truly to Pastor Bakare, God “hath also rejected thee from being king.”To this end, whatever calamities might come his way, he would have deserved it. But, if God has nothing to do with the victory of GEJ, then it would mean that Pastor Bakare has lied in the name of the Most High and deceived the rest of us with his purported revelation, claiming to see what God did not show him. This would characterize him as an exposed fraudulent, dubious, dishonest and dangerous man that all men and women of goodwill, who cherish integrity and dignity, should stay away from. Either way, Pastor Bakare is a loser both on the spiritual and temporal plains.
This writer is an advocate of using the pulpit to advance the cause of equity and fairness amongst the people as well as responsibility and accountability on the part of the rulership. There is nothing wrong to be politically active as a man of God. It is not a sin and neither is it a crime. But to claim to have had a revelation from God Almighty and then act against such revelation, leaves much to be desired. In this writers view, only untutored followers who have been indoctrinated beyond redemption could still follow a man who, if he is not dishonest and fraudulent, is an anti-Christ in the garb of a prophet. Or how do you explain a prophet acting in a diametrically opposed manner to the words of his God and Lord?
If Pastor Bakare was not propelled by a morbid, obnoxiously inordinate ambition, he would have been more spiritually circumspective in his decision making. How can a man of God, whose mantra include fairness, justice, equity, love, mercy, consideration of others, good neighborliness among others, accept to be on the same political platform with divinely rejected retired General Mohamadu Buhari? What could have been the rationale? For those familiar with the contemporary History of Nigeria, one really has to be conscienceless to choose Buhari as his choice for the presidency of Nigeria. But, thanks goodness, despite the limitations of the last presidential election, the Nigerian electorate was not fooled.
For the avoidance of doubt the following are the legacies of retired General Mohamadu Buhari as the maximum ruler of Nigeria between 1983 and 1985. All of these atrocities are in public domain, but it is important that once again, they are recorded for history, just to show the kind of President Pastor Tunde Bakare, the self acclaimed “Apostle of Jesus Christ by the Will of God(?)” and the Serving Overseer of The Latter Rain Assembly wanted the informed Nigerian electorate to vote for:
1. Buhari’s overthrowing of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) in 1983 was to checkmate the possible angst against the ruling oligarchy who are of his ethnic stock and keep the rest of Nigeria in bondage
2. To prove that Buhari’s objective was to protect his Hausa/Fulani oligarchy to the detriment of other ethnic nationalities in Nigeria, he dealt with politicians from his part of the country with “glove hands” and gave politicians of other regions “bare knuckles.” The following are examples:
a. He detained President Shehu Shagari in a guest House and remanded Dr. Alex Ekwueme, the Vice President in Kirikiri Maximum Prisons. Yet, they were both the leaders of the NPN led government that has just been overthrown. What offence could have Ekwueme committed that Shagari could not have done worse?
b. Buhari sent his goons to ransack the home of Chief Obafemi Awolowo. This was aimed at insulting the sensibilities of the Yoruba Nation by disrespecting and embarrassing their Hero and Liberator from poverty and want. Chief Awolowo was not a member of the party in power that has just been overthrown, yet he had to be subjected to such unwarranted, politically and ethnically motivated vendetta. Pastor Bakare wanted us to believe that this was the handiwork of “fifth columnists” in Buhari’s regime. If this was so, what stopped Buhari from publicly apologizing to Chief Awolowo on behalf of himself and his regime, especially if Buhari’s intentions were clean?
c. He ordered Pa Adekunle Ajasin, former Governor of the old Ondo State to be retried two times when they could not find anything against him. This meant that the old man was tried three times unfairly. Buhari ordered Pa Ajasin to be detained regardless of the fact that the old man was squeaky clean. His unfair detention impaired the old man’s health and led to early death for him. When this Honorable man died, he has only one old bungalow that he built as a teacher and principal in Owo town, well before he became the governor, to his name.
d. He detained Professor Ambrose Ali of Bendel State in an inhuman condition to the point that the esteemed Professor became blind and died shortly after he was released. When the Professor died, he had only one undeveloped plot of land to his name.
e. His detention of Chief Ayo Ojewumi led to the blindness of the man. Buhari refused to let the man receive medical treatment until he completely went blind. Chief Ojewumi died exactly 28 days after he was released from Buhari’s gulag.
f. Buhari refused to allow Chief Bisi Onabanjo, the governor of Ogun State to have access to medical treatment in detention. He treated the man as a criminal and shortened the life of the esteemed governor.
g. Chief Jim Nwobodo, Chief Bola Ige, Chief Lateef Jakande, Chief Sam Mbakwe and several other southern politicians were given unreasonable sentences ranging from 100 years to 250 years while Governor Awwal Ibrahim of Niger State who was caught in Heathrow Airport in London with 14 million pounds and several millions in dollars and Naira, was detained in guest house.
3. Buhari jailed Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, on trumped up charges, allegedly as an economic saboteur with the legal backing of the Miscellaneous Offences Decree No. 20 of 1984, for having less than 10,000 dollars in his possession on his way out of the country. The judge in the case later apologized and confessed that he was ordered to jail the famous Musician regardless of his innocence. The Buhari junta would later say publicly that it “decided to deal with this Fela problem once and for all.”
4. Buhari instructed his ADC, Major Mustapha Jokolo to smuggle 53 suit cases, allegedly stuffed with foreign currency, through Murtala Mohammed Airport against the protests of General Tunde Idiagbon and Alhaji Abubakar Atiku, who was then Acting Director General of the Customs and later became the Vice President. A case of all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.
5. The change of color of the nation’s currency notes (except the fifty kobo note) in April 1984, allegedly to stop currency trafficking. The exercise rendered almost half of the estimated N6 billion of had earned money of ordinary Nigerians, worthless at the expiration of the change.
6. Buhari enacted Public Officers (Protection Against False Accusation) Decree 4 of 1984 with which he jailed journalists Nduka Irabor and Tunde Thompson for writing the truth. He said publicly that it did not matter if any of the journalists wrote the TRUTH, as long as he and his junta did not like it, the writers would go to jail. This casted Buhari as someone who never cares about the truth and a vindictive person.
7. He cancelled the METROLINE PROJECT that Governor Lateef Jakande embarked upon as a vendetta against the Yoruba people. He chose rather to pay a fine of $60 million rather than guarantee $100million needed for the completion of the project. Soon after, he procured several Airplanes for the Nigeria Airways costing several millions.
8. He put in place a retroactive law with which he murdered three innocent men: Lawal Ojuolape (30), Bernard Ogedengbe (29) and Bartholomew Owoh (26), by public execution. Buhari did not allow them to go through the judicial system. He never respected the laws of the land. Article 11.2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights reads: “No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission WHICH DID NOT CONSTITUTE A PENAL OFFENCE, under national or international law at the time when it was committed. NOR SHALL A HEAVIER PUNISHMENT BE IMPOSED THAN THE ONE THAT WAS APPLICABLE AT THE TIME THE PENAL OFFENCE WAS COMMITTED. Buhari left untouched an alleged well known drug baron in Ibrahim Babangida who later overthrew his government.
9. Buhari is the first Nigerian to be involved in stolen fund to the tune of billions. $2.8billion dollars of our money disappeared from NNPC under Buhari, when he was the Minister of Petroleum. Pastor Bakare called this “poppycock.”
10. He convinced all the northern political leaders against allowing the National Identity Card program because according to him, this would unravel the myth of Northern population majority.
11. He is an Islamic fundamentalist, the Bin Laden of Nigeria, who told his northern followers never to vote for anyone who was not a muslim.
12. He is a coup plotter.
13. He has never been able to account to Nigerians what he did with the 20 billion Naira of the Petroleum Trust Fund of which he was the chairman under Sani Abacha.
14. He was in full support of all the atrocities of Sani Abacha against the Nigerian people. There is no single record of his criticism of Sani Abacha during those dark days when Nigeria was on precipice. It shows that he is a patriot of convenience and as such not fit to lead the country. He was later to say publicly, on the tenth anniversary of Sani Abacha’s death that Sani Abacha never stole anything from Nigeria.
15. The Human Rights Violation and Investigation Commission (HRVIC) headed by Honorable Justice Chukwudifu Oputa an eminent jurist, was insulted and disrespected by Buhari who refused to appear before it. His message to Nigerians is that he (Buhari) is above the law and could not be held accountable.
16. He made Nigerians to go through the agony of having to scavenge and scamper for what was described as “essential commodities” such as milk, sugar and other diary products, thus creating emergency wealth for those who were very connected with his government.
The above list of Buhari’s atrocities is not exhaustive by any means. The atrocities are just pointed out to show how ungodly a supposedly man of God like Pastor Tunde Bakare could be. He tried in several interviews to justify these crimes in public domain to the point that he was comparing Chief Bola Ige, Professor Ambrose Ali, Chief Olabisi Onabanjo, Pa Adekunle Ajasin, Dr. Alex Ekwueme, Alhaji Lateef Jakande, Chief Jim Nwobodo, Chief Ayo Ojewumi, Chief Sam Mbakwe, Chief Odumegwu Ojukwu to NAZIs. Pastor Bakare did this by comparing their trials by Buhari to Nuremberg Trials. How low could a man of God go to commit sins?
Pastor Bakare, did not just disobeyed God, he offended God. His audacious justification of the unfair trials of the personalities mentioned above is an act of perfidy against the rule of law. Pastor Bakare trivialized the agonies of his own Yoruba people and that of other Nigerians, as he traded obvious historical facts for odious sophistry on the opprobrious altar of a noxious ambition. He deodorized the persecution of his own people in the hands of a neo-colonial sadist by the name Mohamadu Buhari as he engaged in obnoxious inanities. He sold his spiritual birthright for a swoop of poisonous political porridge.
By now, it should be clear to all that because Pastor Bakare “hast rejected the word of the LORD,” God “hath also rejected” him “from being king.” It is a tragedy that this is what has become of the self acclaimed “Apostle of Jesus Christ by the Will of God(?)” and the Serving Overseer of The Latter Rain Assembly.