Pastor Tunde Bakare, the Serving Overseer of the Citadel Global Community Church, has expressed his firm stance of not referring to Bola Tinubu, as his president.
The renowned cleric and politician raised concerns, in a recent webinar, about various irregularities that took place during the 2023 elections, criticizing the Independent National Electoral Commission for mishandling the electoral process.
He mentioned this during a Q&A session following his speech on the Zoom program titled ‘Building the New Nigeria: The Role of the Diaspora,’ organized by the PTB4Nigeria In Diaspora Group.
The session, which commenced at 7 pm, was monitored by the PUNCH correspondent and boasted more than 200 participants.
Earlier in the program, he expressed his dissatisfaction with the 2023 elections, deeming them below acceptable standards. When asked if he would be interested in serving as the Minister of Diaspora Engagements in the new government, he chuckled and responded that he would convey his thoughts to President Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), just as he did last week. He shared that he had informed Buhari that he alternately referred to him as the President of Nigeria and “My President.”
Bakare said, “Last Wednesday, I was at the Glass House where he (Buhari) has been restricted now because the main house is being renovated. I said I have done that for you. I want you to know that, because of the circumstances of your flying into power on the wings of integrity and incorruptibility, but you’re now passing onto someone who does not have that value.
He said that at “any public lecture anywhere, before this mess is cleared off, I will address Asiwaju (Tinubu) as a President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria but I will never call him my president.”
He affirmed that he did not participate in the elections, and as a result, no one could claim he had lost.
Bakare, who took part in the All Progressives Congress presidential primary in June 2022, where nomination forms were priced at N100 million, received no votes.
Touching on this briefly, he stated, “I engaged in the primary, and there were numerous individuals who participated by simply stepping down, so there is no shame in our actions. We fearlessly spoke truth to power.”
He continued, “I was not present when they cast their votes, I was not present when they assigned me a score of zero, but we embrace that zero as a badge of honor. Sometimes, certain defeats are more triumphant than victories.”
When asked if he would accept a ministerial position in the upcoming government, he responded that there would be certain conditions attached to it. However, he emphasized that he was not desperate to become a minister in any way. He disclosed that he had been offered the position in the past but had declined, as his purpose in life extended beyond taking photographs with the president and engaging in mere handshakes.
“But we are determined to do so if it means bringing benefits to even a single citizen.”
On Monday, May 29, Tinubu is scheduled to take the oath of office as the President of the country.
Last Thursday, Buhari presented the transition report to Tinubu, who in turn assured Nigerians that he would not let them down.
He made a commitment to tackle the pressing issues of security, power, and other challenges that the country is facing.