The Serving Overseer of the Latter Rain Assembly, Pastor Tunde Bakare, has said “no ethnic group has the monopoly to rule Nigeria.”
Bakare, who has declared that he would succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in office come 2023, said he detested it when people said those from a certain section of the country cannot be trusted with power.
He said though zoning was not in the constitution, it had proven useful for Nigeria’s quest for unity.
Bakare said these on Sunday in a chat with journalists shortly after making a national broadcast on the state of the nation during the Sunday service in his church in the Ogba area of Lagos.
Bakare said: “Time has come to sit on a table of brotherhood and that’s why I said a President like President Muhammadu Buhari must rise up above partisanship and above petty ethnic sentiments, like Abraham Lincoln, like George Washington, to say let’s sit down, Nigeria must move forward. It is bigger than any of us and it will be better for us to work together by getting the best of the North and the best of the South to think through the road path for the greatness of this nation.
“I detest the saying that a particular section of this country must not be trusted with power; no! Then, we cannot live together because nobody is going to be servant of anybody.”
Bakare said for Nigeria to move forward, the different ethnic groups must collaborate and do away with mutual suspicion.
He said, “This is not time for mutual suspicion; this is a season for collaboration. All the infighting must stop; it is like father and mother are fighting and the children are confused. The season cannot afford this; let’s mend the fences. Let’s come together and let us begin to pursue a strategic objective that will set Nigeria on the path of predictable progress.”
The cleric prayed that Buhari would not fail and that “his legacies will not be rubbished.”
When asked to mention a few of Buhari’s legacies that he would love to see preserved beyond 2023, Bakare pointed to Buhari’s fight against corruption and insecurity.
He said: “The reason he (Buhari) is tackling corruption left, right and centre and the reason he is ensuring there is security is so that there will be opportunity for our land to develop.
“If you spend eight years and there is nothing tangible recorded against your name, that is not right. Remember, for a considerable part of his first term, he was ill; thank God he made it back. It’s like he is doubling efforts now to ensure that a legacy that cannot be erased is left behind because four years will soon come and go.”
Bakare said he believed Buhari meant well for Nigeria and that he was not opposed to restructuring.
He said: “I don’t think Buhari is against restructuring. If he is, then I wonder what legacy he wants to leave behind.
“He means well for Nigeria; he wants to leave a legacy and he is doing and trying his hardest within the available resources.
“We are trusting that he will be surrounded by capable men and there will not be mutual suspicion and mistrust among those who are closest to him so that he can focus and get the job done.”