Bayo Akinloye and Tobi Aworinde
Pastor Tunde Bakare of the Latter Rain Assembly has blamed the political terrain of Nigeria for the choice of an elderly president.
The former vice-presidential candidate of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change, who spoke during a press conference after his Sunday morning sermon titled, ‘The birth pangs of a new Nigeria,’ noted that France’s recent election of 39-year-old Emmanuel Macron as president was indicative of a global paradigm shift.
Bakare said, “If you want to know whether the President (Muhammadu Buhari) is getting better (and) recovering, I said in the course of that message – he’s on the sure path to recovery. Give him time. Niger Republic has not seen their president for a while.
“Nigeria needs an energetic leader but the circumstances of our polity have brought us to where we are that the same country that the likes of (Yakubu) Gowon ruled at the age of 30 is now considering people in their 60s and 70s to administer it.
“What happened in France recently is a clear sign that there is going to be a change of guards almost worldwide. But let’s accept our own thing and resolve our issues with wisdom.
“(Between) the man in the intensive care unit and the doctor treating him or wishing him dead, you don’t know who will die first. If God sent Isaiah back to go and tell Hezekiah that He was adding 15 years to his life, He is the only one who can do what He wills to do. Nobody should wish another person dead. We should just pray, because you would put Nigeria in disaster.”
According to the pastor, who ran alongside Buhari for the presidency in 2011, whenever leaders served with diminishing energy, a leadership vacuum would be created.
He noted that nature abhorred vacuums and that leadership vacuums often allowed the likes of Adonijah and Absalom in the Bible to have a field day.
Bakare said, “If the President is very healthy and able to discharge his duties, there would be no room for Absaloms and Adonijahs. Absalom was the firstborn whose inordinate ambition had no respect for his father, his benefactor, and was willing to consume him and drag him out of power.
“Those who don’t learn (from) the blunder of history will repeat the blunder of history until they become history. Adonijah did not learn from what happened to Absalom and he came to a wrong conclusion because his scenario postulation was wrong. He assumed that ‘if the king is this old and weak, the next in line is automatically the next king’.”
The clergyman added that though the constitution was ‘full of flaws’, it provided that in the event that the President could not discharge his duties, he must transmit power to the Vice-President to become acting President.
“(Buhari) had never left without transmitting that power. So, there’s no trouble (this time round),” he noted.
Bakare also had a stern warning for military officers conceiving an overthrow of the incumbent government.
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