As the negative effect of the fuel subsidy removal bites harder on the people, overseer of the Citadel Global Community Church, formerly known as the Latter Rain Church, Pastor Tunde Bakare, has called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to tackle the problem of corruption embedded in the nation’s fuel subsidy regime rather than implementing ‘anti-people’ economic policies that are strangulating Nigerians.
The Lagos fiery preacher who spoke in his Church auditorium on Sunday in Ikeja, Lagos, on the theme ‘Vice, virtue and time: The three things that shall never stand still’, noted that the suffering and hardship being faced by the people since fuel subsidy was removed by the federal government were excruciating.
Bakare however expressed optimism that God will move into Nigeria after his state of the nation broadcast, saying, “We must share what the Lord has said to us and what he has shown to us.”
The cleric stated: Today’s state of the nation broadcast is a by-product of what we have seen and what we have heard. You are going to see God’s move in our nation after this state of the nation broadcast. Today will mark the time, day and season that God intervened in Nigeria’s affairs.”
Shedding more light on the hardship faced by Nigerians as a result of fuel subsidy removal and its harsh economic impact, he appealed to the president to tackle corrupt practices in government instead of imposing hardship on Nigerians.
“Mr President, kill corruption and not Nigerians. No economy can thrive on impunity,” Bakare said.
Condemning the idea of going to war with Niger Republic, the cleric warned: “Local support for Nigeria by Nigeriens is at an all-time low. It is, therefore, counter-productive to engage in warfare. While we condemn the coup d’etat in West Africa, we recognize that the situation calls for deep, introspection on the part of African leaders.
“We call upon Nigeria at this time to provide good leadership. The real question is whether President Tinubu has the capacity to provide moral leadership even in the domestic context.”
He noted that despite the challenges facing the nation, he is optimistic that God will move Nigeria forward.
On the position of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its popularity among Nigerians, he said the results of the 2023 general elections has revealed that Nigerians are tired of the ruling party.
Bakare, who contested the 2022 presidential primary of the APC, said he joined forces with others to form the APC but the party has deviated from the principles it was founded on.
He said, “At this juncture, I must also sound a warning to the APC. I was there when the APC was formed and the extent of my involvement is well documented.
“As a stakeholder and more importantly as a nation builder, I am more obligated to state without equivocation that this is not the APC we envisaged. The results of the last elections were clear indications that Nigerians are fed up with what the APC had become.”
Bakare explained that, the fact that the votes polled by the APC during the 2023 presidential election declined from what it had in 2015 and 2019, was an indication that there was a loss of support base for the party.
“If it were not for the divisions within the Peoples Democratic Party and the emergenceof the Obidient movement of the Labour Party that split the traditional support base of the PDP, the APC would have convincingly lost the 2023 elections. Even now, the party’s victory as announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC is being challenged in court”.
According to Bakare, the APC has now become a platform for politicians “with no ideology”, who moved from one party to the other to seek power at all costs.
“The APC stood for progressivism characterised by substantial positive investment in social sectors such as education and healthcare and it achieved inclusiveness and social mobility,” he added.
Bakare stressed that what the party stood for has changed over time, saying this has changed over time given the current economic hardship being faced by many Nigerians which he said is a result of “anti-people policies” of the government.