2023: Bakare kicks against rotational presidency, says it’s between politicians not Nigerians

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Pastor Tunde Bakare of Citadel Global Community Church has kicked against power rotation in the country after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari Friday.

Mr Bakare addressing reporters after meeting with the Nigerian leader he had in July vowed not to meet again described those clamouring for power to return to their region as immature.

By 2023 Mr Buhari will complete his constitutionally-allowed two terms and power is expected to leave the North, politicians from Southern Nigeria argue.

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For the cleric, the clamour which he said is immature is between politicians across the country and not that of Nigerians.

“It’s our immaturity, politically and otherwise, that makes us say power must either be in the North or be in the South, instead of looking for the best, the fittest, the most competent, and people of character, who love this nation,” Mr Bakare said. “Listen to me, if where the president comes from will make the place he has come from to be better, the Northern part of Nigeria should be richest and should be the most progressive and the most developed because out of 61 years, the north has produced either the president or heads of state for 40 to 41 years and yet, see the retrogression in the North.

“If it’s from the South, why should a person like President Obasanjo freeze and seize the account of Lagos State in his own tenure? If it’s from South-South or Southeast why couldn’t President Jonathan use all his powers to develop South-South/Southeast?

“Not where they come from, it’s what they carry and what they have to offer. May the best of the best of Nigerians rise, whether they’re from the east, from the west, from the north, and from the south.

“If there are agreements between politicians among themselves on rotation, a bargain is a bargain. That’s between them. But as far as this country is concerned, what we need at this stage is a man who can drive us to the Eldorado,” the presidential hopeful said.

He commended the Nigerian Senate for retracing itself allowing the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to determine the mode of transmitting election results.

He also narrated how youths across the country are usually disenfranchised during general elections and called for its reversal.

“Perhaps one of the best things the present National Assembly has done, especially the Senate, because, with that, Nigerians can vote and then results can be transmitted so easily. Not only that, part of the State of the Nation address that I did on October 10, I emphasised how Nigerian youths, especially undergraduates, are disenfranchised in our country.

“22.3 million students are registered, but during the election, campuses are shut, they will not be able to return there to vote, therefore disenfranchised. If we can do not just transmitting results, but be able to vote electronically, that will be wonderful. It will deepen and enhance our democracy.

“Not only that, the Diaspora sends above $25 billion to Nigeria. Nigeria in Diaspora should also be able to vote like they do in every other country in the world. The more the merrier. Yes, democracy is a game of numbers, but our people should have the final say, so the office of the citizen must be as important, if not more than the office of the governor or the president because they are the people who put them in power. Sovereignty still lies in the hands of the people of Nigeria,” he added.

The cleric said he was at the presidential villa to privately meet with the Nigerian leader, adding that: “I’ve dispensed what’s in my heart. I’ve already communicated clearly, my future plans to Mr President, and it stays between us.

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