Former presidential aspirant and Senior Pastor of the Citadel Global Community Church, Tunde Bakare, has said that President Muhammadu Buhari never listens to his ideas on how to move Nigeria forward.
Bakare was Buhari’s running mate in the 2011 presidential election — the duo contested on the platform of the Congress for Progressive Change.
Speaking with BBC Yoruba, Bakare said Nigerian leaders are corrupt and have steered the country to its current state.
He said many people voted for Buhari because they thought that, as a former military leader, he would understand the nation’s complexities and be able to lead the country on the right path.
“Things have turned upside down. They say the elders are the ones disrupting the nation, but it started with the youths. The coup plotters in the military — there are people that were 20 years old, 30 years old — they are the ones that brought us to where we are. They brought us here before they grew old in the job and refused to leave,” Bakare said.
“If a military takes over a country, they won’t leave until things become bad. They will plunder every conceivable object is gone. However, there are still good ones among the bad eggs.
“Our leaders are corrupt. Let’s assume the military destroyed the government, what happened to our civilian government? Although many of them moved from the military, we still don’t know if we are in a military or civilian era. Nigeria will continue to deteriorate unless we turn around and make amends and ask those stronger than us to help us.
“I was in my house when I started the Save Nigeria Group. It was to help the country. I never knew (Goodluck) Jonathan or (Umaru) Yar’Adua. God only showed me a vision and I started moving around, saying ‘do not let Nigeria go bad’. Professor Wole Soyinka, (Retired Gen. Alani) Akinrinade, renowned people of Yoruba extraction joined us.
“That was where Buhari first saw me and decided he could bring me close. We too, we wanted to know his intentions for Nigeria. That was how we met in Kaduna. I had in mind to help Nigeria but when (Obafemi) Awolowo could not become the president, as a good person, I washed my hands off.
“People thought someone who had once served as a military head of state, that once he becomes president, Nigeria will be better and progressive but instead of things to get better, everything has worsened.
“But God is not asleep. Some of my friends accuse me of bringing Buhari to power. I explained to them that he is someone I used to see and discuss the way forward with, that he would listen but once you leave, nothing comes out of the discussion. Then I decided to stay back.”
Bakare, however, said he had not lost hope and he keeps praying that there will be a turnaround for the country.
On the campaign for Oodua Republic, Bakare said such agitations are a result of the state of affairs in the country.
“I have never seen Sunday Igboho. This is the time he is supposed to come see me but he is unable to come. But he has met with some prominent Nigerians,” he said.
“If things were okay; people could feed themselves, have good jobs, no kidnapping… before, nobody was asking for what Sunday Igboho is agitating for presently. But I know that when the time is right, people will say Yoruba leaders alerted them because now the elders have not told them to ask for Oodua Republic.
“We should find a way of making Nigeria progress. We can’t leave our country for another. We have to take a stand and make Nigeria work. When separatist groups see that things are getting better in the nation, they will drop their grievances.”