Former vice-presidential candidate to General Muhammadu Buhari on the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) platform and founder, Latter Rain Assembly, Pastor Tunde Bakare, during a sermon in his church, reiterated his earlier warning that considering the prevailing “political temperature,” Nigerians should jettison the idea of conducting the February elections.
As an alternative, he opines that President Goodluck Jonathan should continue in office for another two years on the basis of interim government arrangement.
Some of the issues he considers important include: “Awkward geopolitical structure which has the form of federalism but lacks the substance; lopsided economic structure in which a single product from one region of the country contributes the bulk of the revenue of the entire nation despite the abundant resources spread across the nation; contentious population figures that have been the harbinger of election disputes since the pre-independence era and an electoral body that wears the label ‘independent’ but is practically under the control of the presidency.”
He said further that: “The Nigerian state has thus far been difficult and we have largely been drifting under the influence of the winds. It is clear that a great storm lies ahead as we are approaching elections without addressing the fundamental flaws in the polity.
“These factors have directly and indirectly contributed to the current economic crisis, the political instability, and the security situation. We managed to trudge on in this condition, advancing with great difficulty until we got to our Fair Havens.
“We arrived at our Fair Havens when, for the first time in the history of our nation, a person from the South-south, the region worst hit by the fundamental flaws in our polity, became president. One would have expected that being from the Niger Delta and an academic for that matter, President Jonathan would understand the role carved out for him, lay aside transient political ambitions and champion the cause of restructuring, while pursuing national integration, and then go down in history as Nigeria’s greatest leader hitherto; but this is yet to be seen.
“However, President Goodluck Jonathan came close to living up to this when he convoked the 2014 National Conference – a gathering of nobles, elders and the young from across the nation in which these issues were critically examined and recommendations made.
“I must state that the proposal for suspension of elections is not with a view to giving the president an avenue for undue tenure elongation but for the purpose of building a coalition that will bring lasting solutions to our problems,” he said.
The cleric also noted that whichever one emerges as winner between President Jonathan and Buhari, the outcome of the election will be rejected by the loser and that would set the tone for violence.
Bakare, suggested steps that could help prevent the danger ahead of the country.
“What I have said in the past to our nation and our leaders, I will repeat here once more. To avoid the gathering storms, the following steps should be taken: activate the constitutional provisions for the suspension of elections, create a transitional government, implement the report, or part thereof, of the 2014 National Conference, conduct accurate census, establish a truly independent electoral body, create a true people’s constitution that will reflect the aforementioned features and most importantly, conduct free, fair and credible elections in the consensually accepted constitutional arrangement.”
He however expressed hope that in spite of the gloomy picture ahead, there is hope that Nigeria will come out of its problems.
“Let me place on the register my full persuasion regarding the outcome of our present dilemma. I am fully persuaded that no matter how dark it becomes for Nigeria, there is a silver lining beyond the dark clouds and this nation will overcome the storms and rise to fulfil her destiny.
“I believe that no matter how unstable the polity may become, we will transit from shame to fame. I am persuaded that no matter the level of economic collapse, the economy of Nigeria will recover. So, in preparation for a previous prophecy, let us begin to expect the emergence of the tender plant from the side of the North, afore-prepared before the foundation of the world to steer Nigeria into her prophetic destiny. We are in the season of his emergence