- Category: GENERAL
- Published on Friday, 10 August 2012 23:48
- Written by Duro Adeseko - Saturday Sun
[Saturday Sun] Vice presidential candidate of Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) in the 2011 elections, Pastor Tunde Bakare, is convinced that the trial of oil marketers accused of oil subsidy theft is all a show. Or “I can guarantee you that the best is to ask them to refund the money they took and they will not tell us whether it
was refunded or not.” To the cleric, there is nothing unlawful in using his church to make political demands or calling for social change.
He also told Saturday Sun in this interview that, since the president admitted that Boko Haram has penetrated his government, it would amount to chasing shadows by fighting the sect since it has members in the arms of government. On the threat to impeach Jonathan, he said the resolution is empty, adding that Nigerians should adopt a wait-and-see attitude; although he admitted that the point the House made has merit.
Excerpts: What is your position on the threat by the National Assembly to impeach the President if the budget is not implemented in its entirety before September 18? My opinion is that the impeachment threat is one year late. So, I can’t take them seriously. I do not think they will pull it through. They should have acted on the admission of the government spending two trillion without appropriation. That is an impeachable offence. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala responded by saying that there is no government in the world that does 100 per cent implementation.
That they have moved from 39 per cent in May to 53 per cent in July and before the year runs out, they will still do more. Whatever percentage they agree upon within them, we will wait to see if the House can prove that it is not a toothless bulldog. Is the Senate not going to be involved? You know they are not working together.
The House and the Senate have their own agenda. Each Chamber has its own agenda. Especially when both the heads of the House and the Senate have their eyes on the highest seat in the days to come. They can’t work together. Two cannot work together except they agree. They are already eying where they would go. Let us wait to see if they will get anywhere. Some are saying the threat is empty. The spirit behind it, the argument and all that Gbajabiamila said deserves some applause.
At least we can say somebody is speaking. Outside of that, as far as I am concerned, they can’t travel far. The Security people invited you and you told Nigerians that it would not, in any way, change your approach to national issues. The questions many ask is, why say these things on the pulpit? That is the platform I have. Jesus called Herod fox while he was preaching. The prophets challenged the authorities either in their own domains or Mount Camel when they invited them to a public encounter.
Except I am invited to a public domain, the domain I have is what God has given me. It is the place of the call of God and I am talking to my primary constituency – the church. I have every right under the law to preach the word of God and to do so under the ambit of the law. If they can prove that I have violated any law, then they have cause for concern. They should go and use their secret service and their intelligence and abilities to investigate Boko Haram and leave people like us alone. The complaint in some quarters is that you use Sunday service as your political platform. Go and check all the messages I preach and see if I have no other job other than political preaching.
By the way, if I use that platform to do what I am doing and the people in the church appreciate what I am doing; enlightening them about their responsibilities to the state and to their families… The church is the salt of the earth and the light of the world that is set up on a hill that cannot be hidden. The Bible says from the lips of the priest, men should learn about the law because he is the messenger of God.
They should come to him about knowledge. Clergymen should not be lazy men. Partisanship is not a crime, neither is it a sin. You spearheaded the trial of those accused of subsidy theft through the Save Nigerian Group. Are you satisfied with the way it has been handled so far since prosecution has started? I can’t trust the Federal Government, neither can I trust any agency under them and a leadership that condones corruption cannot checkmate corruption. You see all the people, if you look at them in the newspapers and television, all the people arraigned were laughing. They know it was a show. It is going nowhere. The people of this country must find alternative that are lawful to prosecute the war against corruption. It is not going to go anywhere.
I can guarantee you that the best is to ask them to refund the money they took and they will not tell us whether it was refunded or not. The Yoruba say the man who stole palm oil is not the only thief; the man who receives it is also a thief. It is all in the Internet that some of these people gave money to Diezani for the election of Mr. President. There has been no denial from them. At best, they ask them to refund or at the worse scenario, they will sentence them to two years imprisonment in VIP prisons, part of which they will spend in five star hospitals.
The surprise is that the children of public office holders are behind it. It takes a thief to produce a thief. If your father is a thief, what else would you be? If the children of the powerful are behind the oil theft, their fathers are thieves that show them the way-Ali Baba and 40 thieves. They say in Yorubaland that: You see the face of a thief and you did not catch him, Your son is not a drycleaner, He is bringing cloth home, You see the face of a thief and you did not catch him.
Like the lecture, Professor Niyi Osundare gave: His father was invited for a party sponsored by one of the village truants who had gone to town and came back and in a shot period very rich and Professor Osundare’s father said he was not attending such a party, where did he get his money from? Less than six months after, the man was brought back home in handcuff. Where I come from, if you are sent to jail, you never return. You go to Oke-oya – beyond the Niger, to live because we have compound and the name to protect. They have neither names nor compounds.
A thief begets thieves. But the parents said their children are old enough to defend themselves and in any case, they have not been convicted. As far as I know, parents of these people are law-abiding citizens. If their children behave in a way that is not consistent with their value system, it is not wrong to distance themselves because if they have trained their children in the way they should go and they now depart from it, something is wrong.
However, if they say their children are old enough to defend themselves and that they have not been convicted, that is double speak. I would be concerned if my son is found in the midst of armed robbers. I would be concerned if my son or daughter is found among those who are pilfering from public treasury because that is not the value I gave to them.
That will give me concern. Look at a clear example of Mutalab. The father went to the embassy to report that his son is behaving in a way that is not consistent with the value that he had given to him. If he had not done that, he would be roped in as one of the sponsors of terrorists. So, let us see what happens whether these fathers have enough value system in themselves to dissociate from the activities of their children or whether at the end of the day, what happened in a courtroom in ancient Yorubaland would happen to any of these fathers.
A son was about to be convicted and sent to prison and as the judge announced that he will give sentence, he said please let me speak to my mother. The mother came near the son and the son used his 32 teeth to cut off the ear of the mother. He said: “You are a wicked woman. You didn’t tell me that what I was doing was wrong. Each time I stole and brought it home, you took from me.
You are a wicked mother.” Let us see what will happen because Jesus said: “ Do not think I have brought peace on earth. I have brought sword – father against son and son against the father.” We would soon see whether they are birds of the same feather or they are people who are a chip of the old block. The old block may be corrupt-ridden or might be corrupt-free.
Let us talk about Madam Patience Jonathan who is the First Lady and at the same time a permanent Secretary in Balyesa State. Is it a normal development? It would be normal to political imbeciles and morons. That was what I said at a press conference. It is like you are the Imam of a mosque and at the same time you want to be the Seriki of the mosque. It is greed. It is covetousness.
At best, it is a preparation for a key position in Niger Delta Republic if they succeed in balkanizing Nigeria (laughter). Again, it has been reported that Patience and wife of the late President Umar Yar’Adua, Turai are fighting over a piece of land in Abuja and it has gone to court. I am not aware that they are fighting over a piece of land. I wish them well. It is not a personal matter. Turai has an NGO and Patience has an NGO and both are laying claim to the land. What is not personal in it? The NGO of a former first lady and the NGO of another first lady are personal issues.
I think all that is happening with the revocation of a piece of land is a payback and a show of power that we are now in charge. Once upon a time your husband was in charge and this is how my husband was treated. Now, we show you we are in charge. Vengeance has no foresight. What do you say to other political parties teaming up for 2015? I wish them well, if there would be a 2015. The problems on ground should give concern to people and we should be addressing the issues of today.
Let such parties demonstrate that they have what to offer Nigerians now. I wish them well. You said there might be no election in 2015. Why do you say that? Well, the House is threatening to impeach the President. The Vice President is hands-and-foot involved with the president. Both of them could go.
The Senate President becomes the acting president and you must conduct election within 90 days. Besides that, as we are behaving now, people’s revolt can set the things that happened in Libya, Tunisia and Egypt to happen in Nigeria. But it would now be a conflagration of all the movements in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya like a sandwich for Nigerian situation. But some people described Nigerians as docile. That is what it used to be until January. From January 2012, Nigerians are no longer docile. They are only waiting for quality leadership. Social mobility is no longer frozen in Nigeria.
That is the miracle of our time that is shocking the powers that be. You heard how arrogantly Jonathan announced that they are not going to back down on how much they have fixed the pump price and that agitation produced the PIP law that is now being sent to the legislature as well as all the investigations going on including that of Nuhu Ribadu. You also talk of revolution? I am convinced there would be a people’s movement that would say no.
I am not interested in blood flowing and heads rolling. The God that I serve does not drink blood. I don’t want the blood of anybody to flow. But people must say enough is enough. You have stolen enough. We take it from their hands and start afresh. By the way, the military stopped anti-subsidy rally at Ojota.
The military did not stop it.The military came in the night. They couldn’t come in the daytime. They are cowards. But they prevented you from going to the venue? We were not planning to go back anymore. We had finished on Friday and we were looking for strategies to use. We were not making any plans.
They were the ones chasing shadows. Show us where we told the people we would meet on Monday. We told them that we would tell them what would happen next. We would get in touch with them. We wouldn’t have exposed the lives of our people to danger because we know the people who do such obey the last order, whether evil or not.
That was why I pointed it out in the Bible yesterday. Doeg the Edomite killed 85 priests and struck children and suckling, whereas there were children and servants of the king who were given the command first and they did not touch the priest. So, they are either the Doeg the Edomite without conscience because it is an Edomite, a bundle of flesh, or they are servants of the king with conscience. How do you rate the Edo State governorship election conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission? Perhaps, it gives a glimpse of hope that the next general election, if the table is cleaned up, the next general elections may be free, clean, clear and credible.
But it is not yet uhuru as I said elsewhere because when you have three soldiers to one civilian voting, it is not a good sign. It should be a picnic time when citizens are free to make their own choice of candidates that would represent them. Would you want that repeated at the coming governorship election in Ondo? By the grace of God, we pray that the election in Ondo would be free, fair and credible.
I tell you what? The man that is there and all the report I got so far from associates and colleagues, is that he’s put landmark things there that the people are also speaking about. If he’s done so well, he deserves a second term. Are we winning the war on Boko Haram? I know the story of a woman who gave birth to seven children and all the seven of them, one after the other, were convicted on armed robbery and shot.
The press carried it many years ago. That story has kept coming back to me any time I consider Boko Haram. It is clear to me that you cannot fight your own shadow. The further you want to run away from it, the more it pursues you. What am I saying? Jonathan said Boko Haram is in the executive arm of government, it is in the legislative arm of government and it is in the judicial arm of government or the judiciary. That simply says that he knows those who are there. Jonathan himself is Boko Haram.
That is why he can’t fight it. Boko Haram is insisting on Islamizing the nation. Boko Haram cannot be true Islam. If you want to see true Islam in action, go to Dubai, Kuwait, Oman and Saudi or Indonesia. They have the largest Muslim population in the entire world. Boko Haram is not progressive Islam. Don’t believe a lie. If Islam means peace and just like a derivative of Shalom, Islam means peace.
If it means peace and these people are behaving this way, they do not represent the culture of true Islam. Besides all that, the truth of the matter is that there are three or four groups that call themselves Boko Haram- criminal Boko Haram are bombing the banks, political Boko Haram is known to PDP, security Boko Haram is organized by the security services to justify the expenditure and the high expensive vote that they have voted for themselves.
Of course,, there is the religious Boko Haram that is in the North East. Remember the story of our nation. Mitasine threatened the nation in Kano the same way. But decisive leadership quelled it. Now we have clueless leadership and all those Boko Haram, he said, are dipping hands in his own bowl and they are eating from the same plate.