I didn’t discuss NYSC exemption certificate scandal with Adeosun – Pastor Bakare

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The Founder and Senior Pastor, Latter Rain Assembly, Pastor Tunde Bakare, has given further insight into his encounter with the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, at the Presidential Villa recently.

The vice presidential candidate of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) in the 2011 presidential election, said meeting Adeosun in the Villa was totally unplanned.
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Bakare who spoke with Daily Sun in Abuja however said he did not discuss with the London-trained economist the controversy trailing her National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) certificate.

The convener of the Save Niger Group (SNG) also took a look at the happenings in the polity and concluded that true federalism can put Nigeria on the right path.

Your presence in the Villa recently, particularly that you were seen with the minister of Finance, generated controversy. What actually happened?
I think that has already been resolved. My solicitor already wrote the online social media and they have corrected themselves. We arrived at the Villa at different times, I didn’t know she was coming, she didn’t know I was coming and I went to see the president alone behind a closed door, in a meeting and she went to see someone else in the Villa and when I finished, I didn’t even see her again. How they quickly added one and two together, that was such cheap and sensational journalism.

Since she is involved in NYSC certificate issue, they felt probably, you may have taken her to the president, considering your closeness to him…
Assumption is the lowest level of knowledge. Assumption! They should not have assumed. They could simply ask questions. They have access to me; they could simply have asked questions ‘oh, we saw this, what is happening?’ The press must endeavour to give accurate information to the public.

Did you discuss the certificate issue with her?
With who?

With the minister of Finance because you are from the same state, she is like your sister. Did you take her up on the issue?
That should not be a lobby discussion. It would not be appropriate. If someone is going through trouble, my job is not to shoot the wounded. If I cannot find solution to the person’s problems, I don’t add more to their problems. It would be inappropriate to start asking her questions in the lobby where everybody was present.

2019 is fast approaching. Should Nigerians return your friend, President Buhari?
President Buhari is a citizen of the country, he is the incumbent president, and he had already indicated his interest that he would like to run for a second term. It is his constitutionally right to run and Nigerians also have the privilege of either returning him or not.

Do you think we should look for an alternative?
The Yoruba say that ‘the name you are going to give your child should be inside of you.’ I am a Nigerian with one vote. Nigerians are adequately informed and they have experienced so many things under different administrations. With all the publicity that is going on both from the opposition and the incumbent, my prayer is that 2019 should be free, fair and credible and that there should be no bloodbath anywhere, that God should bring an end to the carnage going on in our country and may God Almighty intervene in our situation and give us leaders after his own heart.

Why do you think the government is finding it difficult to tackle the killer herdsmen?
Majority of the people who had spoken, including notable statesmen in our country had said that something is fundamentally wrong with our security architecture. And that didn’t begin last night. President Buhari had spoken also to the public that whoever thinks he is behind it, should have a rethink. The government needs to do more than it has done because the spate of killing has increased. At the same time, all hands should be on deck; Nigerians also must be able to help and give information appropriately to the security agents.

There is confusion out there because some actually on the social media said even when they give such advance information, nothing is done. It is an overwhelming situation. I am praying that God should intervene in the situation of our country and help us put round pegs in round holes because if you spend eternity planning to go mad, when will you actually manifest your insanity? We have spent so much
over the years. The past administration and the present administration invested so much in military wares, equipments and everything and it is such a disappointment that we are getting little returns for our investment. I am sure the government is doing what it can and citizens should also cooperate because at the end of the day, the primary responsibility of a government is to secure the welfare and the security of the people. That is the primary assignment of government! And good governance can’t be defined by any other thing other than those parameters.
Your presidential ambition, how far with it?
I have no presidential ambition; I have a presidential vision because I am not driven by ambition, I am driven by destiny. And I am driven by a purpose and I want to see a country that works in my lifetime. But I have also made it public to everyone who cares to listen that it is morally improper, as a matter of fact, morally reprehensible for me to run against Buhari because once upon a time, we took sweet counsel together, we ran together. When Buhari does not run anymore, if I mean to fuel that, God leading me that way, I will do it. But it is not ambition and it is not a matter of I must do this. I am waiting for the appropriate time as the spirit of God would lead me to do that. It is a question of time.

I have said it elsewhere that President Muhammadu Buhari is the 15th president. By God’s grace, I will be the 16th.

Is that what God told you?
I didn’t say God said, I said by God’s grace.

Those who supported President Buhari in 2015, although not all of them; are saying that he is not living up to expectation, what is your own view?
My simple view on this matter is: number one, the expectation was high. And so was the goodwill that brought him to power. But it appears after he got into power, the Yoruba proverb that ‘the water that is being boiled and the elubo to get amala that would be put into that water, the yam flour is so little compared to the boiling water.’ So, we have to do more to either reduce the water or increase the yam flour. It is to whom much is given, much
is expected. And if Nigerians expressed disappointment, they should fire up the president to seek ways and means of doing more because he is accountable to them at the end of the day.

In your closet, does the president tell you his pains?
Several times, but that is not for public consumption. It is like you coming to me and talking to me. My role, my profession forbids it that I disclose my client’s information. And apart from that, as a pastor, their prayer points, I would not make that a newspaper story except if he tells the story by himself.

Some people see the president’s achievements as your achievements and his failure as your failure. Do you also see them that way?
Definitely! That much I told him that his success would be my success, his failure would be my failure because we took sweet counsel together and we planned and we purposed to give Nigeria and Nigerians what it and they deserve.

What happened to the manifesto you came up with in 2011? Does it mean the president threw it away?
You are talking of the CPC manifesto and this is All Progressives Congress (APC) administration. They are not the same thing. Four legacy parties and others came together and they did not tell you at anytime that they were going to implement the CPC manifesto. That was then, this is now. But when the right time comes, clear headed, right thinking people will do what is needful for this nation because it is my considered opinion and I say it without mincing words that except Nigeria is restructured along the pathway of true federalism, this bleeding from many angles and many ends will continue. It is not just sustainable where 36 states cannot pay their own bill and they have to run to the federal government all the time. What you have is not federal government. The states have become parastatals.

So, only true federalism can take Nigeria out of the woods?
Parts of it, there are so many. Quality leadership and restructuring our country are also some.


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