Tunde Bakare, the senior pastor of Citadel Global Community Church, stated on Sunday that he did not declare war on President Muhammadu Buhari, but on Nigeria’s wicked people.
Mr Bakare stated last week, “I’m not interested in meeting you any more; no more visits,” after revealing that he had visited Mr Buhari on numerous times to counsel him on national matters but that the president frequently ignored his advice. It is now a war because Nigeria must be liberated.”
In his sermon on Sunday, the fiery preacher, though, claimed he declared war on the evil in the country, not Mr Buhari, his longtime buddy.
Mr Bakare, who said God informed him Mr Buhari was going to provide stability to the country, said: “If we voted Jonathan out because of insecurity and corruption, and now insecurity and corruption are even more deadly, what do you think should happen?”
“I’m not pitching you against anybody. I don’t control your PVC. But if the reason for voting PDP out is because of insecurity and corruption, and now it is worse, in fact added to it is banditry, kidnapping.”
In the run-up to the 2015 general elections, Mr Bakare led the Save Nigeria Group, a coalition of civil society organizations that railed against then-President Goodluck Jonathan and his party, the Peoples Democratic Party.
Mr Bakare also stated that the country’s growing insecurity and corruption should prompt Mr Buhari to take action in order to protect his legacy, noting that the war he proclaimed last Friday was not directed at Mr Buhari.
“This is why we are crying out so that before it is too late, Muhammadu Buhari can wear his thinking cap and think of his legacy, rise up and say this will not be my legacy. I’m going to flush out every bad eggs. Everyone diverting money meant for arms and ammunitions must be brought to book whether in the past or present,” he said.
“We must wage this war. This is the war we must wage and fight. It is one thing to desire power, it is another thing to know how to use it. Mr President it is not about you. Let no one deceive you. It is about 200 million people whose lives are at risk, who are being kidnapped, whose wives and daughter are being raped daily, who are being devastated. It is not about you. When I declared war last Sunday, it’s about the wicked, those perverting justice in our land. Their days are numbered.”
Mr Buhari’s media assistant, Femi Adesina, accused religious leaders of preaching hate and spreading falsehoods about his boss’s administration in April.
“I am surprised at some of our clerics, particularly the Christian ones since it is the religion I am more familiar with. They speak as if they read another Bible,” Mr Adesina said. “They preach hate from the pulpits, propagate falsehood, generate animosity against the government.”