THE TUNDE BAKARE REVELATIONS: Day President Buhari Moved Me To Tears!!
By Tomiwa Johnson
Bakare: I’ve never been godfather to anybody. Do I know people in government? I do. I’m a Nigerian….(they) are Nigerians…
Full and final excerpts from the interview Pastor Tunde Bakare had with TV host, Femi Akintunde-Johnson (FAJ) as monitored by Treasure during an hour-long broadcast last Sunday, March 27, 2017 on Lagos Weekend Television. The programme, dubbed “Special Edition” on FAJ-Alive on TV was equally televised via major cable stations, DSTV, StarTimes, GoTV and ConSat.
Here, the eloquent lawyer-turned preacher spoke as candidly as he’s wont to – without ambiguity!
FAJ: Some of your accusers said you introduced Obazee (ex-FRC chair) to the President….
BAKARE: Mr. Obazee has been in the system long before now. Financial Reporting Council did not come yesterday. He did not need my introduction. I allowed people to say what they were saying… he’s a civil servant, a top leader doing something that the office of the President, the Minister of Trade and Commerce were interested in. So those who are saying that I introduced him to A, I introduced him to B, had forgotten that it was the same Jim Obazee that was asked to investigate Central Bank of Nigeria in the days of President Jonathan, and he had been working with those in the Presidency. So, how come did I suddenly become the person introducing one to the other? I’m not in civil service, neither am I in government… but I do not deny that I know Jim Obazee.
FAJ: The Idea is that you introduced many of these ministers to this new government and now Nigerians are crying about seeming inefficiencies of this government… that in time past, you were trenchant in your fight against misgovernance… but this time around, your friends are in power, and you’ve lost your voice?
BAKARE: You know, I’m not a social commentator or a social critic. By the grace of God, I function in the office of a Prophet…by His grace. And “oun ta ba fon si fere ni fere nfon” (the trumpet responds only to the trumpeter).I can’t just get up and be saying anything at any time. Go and check my track record…I just dont pass comment anyhow. How many “State of the Nation” broadcasts have I done since this government began, and how many “State of the Nation” broadcasts did I do before this time? When I was saying, “Be careful, I can see Euroclydon…let’s take it easy. This is not the route to go now…” I looked like a saboteur to those in APC. Some even said I’ve been bought over by Jonathan Goodluck… until they saw me march against Jonathan Goodluck!
Nobody on this planet, nobody in this nation, past government, current government, whichever, can say I’ve taken one dime from anybody for anything. Not one time!
And all I did in 2015 was to ensure there was no bloodbath in my country. I was going between the incoming President and the outgoing President with the help of some of the Ambassadors of foreign countries, to ensure we had a smooth transition. And the day President Jonathan conceded at about 4-5pm, I had shared with President Buhari 10 minutes past 10 in the morning that day – “He’s going to concede today…please let’s have calm…”. God has a way of vindicating….those who worked behind the scenes… I don’t need any accolades from anyone….
You mentioned that I’m responsible for some Ministers in government…You’re attributing to me the executive powers of Mr. President. As if I just see somebody on the streets, and say “Oya, come and be Minister! Oya, you must make him!” That’s not true. I have only one Godfather, and that’s God Himself. I’ve never been godfather to anybody. Do I know people in government? I do. I’m a Nigerian….(they) are Nigerians. When they leave service, they’ll still come back to where we are. Do I have association with some of them? Yeah, we talk. And we brainstorm about how to move the nation forward. But nobody on this planet, nobody in this nation, past government, current government, whichever, can say I’ve taken one dime from anybody for anything. Not one time!
ON SHARING WHAT HE DOES AT ASO ROCK WITH HIS CHURCH CONGREGATION: “Can you keep secrets?”
BAKARE: If I can’t keep secret, I can’t be a servant of God. The Bible says the Lord would not do anything except He first reveals His secrets to His servants, the prophets. And when God reveals His secrets to you…He says keep it till I ask you to speak. Let us see or hear from anyone in government that, “Oh, they confided in me and told me a secret, and I blew it in the open…”. Most of the things you hear are the things you should hear. The ones you should never hear, you’ll never hear.
ON WHETHER THE PRESIDENT IS SLOW OF HEARING OR SLOW OF ACTION IN THIS GOVERNMENT
BAKARE: You know I learnt something from Billy Graham. When God gives you opportunity to have access into the corridors of power… Be careful how you handle the moment…because the doors can be shut against you completely as a result of how you handle certain critical conditions. Or you can become a person nobody trusts. I don’t know how many ministers (of God) visited President Jonathan as I did, especially during the National Conference to ensure that things (went) well. And Mr. President asked me one thing…: “What can I give you?” I said “Mr. President give me a pen and write on it ‘From GEJ to GBB’… that will be all. I’ll remember you for it and I’ll be very happy about it.”
And I remember it was this same Jim Obazee he asked… he said, “Can he be serious… does he know I’m President of Nigeria?” And Jim said to him, “You’d better give him what he asked for… give him another thing, he’ll return to sender.”
I was there in Washington DC, his first trip to America, when he moved me to tears…and I was crying in the open when he said, “Why is it that every time I have opportunity to lead my country, it’s in major crisis…”
But let me come to your question regarding President Buhari. The Bible says when a tree falls on a tree, where it falls it lies. Anyone who tries to pick the lumber at the bottom would break his back. That’s why it looks like this man is not answering, he’s not doing anything. He’s not brain dead. He’s been a governor…he’s been a Minister…he’s been a former Head of State…and now opportunity has presented itself.
I was there in Washington DC, his first trip to America, when he moved me to tears…and I was crying in the open when he said, “Why is it that every time I have opportunity to lead my country, it’s in major crisis. When the oil price was all up and economy was all good…and everything was going well, I didn’t win election then to stabilize my nation. Now that everything is stuttering to destruction, that’s when I have opportunity to come in…”!
And after all my tears, I said to him in the evening: “For such a time like this you were brought into the kingdom”. President Buhari is one man…how much can he do all by himself? With all the things that had happened before…
It requires more than integrity to fix the Nigeria of today. It requires skillfulness, visionary leadership to see beyond today
I do see the point of view of those who say “Hey, are you going to blame Jonathan for the rest of your life and for the rest of this administration? Is there any programme that you also had, that you wanted to implement? Why don’t you implement your own?” I share their sentiments. I do. But if I’m going to build, I must first clear the ground. And I must have the materials to build with. With dwindling resources…
I have read what Iweala (former Minister of Finance) said, that it was ‘body language’ that caused capital to fly from Nigeria. May be true…and the ‘violent’ rhetoric around the country…may be true. But truth be told, the challenges are overwhelming. It requires more than integrity to fix the Nigeria of today. It requires skillfulness, visionary leadership to see beyond today. I think what we need to pray for is for our President to have what I call a ‘crystal clear mental picture of a preferable future’ for our nation, and to begin to put programmes and policies in line with that….
And God helping him, we trust that he’ll recover soon…and then people around him… also occupying strategic positions in the economy…we pray they’ll be round pegs in round holes, and not square pegs in round holes. You need more than one man to fix the issues of Nigeria. You need a very strong teamwork, dedicated people that’ll throw themselves completely into the assignment and not look back.
FAJ: With all the attention, and what you do – with millions of people watching you…how do you stay normal, keeping it together?
BAKARE: The Bible describes the righteous man as a tree. Psalm 1, Isaiah 60, 61… Psalm 1 says “Blessed is the man that does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly nor stand in the way of sinners, nor sit in the seat of the scornful…his delight is in the law of the Lord…he meditates on His law day and night. He shall be like the tree planted by the rivers of water….” In Isaiah 61, he said that the Spirit of the Lord is upon me. He has anointed me to preach to the poor, the broken-hearted… and he said those people that I’ve gathered as a result of this anointing shall become the trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord that He may be glorified.
If a man has not spoken to God on behalf of people, he has no right to speak to people on behalf of God
When a seed is cast to the ground and becomes a tree…the job is easier. You cannot confuse an apple tree with an orange tree. When they are standing together, they look alike…but when they begin to produce their fruits, they do it effortlessly, provided the conditions of the ground are right. There are activities that generate spiritual energy… there are activities that consume them… If a man has not spoken to God on behalf of people, he has no right to speak to people on behalf of God. Consequently, like Paul advised Timothy, and like he advised all the pastors (at what we can call the first ‘Pastoral Conference’ in the Bible), he said, “Take heed to yourself… and then the flock”.
I ensure that my relationship with God remains constant, because without that I cannot fully represent Him. So, I’m like a tree that is planted, that is producing fruits. That tree remains normal regardless when people are plucking the fruits. It’ll continue to produce if the condition is right and it’s still by the river side, and the roots are touching the nutrients. That’s the way I see it….