The Overseer of Citadel Global Community Church formerly known as Latter Rain Assembly, Pastor Tunde Bakare, said that his use of the word ‘succession’ has drawn curious reactions from various quarters.
The pastor said his comment has been misinterpreted to mean he was asking Buhari to foist his choice on the nation in flagrant disregard of democratic principles.
The General Overseer on Sunday in a short address in his church said the clarification became important following the controversy that trailed his nationwide address on January 5.
He said that the consequence of inaccurate leadership succession in Nigeria over the years was that the citizens have continued to suffer, decades after the selfless sacrifices of the nation’s founding fathers, such as the late Obafemi Awolowo, Nnamdi Azikiwe.
According to him, “Over the years, inaccurate succession has been the bane of institutional leadership in Nigeria. Decades after the selfless leadership of our founding fathers, the citizenry has remained disillusioned with the self-aggrandisement of politicians who lack the values of the founding fathers."
The clergy stated that, he believed firmly that accurate succession in a democracy could only be achieved through free and fair elections.
He said, “I neither did this, nor did I insinuate at any point that Buhari should ‘pick’ or ‘choose’ his successor as some news outlets have conjured."
Bakare emphasized that succession is an expansive term that does not focus on one position alone, “as mindful as I am that no individual can singlehandedly solve Nigeria’s problems.
However, he admitted that it is unfortunate that some have chosen to place leadership succession on the one hand, and free, fair, and credible elections on the other, as mutually exclusive issues when, indeed, the latter is the strategic vehicle for arriving at the former.
“In a democratic society, you cannot achieve accurate succession without free, fair, and credible elections,” he said.
He noted that unlike the founding fathers, many of today’s politicians were at best “perverts pretending to be patriots or zeroes pretending to be heroes.”
He therefore hinted on the ways to achieve accurate leadership succession in Nigeria.
He said, “to achieve accurate leadership succession, Nigeria must build and strengthen public institutions or systems that will guarantee predictable progress and the sustainable replacement of capable hands with capable hands across the entire system, whether through elections or appointments.”