Blaming economic woes on oil price, sheer laziness – Bakare
The General Overseer of the Latter Rain Assembly, Pastor Tunde Bakare, says Nigeria urgently needs a revolution.
Bakare said it was sheer laziness to blame the global economic downturn for Nigeria's economic woes, adding that waiting for a rise in crude oil prices before reviving the economy was pointless.
He said this during the 27th anniversary thanksgiving of his church on Sunday in Lagos.
The cleric, who lamented that Nigeria's destiny was hanging in the balance, said that the revolution must include a radical transformation of values that should transcend politics and change of government.
According to him, since past leaders of the country could not deliver on the promise of a new Nigeria when the global and local economic climates were favourable, it would be wrong to blame the country's woes on the global economic downturn.
He said, 'While appreciating the positive developments in our democratic experience, especially the attempts by past and current governments to eliminate systemic leakages, I shall seek to prove that, by a fair preponderance of the credible evidence, the state of the nation calls for a revolution.
'This is a revolution that transcends politics or policies; a revolution that means far more than any change of government; a revolution that means a radical reformation of values as they impact upon the social, economic and political landscapes of our nation.
'It is a symptom of chronic national laziness to blame the global economic downturn for Nigeria's economic woes, or to wait expectantly for a rise in crude oil prices in order to sustain our consumptive economic patterns. Our problems are not the result of global economic cycles; our problems are the results of counter-productive national paradigms and self-limiting frameworks of state.'
Bakare listed structural deformation, institutional degradation, constitutional aberrations and governmental incapacitation as 'fundamental errors' that needed to be addressed for the country to move forward.
In order to correct the structural deformation, Bakare said the devolution of powers was essential, adding that power must be devolved to the levels of governments that are closest to the people and that can best deliver public goods.
He also called for a new constitution, noting that the 1999 Constitution lacked 'virtue and laid the foundation for a culture of political fraudulence.'
Speaking on tensions created by aggrieved groups in the country, Bakare advised Buhari to create a Presidential Commission for National Reconciliation, Reintegration and Restructuring in order create a new national identity for Nigerians.
Other functions of the commission, according to the cleric, should include promoting forgiveness and reconciliation among contentious interest groups in Nigeria and facilitating the creation of an acceptable functional governmental structure for the country.
While praying for President Muhammadu Buhari to leave a legacy of a new Nigeria, Bakare urged Nigerians to support the President.
He added, 'In a three-dimensional strategic arrangement, this national rebirth process can go on seamlessly alongside socio-economic development, championed by the economic team of this administration, headed by the Vice-President (Prof. Yemi Osinbajo) as well as a national security and anti-corruption strategy, spearheaded by the President Muhammadu Buhari. Punch