Ribadu's credentials are questionable says Pastor Bakare
The Vice Presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Tunde Bakare, at the weekend said that he queried the presidential aspiration of Ribadu from the very beginning, because according to him, Ribadu's credentials as ex boss of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), are questionable.
He said he and his group preferred Nasir El- Rufai and ex Cross River Governor, Donald Duke, or Oby Ezekwesili, to fly the AC flag but both men declined.
Bakare who vowed to reveal some dirt about Ribadu soon, recalled a forum of the Save Nigeria Group (SNG) in the United Kingdom. According to Bakare, his reaction was one of bewilderment when Ribadu announced his interest to run.
The fiery pastor who flirted with the Action Congress Congress (AC) before joining the CPC said 'You want to rule Nigeria? Who will be your subjects?' I asked him. And he drove me to my hotel room that day and we spent two hours in his car. I began to lay the things before him that were wrong.”
Apparently questioning Ribadu's anti-graft credential, Bakare said: “And all this anti-corruption 'Czar'? We have stories that we can tell, but we will keep quiet now until the appropriate time.”
Bakare said that he had earlier suggested the names of former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, (FCT), Mallam Nazir el Rufai and former governor of Cross River State, Mr. Donald Duke, to run as president and vice- presidential candidates respectively. But he said Duke declined the offer immediately for some personal reasons.”
He continued: “We were now left with el Rufai who advised that we pick Nuhu Ribadu. I told him immediately that we rejected Nuhu Ribadu for reasons that were known to us at that point in time. You will be doing so many things and come to explain so many things. We decided to pair el-Rufai with Oby Ezekwesili. There are some things I know, that when the time permits, I will expose them.”
Bakare said that el-Rufai, however, declined to run because he would be seen as engaged in a contest with Ribadu
Bakare disclosed that he secured the approval of one of his spiritual fathers, the respected Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye, before throwing his hat into the political ring.
Pastor Bakare also gave indications that he was not convinced of the anti-corruption credentials of one of his former allies, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, who is the presidential candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria (CAN).
Bakare, the Serving Overseer of the Latter Rain Assembly (LRA), told a group of journalists that he would “open up” on Ribadu sometime soon.
Recently, incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan, who is the candidate of the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP), visited Pastor Adeboye's camp on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway and received the blessings of the General Overseer of the fast-growing Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), in a much-publicized photograph showing the president kneeling for prayers before the Man of God.
But Bakare, who at various times was a prominent cleric of Pastor William Kumuyi's Deeper Christian Life Assembly and the RCCG, before founding the LRA, disclosed that Adeboye encouraged him to run with Gen. Muhammadu Buhari.
The fiery cleric, who said that he was reluctant to run for political office, explained that he was ambushed by prominent people, including Pastor Adeboye, after Gen. Buhari had made overtures to him to be running mate.
He spoke in Lagos yesterday while explaining his vision and mission for Nigerians to a group of journalists.
The CPC Vice Presidential candidate said that when he first told Pastor Adeboye of Buhari's offer during a telephone call, the reaction he got was favorable.
His words “Pastor Adeboye surprised me. I thought he would say 'no way!' He asked who among the lot I thought could rescue Nigeria and I told him Gen.Muhammadu Buhari. I noted that Buhari he has no money and no network to come to the South, coupled with other things they had hung on his neck. Pastor Adeboye said, 'if you are ever considering Gen. Buhari, then you need a strong Christian to be his running mate.' But when I called Pastor Adeboye back, he said since you did not lobby for this thing, it is an opportunity for you to express the burden you carry for this nation, go forward. And I asked: 'Sir, will you support me?' And he said, 'with everything I got in my own way. Just go for it, I will be praying.”
Bakare said that he had earlier suggested the names of former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory , (FCT), Mallam Nazir el Rufai and former governor of Cross River State, Mr. Donald Duke, to run as president and vice- presidential candidates respectively. But he said Duke declined the offer immediately for some personal reasons.”
He continued: “I had thought that my job was to raise the standard of God's consciousness in our nation and to ensure that righteousness exalts this nation by way of preaching it, leaving the fear of God in the minds of people and much more modeling it. I have been harassed myself by military dictators and their civilian counterparts in mufti. But I never thought that I would do this. The last time I marched on the streets was in 1978, until January 2010 and that was in the days of 'Ali Must Go'. And all that happened then was over the increase in meal ticket from N30 to N90. That was killing those days, not now that the naira can hardly buy anything. When I left school, I thought marching on the streets had ended until the crisis that almost took Nigeria to precipice.
Disclosing why he decided to join politics, Bakare said: “On 3rd of May, 2010 during one of our meetings, one of my friends raised a pertinent question, that; 'are we raising responsible people to vote for irresponsible people?' That word struck me like thunderbolt. That was the turning point for me”.
He continued: We engaged the political leaders on what should be the minimum requirement for our political office holders. I met with former Vice President Atiku Abubakar twice and we also met with President Jonathan Ebele Goodluck Azikiwe who I call JEGA 2. We gave him some documents and some of these documents were passed on to some religious leaders like Pastor Adeboye. (The documents detail) why we would not support Jonathan. We listed three or four things; that the culture of impunity that we fought for had returned”.
Bakare contended that those who hold the view that he lacked political weight should note others did not build their political structures in one day either.
The fiery preacher noted that for much of his adult life, he had been shouting on the rooftop on the need for an improvement in the lot of Nigerians, adding that the failure to heed his call that led him into politics.
His words: “During the last one man, one vote rally at Onikan, I was there with all my children. One man said that I was taking a great risk, and I asked if those people they were mobilizing to come out during protests were not born by someone. The zeal for good governance and egalitarian society has consumed me, I am ready to swim or sink with the Nigerian project.”