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I did not ask Buhari to ‘pick’ a successor – Bakare

Pastor ‘Tunde Bakare, the Serving Overseer of The Citadel Global Community Church (formerly known as The Latter Rain Assembly), on Sunday clarified that his remarks…

Pastor ‘Tunde Bakare, the Serving Overseer of The Citadel Global Community Church (formerly known as The Latter Rain Assembly), on Sunday clarified that his remarks on succession was quoted out of context, noting that he never insinuated at any point that President Muhammadu Buhari should ‘pick’ or ‘choose’ his successor “as some news outlets have conjured.”

Bakare had in his state of the nation address titled, “Unveiling the true enemies of Nigeria” last Sunday tasked President Buhari to facilitate a system of “accurate succession.”

However, addressing the congregation on Sunday, he decried what he called the “unrecognisable reconstruction” of his utterances on succession.

According to him, his remarks were “interpreted as me asking Buhari to foist his choice on the nation in flagrant disregard of democratic principles.”

“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,” he said.

Bakare in his rejoinder today, titled, “Much Ado About Succession”, reiterated that “Succession is about casting long term visions, building stable institutions and raising the next generation.”

He stressed that he was convinced that free, fair and credible election remains the only vehicle for achieving a succession from one democratically elected president to another.

He said there was nowhere in his statement he asked Buhari to choose a successor.

He quoted his exact words as contained in the address: ‘…the third pivotal objective of governance should be to build a strong post-Buhari legacy facilitated by accurate succession…Therefore, even as we build institutions of democratic governance, a key responsibility that history has bestowed on President Muhammadu Buhari at this turning point in our journey to nationhood is to institutionalise systems of accurate succession that will build and sustain the Nigeria we desire.”

The reference to China, he added “had nothing to do with the Chinese system of government but more to do with Deng Xiaoping’s deliberate move to discover, develop and strategically deploy young leadership talents over an extended period as that country began a path to modernisation.”

“Similarly, my reference to Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew was to underscore the role of pioneer or pivotal leaders of nations in institutionalising or resuscitating foundational values.

“Furthermore, the example of Mandela’s Succession Plan in South Africa was done within the proper democratic framework of a free, fair and credible election,” he added.

Bakare said his “overriding concern in offering propositions was to forestall the emergence of a new iteration of recycled enemies who will once again seek to lock us into a cycle of doom and gloom at the turn of a new decade.”

“If we have been excellent at anything in Nigeria, it has been at creating a succession pipeline of the worst of us ruling over the best of us. On my part, I remain committed to facilitating, however God enables me, the emergence of the best, brightest, fittest and most competent Nigerians across every gamut of our national life,” he said.