By Sunny Ikhioya
WE all woke up on New Year’s Day January 1, 2018, to the news of Pastor Tunde Bakare’s decision to contest future presidential elections based on divine inspiration. Pastor Bakare is not an ordinary Nigerian as a result of his standing in our society. He is a fiery, intelligent, radicalised and cerebral man of God, who says it as he sees it, no matter the weight and implication such statement will generate. He says it from the depth of his heart and with total conviction. This is why his new year declaration must be viewed with all seriousness.
Some might scoff at his decision and see it as another line from a comedy script but, what it symbolises goes beyond what we see on the surface. This is a man who once had absolute confidence in those running the affairs of this nation today, to steer the ship of state aright. It shows that the people in government have failed him.
It shows that he does not have any confidence in those people to deliver on the so many goodies they promised. What a disappointment! What would have caused a Tunde Bakare to decide to run against a President Muhammadu Buhari whom he once described as the best candidate and whom he ran together with as running mate for the presidential seat? What would have made a Tunde Bakare to openly castigate his friend’s government, when he can easily walk into the President’s office to air his views? The answer is de ja vu.
We have seen it all, as it was in the past, so it is presently, nothing has changed. Bakare’s decision is both valid and genuine. You can choose to challenge the system if you are not satisfied with its deliveries. It is said that a society goes downward when good men refuse to speak up or partake in the the process of choosing its leaders. It does not matter whether Bakare wins or not if he decides to contest for the Presidential seat, what matters is that, he will be at peace with his God and his conscience.
The situation in this country is so dire to be left in the hands of those presently in position of leadership. It is not a matter of APC and PDP alone but for as many independents as possible to come out and contest for elective office.
What would have made a known supporter, in the person of Reverend Father Mbaka to now openly chastise the presidency? I fully agree with the statement credited to Femi Falana (SAN), that it will be a tragedy for this country to have only Atiku and Buhari contest for the presidential seat in the coming 2019 election.
People who have the real interest of this country at heart must begin to seek for alternative leadership. Our collective destiny does not lie in the hands of the APC and PDP alone. They have both without doubt proven to be obverse sides of the same coin. That is, they are the same and the people cannot get anything good from their government. Some have argued that if not Buhari, who then? And I say, the country needs a younger, vibrant, articulate, analytical, cerebral and above all, a detribalised Nigerian, anything else will not work.
There must be such an individual in this country and we must collectively search for this person.
The declaration of Pastor Tunde Bakare gives hope for more independent candidates to join the race. In the January 2, 2018 edition of The Punch Newspaper, there was a news story with the caption; “Female Professor Declares Presidential Ambition”. Her name is Olufumilayo Adesonta-Davies, lecturer at the University of Education, Rivers State.
It does not matter the gender, as long as the candidate is credible and reliable, he or she can be voted to lead. Enough of this sham we have as election, it is either we sit up or we die in captivity.
As I write, report filtered in that the PDP party won all the available seats in the Delta State local government elections. In a free, fair democratic set up, you rarely find this kind of result. This is why the people must embrace this new movement for true change. We were deceived in the past, there had not been any true change in the system, the only changes seen and experienced are in the personnel involved. We had thought that by now the Boko Haram insurgency will be history. Unfortunately, it has become a tool for political campaigns. Everyone is blaming the other. When a people refuse to take responsibility for their actions, know that they will never achieve anythning meaningful.
For how long will the blame game continue? We have witnessed the herdsmen activities. Why is it so easy to bring the criminals in the the southern part of the country, like Don Waney, to justice and not so with herdsmen?
It is even more surprising when you consider the fact that the terrain in the north is more easily accessible than the dense mangrove swamp forests of the south. Is it a matter of priority or economic interest or, plain apathy and indifference on the part of our authorities? It is for them to let us know. But, suffice to note that in the area of security, such as we have now and based on the Fulani herdsmen activities, this government cannot get pass mark.
From the body language, it is clear that we have treated the herdsmen matter with levity, to allow them rampage to this extent is unacceptable. The Inspector General of Police’s excuse that they are communal clashes is a very weak and lame one. The herdsmen challenge should be treated as a national emergency, in all parts of the country before it spills over with unimaginable consequences for this country. We must be open to new ideas, new brains, new technologies, new rules and basis for interaction and relationships.
That is why there is a need for fresh faces to mann the affairs of this country, come 2019. These ones cannot come from the present APC and PDP, even if we do find one amongst them, the system they operate will not give such an individual the opportunity. The entry of Tunde Bakare and other credible candidates is a welcome development.