I present a part of radical Pastor of the Latter Rain Assembly and running mate to General Buhari in the 2011 presidential election, Tunde Bakare’s recent exposition on the church and the February 14 poll. It is a-must read:
“….It is necessary to point out one more sign of the gathering storms that has to do with my constituency, the church, and its interaction with the political space in 2015.
In 2011, when I was selected by General Buhari as running mate, there was a gang-up against that ticket by a substantial section of the church which preferred the candidate that was perceived as Christian, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan. Not only was the church not convinced about General Buhari’s non- fundamentalist stance, it also refused to give support to the running mate who, in its perception, is controversial and non-conformist.
At that time, the mantra amongst many men of God was that a pastor had nothing to do with politics.
Reports also have it that Christian clergy received financial inducement from their preferred candidate who is again contesting against the same General Buhari in 2015.
To compound the matter, General Buhari’s running mate is another pastor who should ordinarily have the support of his home church, a very influential denomination in and outside the country and whose head is highly respected in the Christian establishment.
Therefore, ordinarily, for those to whom religion means a lot in the making of electoral decisions, the current running mate of the APC should be tiwa n tiwa, that is, “our own” and should be massively supported by the church.
But it is not going to be that easy.
What would be the implication of turning away from the incumbent who was massively supported in 2011 by the church establishment? How about those for whom the president has done one favour or another, such as waivers, contracts, soft landings, protection of vested interests in one form or another, or even outright monetary gifts – not necessarily bribery, just a ‘harmless’ gift? Would these pastors, priests and prophets now turn against their benefactor, the president, to give support to, “our own’’?
What will be the position of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), organizations that have been massively behind the president and who are likely biased against APC as PFN’s 2015 round-the-clock circulated prayer bulletin reveals?
Would there be reminders that this same incumbent has knelt before us at our conventions where we laid hands on him and supposedly endorsed him? Or, would we make a u-turn now that this is, “our own”?
What do you think?