Controversial pastor, Tunde Bakare, has defended his decision to commend the legacy of allegedly corrupt former Lagos governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Bakare, who leads the Citadel Global Community Church, criticised Tinubu in the past. He even went as far as calling him “thief” without mentioning his name.
Tinubu, an All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain who is eyeing the presidency, has been named in a multi-billion-naira tax fraud and money laundering scandal which a large section of Nigeria’s mainstream media is seemingly uninterested in reporting. Critics also blame Tinubu for what they describe as state-backed culture of thuggery on Lagos roads and inner communities.
Nigerians say they were shocked to hear Bakare, who once led a campaign to “save Nigeria” from corruption, speak well of the former governor.
Last Sunday, Bakare likened Tinubu to Jephtah in the Bible. He said Tinubu fought many battles for the Yoruba and “delivered Lagos State and nearly all the South-West states from the onslaught of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from 1999 to 2007.”
After coming under heavy criticism for “supporting a corrupt politician”, Bakare slammed his critics for taking he comments out of context.
Bakare said yesterday:
“One would have thought that the whole message of over an hour would be listened to so that the context of the clip that went viral would be listened to before judgment is passed by those who considered us to have taken a 360-turnaround compared to the thoughts we had taken previously about the man many love to hate and many hate to love.
“Instead, the bath water and the baby were both thrown out by some self-appointed undertakers who think the way forward in our dilemma as a nation is to uproot the tares and separate them from the wheat long before the harvest time ordained by God.
“The same undertakers wilfully forget that the current mixture of the bad, the good, and the ugly in the polity are a result of the negligence of our past and present leaders, who slept on duty and allowed the enemy to sow the tares while the good man had planted good seeds on the ground.”
The Lagos pastor said only God could judge Tinubu, adding that he was not financially induced to say what he said.
“As a matter of fact, this past week, this set of individuals went to the extreme of calling me delusional, while others concluded that money must have changed hands for me to say the things that were said contrary to my previous stand concerning the same person,” Bakare said.
“You think somebody will pay me for what I am doing? No one is rich enough to do it. No one in this country or elsewhere is rich enough. And I am not for sale because I have been bought. I was bought by the Blood of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary and no other price can match that. And if you know of anyone who has given me money at any time to do what I am doing, expose it.
“One gentleman in particular labelled the part of the message he heard without listening to the rest. With all the PhDs he acquired, he said, ‘Tunde Bakare strategical delegitimisation of Tinubu.’
“Brothers and sisters, I say this before God who will judge the quick and the dead, none of these things is true. They are all the figments of the imagination of the writers and they are entitled to their opinions.”