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Presidential election: It’s not run over cup of tea like it happened previously – Bakare

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Presidential election: It’s not run over cup of tea like it happened previously – Bakare

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“Talking from standpoint of the scripture, the battle is going to be fierce; it’s not going to be a run over cup of tea as it was…”

Samuel Bello, Abuja

General Overseer and Senior Pastor of Latter Rain Assembly Tunde Bakare speaks on the 2019 presidential election, saying it would be a fierce battle. He also urged Nigerians to pray that God should rule in the affairs of men and give it to whosoever is qualified enough.

You have been referred to in certain quarters of the media as a radical preacher. How do you react to this?

I don’t know, they said so, they should be asked. Everybody has mouth and they say what they like, some say radical, some say basketmouth, others call me all manner of names. I know who I am in Christ, it doesn’t bother me. I am sent forward to declare a message and I give it as the Lord gives me grace with all the mannerisms God has given me. Everybody looks different, that’s their opinion.

READ ALSO: Police commence deradicalisation of cult suspects
The blood of the innocents appears to be crying in Nigeria. Does it mean Nigerians are not praying enough?

Well, if it has to do with just praying, you can begin to evaluate whether we are praying enough or not. I would like to say to you that people came to Jesus even while he was here, and when anyone prayed, Jesus also prayed. They said to him, Pilate has mixed the blood of Galileans with his sacrifice, and you will think Jesus will throw his hands up and call fire upon them, but he said, ‘except you repent, you will likewise perish.’ Then he said ‘the tower house that fell and killed people, were they just sinners or wicked people, except you repent, you will likewise perish.’ Why do I refer to that scripture? We live in a fallen world, the survival of the fittest like in the animal jungle, and those who are killing others have their own reason however perverse for what they are doing. But that they will get away with it forever? No they won’t because according to the prophet Ezekiel, there is judgment upon a land that is filled with the crime of blood.

The incessant killings are so rampant and the government is almost pushed to the end of the world. Thank God there has been some liberation, in the past, more than 17 local governments were under
the grip of Boko Haram, but today, all those strongholds have been demolished. Whether there are forces behind it or not, I know it is not God’s will for the innocent to suffer. I don’t know who is innocent or who is wicked. All I know is when blood is shed, it is because people are doing the killing for a purpose and there will be consequences after.

How far should Christians go in their relationship with Muslims?

Those are very pedestrian issues, I don’t get involved in religious controversies, I will answer your questions because it’s so pedestrian. Paul said, ‘don’t you know what ungodly sacrifice means?’ At the same time, he said ‘whatever he says before you, pray over it and receive.’ So it depends on your faith, you must not eat the meat that will cause your brother to stumble. But if they supply you meat and you pray over it and receive it by faith, it means nothing to me. I have friends who are Muslims, they greet me on Eid-el Kabir day, and I greet them on Christmas. I send them gifts and they send me gifts too. I don’t see why that is a major issue. They believe the ultimate sacrifice has already been performed. Christ Jesus has died on the cross of Calvary for the sin of mankind, and nobody needs to wake up every morning to start counting his sin. Religion in its original meaning is returning to bondage, it’s a Greek word – religion. My relationship with Christ is the born of faith and not religion.

President Muhammadu Buhari said Church leaders should not be involved in partisan politics. How do you react to that?

I don’t react, in the book that I studied; I only find acts of apostles. I don’t react to things that others say, I just say my own. The way that you know a stick is crooked is when you place a straight stick by its side. Mr. President must have reasons for saying what he said. I wasn’t in the country when it was said, so I take it that you are quoting it accurately. I think he said, church leaders who get involved in partisan politics will lose the esteem of their people. But the question to ask is is the Vice President not a pastor? Did I stop being a pastor when I was his running mate? I am sure he is addressing this to those who seem to create unnecessary storm in the teacup, because I still do the things I do, I remain a Christian, I remain a pastor. I’m sure he is trying to hit at those who are causing unnecessary trouble. If Christians and pastors are not involved in politics, are you robbing them of their citizen’s right of association, human right of freedom of speech? Let us situate the statement within the context and not take it out of that.

Do you see Ekiti and Osun election as good templates ahead of 2019?

It is clear that there was vote buying in Ekiti State by all parties or by some parties, because it was clearly reported. Those who reported had evidence of who collected money and from who because of the way the whole thing was stage managed. I spoke about that on October 7; I don’t want to go back there. Truth be told, our democracy is still evolving, and INEC must be calm and independent in such a way that those European Observers who said there were threats will sense there were all kinds of opposition to one party candidate against the other. They saw and observed it clearly. We had to go beyond that and begin to conduct free, fair and credible elections. And it is possible if we don’t put the cart before the horse.

Not-too-young-to-run, was it a cheering news when one discovers these young men do not have any money to even prosecute the election?

We responded to that appropriately at the Latter Rain Assembly, our legacy youth fellowship gathered old veterans like Baba Adebanjo and the persons who actually pioneered the not- too-young–to- run, we brought the old and young together in a public debate, we called it, not-too-young-to -win, and not-too-old-to run. How old was President Buhari when he first became the military head of state? How old was General Murtala Mohammed, how old were those military people? They were young, they were not teenagers, but they were young. Now look, they are still there. Truth be told, what tutelage have these young ones received? Power is not a cup of tea; you just don’t get there and run for president of your nation like that. You have to be part of a system, develop and learn on the job. God does not use an untested vessel; I don’t know why anybody should trust an untested vessel. In fact God pronounced a woe, ‘woe unto you oh land, when your king is a child, but blessed are you all nations that your kings are source of nobles.’

Those people you saw that emerged like Obama, including young ladies that are leading now, see how long they have been in the kitchen; if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. You don’t just jump from one place and get there; why don’t you start from your local government and leave your mark, then God will create an opportunity for you. David was 30 when he became the king of Israel; Joseph was 30 when he became prime Minster of Egypt, even Jesus himself and John the Baptist were baptised at the age of 30. There are some things that come up with maturity. No man can climb with one hand, we need both sides. We need the old to mentor the young, and we need the young to be submissive and learn and when the right opportunity presents itself, opportunity will meet preparations and it will be breakthrough for them.

How do you see the emergence of Atiku Abubakar as the PDP presidential candidate?

Atiku winning the ticket of his party and becoming a flag bearer was for me, a cheering news, in the sense that you now have to look at both candidates and say which one will you vote for. Because it’s
a secret ballot, my secret remains in my heart but truth be told, I’ve been quoted copiously everywhere that I said that this is now the battle of the eagles. Sometimes when someone with prophetic grace speaks, others place different interpretation on what they said.

I was looking at what Jesus said In Luke and Matthew, the presentation were different. It said wherever you find the carcass, there you find the eagle. Then in Luke, he said wherever you find the body, there you find the eagle. So it’s telling you that different birds belong to the eagle family. For example, the cat belongs to the family of a lion, but the lion is different from the cat.

Many don’t know that vultures also are part of the family of eagle. It is a contest between the eagle and the vulture and you can place your interpretation on who is the eagle and who is the vulture. Time will tell. Are we going back to perversity, sustained corruption or are we tired of oppression and bloodletting and we are saying God give us somebody. I think the right prayer to pray now is ‘Lord you rule in the affairs of men, you give it to whosoever you will, deliver us from vultures and deliver us from eagles that are not acting as eagles also.’

READ ALSO: Investigative journalism key to uncovering corruption in Nigeria –SERAP

Talking from standpoint of the scripture, the battle is going to be fierce; it’s not going to be a run over cup of tea as it was, but I still think at the end of the day God’s will will be done in our country.

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CATHOLIC WORLD

Killing of Christians: Buhari lied to Trump – CAN fumes

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Killing of Christians: Buhari lied to Trump - CAN fumes

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has reacted to President Muhammadu Buhari’s revelation of his conversation with United States President, Donald Trump, on the massacre of Christians in Nigeria, saying President Buhari was economical with the truth.

President Buhari had on Tuesday, revealed that at the heat of the bloody clashes between herdsmen and farmers in Nigeria, the United States President, Donald Trump, unequivocally accused him of killing Christians.

Buhari said these in his closing remarks at the two-day ministerial performance review retreat held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday.

At a point, the President digressed from his prepared speech and narrated his encounter with Trump on the bloody clashes.

He said he managed to explain to the American leader that the clashes were not about ethnicity or religion.

He said, “I believe I was about the only African among the less developed countries the President of United States invited.

“When I was in his office, only myself and himself, only God is my witness, he looked at me in the face, and asked, ‘Why are you killing Christians?’

“I wonder, if you were the person, how you will react. I hope what I was feeling inside did not betray my emotion, so I told him that the problem between the cattle rearers and farmers, I know is older than me not to talk of him. I think I am a couple of years older than him.

“With climate change and population growth and the culture of the cattle rearers, if you have 50 cows and they eat grass, any root, to your water point, then they will follow it. It doesn’t matter whose farm it is.

“The First Republic set of leadership was the most responsible leadership we ever had. I asked the Minister of Agriculture to get a gazette of the early 60s which delineated the cattle route where they used meager resources then to put earth dams, wind mills even sanitary department.

“So, any cattle rearers that allowed his cattle to go to somebody’s farm would be arrested, taken before the court. The farmer would be called to submit his bill and if he couldn’t pay, the cattle would be sold, but subsequent leaders, the VVIPs (very important persons) encroached on the cattle routes. They took over the cattle rearing areas.

“So, I tried and explained to him (Trump) that this has got nothing to do with ethnicity or religion. It is a cultural thing.”

However, CAN’s Vice President and Chairman of the association in Kaduna State, John Hayab, was not impressed with Buhari’s submission, saying “Buhari and his government will never stop from amusing us with their tales by moonlight because what is happening in Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina, Birnin Gwari, Southern Kaduna, Taraba, Plateau and others cannot be described as a cultural thing.

He told Punch correspondent in an interview: “President Buhari’s weak story about his conversation with President Donald Trump further confirms why his government does not care about the killings in our country by calling them cultural things.

“Just this (Tuesday) evening, I received a report from the Kaduna Baptist Conference President about the number of their members that have been killed by bandits in Kaduna State from January 2020 to date to be 105 and our President will call it a cultural thing? All we can say is may God save our Nigeria.”

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NATIONAL NEWS

CAMA: Bishop blasts Christian lawmakers

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CAMA: Bishop blasts Christian lawmakers

The Catholic Bishop of Nsukka, Most Rev. Godfrey Onah, has blamed Christians in the National Assembly (NASS), for the passage of the 2020 Companies and Allied Matters Bill (CAMA), signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari recently.

Bishop Onah, said in a remark during the Sunday Mass that if Christians in NASS had opposed the bill, it would not have been passed into law.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on Aug. 7, signed the CAMA bill into law, giving provision for religious bodies and charity organizations to be regulated by the registrar of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), and a supervising minister.

“The question many Christians have been asking is, where were Christian legislators during the debate of this bill and its passage in the National Assembly?

“Because, if they had opposed this bill on the floor of the house, it would not have been passed and sent to the president for assent.

“I blame Christian legislators for doing nothing and allowing the passage of the 2020 CAMA Act,” he said.

“When I say that Christians are too divided and too selfish, don’t forget that the second in command in this country is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, a professor of Law and a pastor.”

Onah, however, wondered what the Federal Government wanted to achieve in monitoring how the finances of churches in the country are managed when it contributed no dime to the church, NAN reports.

“Government should focus and monitor its ministries, agencies and other government institutions where it budgets billions of Naira annually and not church offerings.

“Had it been that the government gave allocations to churches and decided to monitor its usage, nobody will question the government,” he said.

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NATIONAL NEWS

Nigerians spit fire over fuel, electricity prices hike

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Increasing Fuel and Electricity Prices

Anger and condemnations, across the country, have continued to trail last week’s take off, of new increases in pump price of petroleum products and electricity tariffs, as directed by Federal Government.

Recall that the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) official, D.O. Abalaka announced on Wednesday September 3, on behalf of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) that the new price of petroleum is now N151.56k per litre instead of N149 – N150 per litre which it was previously.

The new electricity tariff which the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) tagged “Service Reflective Tariff” has also come into effect. It requires consumers to pay N53.87 – N66.422 per kwh of electricity.

Outraged consumers of fuel and electricity have therefore warned government to get ready for collision with the masses if it fails to rescind these new prices.

Those who have expressed outrage over the new prices regimes include, the Organized Labour, Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Nigerian main opposition political party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) and the Major Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN).

Others are: Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) and the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce (NACCIMA).

The NLC said, “The frequent fuel price increase will no longer be accepted. We will not allow Nigerians fall victim of government ineptitude and negligence to make the country self-sufficient in terms of refining petroleum products at home.”

On its part, the PDP has described the price hike as “callous, cruel and punishing” and demanded an immediate reversal to avert a national crisis.

The All Industrial Global sees the incessant increase as a confirmation that deregulation means just price increase.

“This is unacceptable! Under a pandemic, we should put money in the pockets of citizens to revive collapsed livelihoods and preserve lives.” In its reaction, NECA said it has always urged Federal Government to adopt deregulation policy in the oil and gas downstream sector.

The MOMAN in its statement insists that monthly price variation of fuel was no longer sustainable. It urged PPRA to adopt quarterly price mechanism which would save the market the hassles of price volatility. The statements by IPMAN and NACCIMA also followed along the same line that the hike “…serves only to increase the severity and duration of the looming economic recession.”

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