Pastor Tunde Bakare of the Latter Rain Assembly on Sunday unveiled those he called the ‘true enemies of Nigeria’ in his State of the Nation address.
The former running mate of President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2011 presidential election said the enemies of the country are entrenched in every level of government. He also said some citizens had made themselves enemies of the country. He mentioned these enemies to include benefactors and perpetrators of corruption in all spheres of life.
“These enemies in citizens’ clothing are those who choose to be spectators while the nation goes down the drain on their watch; those perverts on the pulpit who hide under togas of godliness to manipulate the vulnerable; those economic behemoths who window dress their underhandedness with filthlanthropy; those who are perpetually ‘not on seat’ because they can’t ‘come and go and die’; those who partake of loot and celebrate looters from the same ethnic group or religious organisation; those who say of the looters, ‘We know say na thief, but this thief na our thief.’ These are the true enemies of Nigeria,” he said.
“At the state level, the true enemies of Nigeria are those state governments that feed fat on unaccounted-for security votes; those who deploy the paraphernalia of office in their selfish interests rather than in the service of the people; those who connive with zonal political oligarchs to personalise and privatise the state; those who deploy the force of state to quell dissent; those who give critics an excuse to postulate that if state governments are already abusing the little power they currently wield, what will they do if we devolve yet more powers to them? These power-drunk state officials are the true enemies of Nigeria.
“At the zonal level, the enemies of Nigeria are those who have perverted their influence and turned the states within their zones of influence into personal estates.
“They are the political puppeteers who rig the system to enthrone their stooges and use them to corner resources and opportunities.
“They are the political bandits and pseudo-democrats who are maniacal in merchandising the will of the people, from masterminding vote-buying to engineering seemingly spontaneous outbreaks of political violence. These are the true enemies of Nigeria.”
Bakare said lawmakers who embezzle constituency project funds and are quick to pass laws to make life difficult for Nigerians as well as laws that threaten the nation’s stability are enemies of Nigeria. In the executive arm of government, he said the enemies are those who deploy the machinery of state against hapless citizens.
He also condemned the anti-social media bill saying it was unnecessary. According to him, the cgovernment should spend more energy chasing down the country’s enemies rather than “the angry young fellow who throws salvos at Mr President hoping to get a few retweets”.
He encouraged Nigerians to rise up and become architects of a new coalition that will facilitate a new Nigeria. He urged Nigerians to put aside religious, zonal, ethnic and other differences and speak with one voice against the enemies of our common patrimony.
“Now is the time to come together, from Lagos to Maiduguri, from Oyo to Bayelsa, from Aba to Abuja, from every nook and cranny of our nation, to build a New Nigeria, a New Nigeria that works for every Nigerian.
“A Nigeria where no child goes to bed hungry and no child is left out of school; where our homes, schools, streets, villages, highways and cities are safe and secure; where our hospitals are well-equipped life-saving institutions; where no youth is unemployed and our young men and women are job creators; where businesses thrive on innovation and ideas are facilitated by functional infrastructure and cutting-edge technology; where no part of our nation – North, South, East or West – feels marginalised, and every Nigerian is proud to say “I am a Nigerian.”
Bakare however expressed confidence that Nigeria is close to attaining the height it ought to be.