by Rachel Ogbu
Head of the Save Nigeria Group, Pastor Tunde Bakare has joined forces with the former member of the House of Representatives, Dino Melaye, and a former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai to organise another protest against corruption, greed, and ineffective leadership.
The group made the call on Monday at a second State of the Nation Lecture organised by SNG in Lagos.
Bakare explained that the protest must be a revolution where protesters would demand justice in religious institutions as well as from serving and retired leaders.
He said, ‘‘Revolution must begin. Democracy is preceded by revolution and then development comes. It must begin with you, it must begin with me. All general overseers including myself must go to jail and by the time we are out, Nigeria will be better. I think December is too late for it and January is too far.’’
He noted that many religious leaders control millions of people without impacting on them positively.
According to him, people have asked him at various times about his role in protests; and why as a pastor he cannot pray for the country and stay out of the political arena. Bakare added that he could not be quiet and watch the nation taken over by ‘‘godless and evil traducers, who, if allowed to continue to carry out their monkeyshines would not only destroy the country’s political fabric, but also obliterate her soul.”
Also, Melaye urged the citizens to wake up and ensure that the country occupied her rightful place.
He stated, ‘‘Refuse to listen to those criticising you. They are commercialised characters who have monetised their calling.’’
El-Rufai said the elite’s belief that they could use money to buy themselves comfort in a nation with myriad of problems would not work.
He called on the people to demand justice and ask salient questions from the leaders. Chairman of the event and former president of the Nigerian Bar Association, Priscilla Kuye, urged parents to teach their children good morals so that they would be responsible individuals.
An associate professor of Literature and African Studies, Pius Adesanmi, on the occasion, also spoke on ‘Reparations: What Nigeria owes the Tortoise’. Adesanmi, who lectures at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada, employed the symbol of the tortoise as a greedy animal, saying its traits of greediness and selfishness were akin to the attitudes of Nigerian leaders.
According to him, successive generations of Nigerian leadership have approached the ‘national cake’ only from the perspective of how to gorge on it and how to share it wantonly like tomorrow would never come.
Adesanmi said, ‘‘Nobody comes to that federal theatre of debauched gorging sparing one second to think about how to bake that cake, where to get the flour and the icing and ensure continuous supply of the material and labour necessary to bake the said cake. If you look at our post-regional history, you will easily determine that we have produced at least three generations of leaders whose ethos and philosophy of governance devolve from wantonly plagiarising the playbook of the tortoise.”