By TUNDE ODESOLA
He’s neither the bat nor the vulture. Like an antique typewriter, he’s just noisome and talkative. He’s not the bat with big eyes trained to see currency colors in pitch darkness. Neither is he the old vulture; weak, power-crazy, brain-lazy and clannish. He’s a Pharisee, for he knows the law, prophesies the prophecies and practices politics. Thus, he’s dangerous. Men and women of goodwill must rally and save our nation from this drenched pastor dancing in latter rain. Tunde Bakare must not be allowed to topple the rotten applecart on its smooth journey to 2023.
These are trying times for Nigeria. In every state, torture centres are sprouting like grass in raining season. Nigeria, the central torture chamber, is in confusion and lacking direction. This is a period of national emergency when men and women of God should give hope as Prophet Isaiah did in chapter 40, verse 31 of his book in the Holy Bible, saying: “Those who HOPE in the lord will renew their spirit, they will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint.” Prophet Jeremiah, in chapter 29, verse 11 of his own book in the Bible, also gave succor when he quoted the Lord as saying: “I know the plans I have for you,” declares the lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you HOPE and a future.” To God’s beloved, hope is a keyword. Hope is the undying expectation of a better tomorrow. It is the unseen food to a famished soul. Hope is the balm on the bleeding conscience of a country in torture and turmoil. Hope is the oxygen that our land needs for resuscitation from incumbent tyranny.
Now, I won’t pull my punches. I have a grouse with Pastor Tunde Gbolahan Bakare, hence I challenge him to an open contest like Elijah challenged the priests of Baal. The manifestation of the Ole Spirit is not on Bakare. And I will prove it. Last Sunday, Pastor Bakare, in his characteristic self-seeking way, abandoned the scriptural message of hope and delved into a personal vengeance and hate-sermon as he launched an unprovoked attack on the gentle Lion of Bourdillon. What nonsense! I challenge Bakare to mention one politician that is as generous, cunning, domineering, influential and ruthless as the genteel lion?
It is shocking that Bakare, standing on his altar in Ikeja, turned from a priest to a pugilist, raining lethal sucker punches on the Lion of Bourdillon and the Jewel of Daura, saying, “Woe betides the government that does not know that the purpose of government is the welfare of the people.” Haba! Are we all not mortals again? What’s wrong in wasting 20 democracy years in the life of a nation as we have done? Didn’t the Israelites waste 40 years wandering in the wilderness? Yet, Israel is a world power today. Who says we can’t be world powers after 2,000 years of national wandering? If the wolf-crying Bakare studied his Bible very well, he would know that his oration and patriotism can’t change the destiny of the country because the Lord said He would show mercy to ONLY those He wishes. In the same vein, Apostle Paul called for total obedience to political leadership when he said in Romans 13, verse 1: “Let every person be loyally subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established.” So, Bakare shouldn’t see anything wrong in Nigerians turning the other cheek to receive dirty slaps from successive governments since the 1960s. Or is it not written in Hosea 4:6 that, “My people are destroyed for they lack wisdom”?
If I’m Pontius Pilate, I’ll hang Bakare for treasonable felony and grant amnesty to all the national treasury looters being shielded by the cabal in Abuja. Why? How dare Bakare wail like John the Baptist in the wilderness and call the frontrunner in the race for Axe-o-Rock a Hope-fool? Hear Bakare, “(Year) 2023 presidential ‘Hope-fools’ cannot succeed because they have stolen what belongs to the people.” I ask, what belongs to which people? Is it not written that the earth and its fullness thereof belong to the Lord, the world and those who live it? Does this first verse of Psalm 24 not justify why Bourdillon should own us all and our sweat?
I wish I could lay my hands on Bakare. I’ll tie him to a stake, hang him upside down upon a naked fire and ask, “Bakare, when did you add forensic investigator to your lawyer-pastor-politician calling?” I will shout at Bakare like Festus shouted at Paul in Acts 26:24; “Bakare, you are insane! Your great learning is driving you to madness!” If this is not so, why did the pastor turn the Bible upside down and invented the Armageddon word, ‘Hope-fool’, that was never used in all the 66 books of the Bible? Haba! Hope-fool ke!!?? Ika ni Bakare yi o! Dis Bakare no be person o!
As if that wasn’t enough, he warned that persons living in highbrow Bourdillon, Ikoyi, Lagos, feeding fat on public funds and flying around in private jets will one day be made to vomit the funds they have stolen. Who could this troublesome pastor be referring to; a certain political hippopotamus? Who? I sincerely wish to know. Come to think of it; so, some persons are feeding fat on public funds and flying around in private jets? Is the Economic Financial Crimes Commission dead? I boldly declare that Bakare’s cup is full. He added insult to injury as he went ahead to lambast the Lagos State Government for failing to fix the roads in the state since 1999. If his churches across the land were taxed heavily and there’s little or nothing left for him from offerings and tithes, he would learn to keep his tongue in cheek. I think Bakare is envious of Bourdillon because he lives in Ikeja.
As I hang Bakare upside down while fire singes the hair on his head and skin, I’ll make him memorize Matthew 7 verse 1, which says “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.” I won’t stop at that, I’ll twist his ears and shout Proverbs 29 verse 2 into them, saying, “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice, but when a wicked man rules, the people groan.” Or is Bakare attributing the loud groans across the land to the rule of a wicked man? If he so believes, I will lift Bakare’s hairless head up from the fire heat and show him Psalm 30, verse 5 which says weeping may last till night, but joy comes in the morning. Nigeria’s joy will come in the morning! Except he’s a fake lawyer, Bakare must know the Latin dictum, “The voice of God is the voice of man.” No amount of venom he pours on the lion will save the prey because it has been enchanted by the roar of the beast and the fire in its eyes.
All of Bakare’s words will return to him void. Nigeria is not yet ready for development. Maybe in the next 200 years, maybe more, but that shall definitely be when the oil is gone – maybe then we would be ready for development. Until then, we’ll continue to be at the mercy of the bat, the vulture and their vicious scoundrels. Until then, governors will publicly have photo-shoots with gun-wielding kidnappers while road transport union miscreants will kill-and-go. Until then, our lives will be terrible and the future of our children unthinkable. God, the prospect is dreadful.
Bakare, learn to live with the pestilence of a hopeless leadership and stop complaining. Bourdillon wins the Ballon d’Or!
– (Published in The PUNCH on Monday, November 4, 2019)