A former Senior Special Assistant to the Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki, Mr Benjamin Atu, has described a statement by the Senior Pastor of Citadel Global Community, Lagos State, Tunde Bakare, about the 2023 presidential ambition of a National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, as a collective slap on the intelligence of Nigerians.
Bakare had praised Tinubu's prowess in Yoruba land and noted that God does not need anyone's permission to put Tinubu in a hall of fame.
Bakare, a former presidential candidate, had stated this while preaching at the church in a sermon tagged "An Idle Man's Brain Is The Devil's Workshop."
Obaseki's former aide warned that "Bakare should be able to explain to Nigerians the usefulness of Tinubu's political dexterity to Nigerians and how such dexterity has reduced poverty and given Nigerians good roads and stable electricity."
He said, "Why has Bakare decided to attack any Nigerian who did not support Tinubu? Are we returning to an era of dictatorial tendency where freedom of speech is elusive?
"Where is the beauty of democracy if individuals are no more at liberty to cue behind the leaders of their choice? There is a need to take a closer look at the intentions of Bakare."
Atu added, "Today, the same Bakare has turned against himself to celebrate the same man he once described with unprintable words. Bakare, through his unguarded utterances, has made himself a danger spot to Nigeria's emerging democracy."
Atu, who also served as the Senior Special Assistant to the Deputy Governor of Edo State, Philip Shaibu, stated further, "Bakare's unguided utterances will create instability and ethnic crisis in the country.
"He has by his utterances demonstrated that Nigeria is not a nation for all races. Nigerians can't draw inspiration from such unguided utterances."
The media professional advocated the need for Nigerians to collectively canvass a political arrangement that frustrates Bakare's type of politics in Nigeria.
He said, "We must kick against tribal political parties. Bakare once tackled Tinubu and blamed Tinubu for the worsening economic hardship and poor infrastructure.
"Nigerians woke up disappointed today to see the same man telling Nigerians that he (Tinubu) will be the 16th President of Nigeria.
"Now that both the Pilate and Herod have agreed to come together, Nigerians should beware of such coalition. They have not come together for our collective good but to foster parochial interests."
Atu cautioned against allowing personal interests to take precedence over the citizenry's collective interests.
"Nigeria can't be used as a reward for Tinubu's faithfulness to his political party. Tinubu fought for his party's victory and not Nigerians victory. He shouldn't only claim responsibility for his party's triumph; he should also be able to claim responsibility the woes that his party had caused us as a country.
"He should prove to Nigerians that his party was prepared for good governance by joining forces to liberate us from the tension across the nation. Every crisis has taken us unaware, and that has exposed our unpreparedness for governance.
"The future of Nigeria can't be used as a reward for an individual. Bakare's call is to undermine democracy in Nigeria, and such call must be collectively resisted. We need a Nigerian president and not a president of the Yoruba nation," he noted.