The All Progressive Congress (APC) has condemned Pastor Tunde Bakare, the General Overseer of the Citadel Global Community Church, over his criticism of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Senator Ajibola Basiru, the new National Secretary of the APC, who appeared as a guest on Channels Television Sunday Politics programme, accused the fiery pastor of being unnecessary in his criticism, describing him as not competent to speak on President Tinubu’s reforms, especially in the wake of the controversial fuel subsidy removal.
Bakare had created a stir within political circles by cautioning against what he called the ‘Emilokan’ style of politics.
The term ‘Emilokan,’ roughly translating to ‘It’s my turn’ in Yoruba, gained prominence as a slogan introduced by Bola Tinubu during his 2023 pre-election campaign. Pastor Bakare, delivering a passionate sermon at his Lagos church, labelled ’emilokan’ as symbolic of authoritarianism. He harked back to his earlier warning in January, cautioning that a politics of entitlement could foster dictatorship.
Responding to Pastor Bakare’s pointed critique, the former Senate spokesperson, during the televised discussion, said that Bakare lacked the appropriate grounds to delve into matters he might not fully comprehend. Furthermore, the spokesperson refrained from recognising Bakare’s political astuteness.
Expressing his perspective, he stated, “I must quickly comment on what Pastor Bakare said. Although I don’t see him as a politician, with respect to him, I don’t see him as being competent to say what he has said.
“The fact that we are talking of palliatives does not mean we are not talking about the dysfunctions, imbalances in the economy and addressing the fundamental problems. We are not limiting our problems to the issue of palliatives.”
The spokesperson explained that discussing issues like palliatives didn’t mean sidelining the broader economic imbalances and underlying challenges. “Our focus extends beyond just palliatives,” he said.
Pressed for clarification on what he meant by “Bakare’s lack of competence,” the spokesperson explained that possessing ideas didn’t necessarily equate to competence in expressing those ideas. “I said competence in what he is talking about. The fact that you have ideas doesn’t mean you are competent at what you are saying. But he is entitled as a citizen.
“For instance, I am not an engineer and don’t have the competence to make valid propositions in the engineering field, even though I am a citizen of Nigeria. The fact that he (Bakare) is a Nigerian does not give him the right to make the criticism that he is making.
“We have a four-year mandate, and by the grace of God, even before the first year, people will start seeing the fundamental adjustment that is being made in the economy of our country.”