By Kay Soyemi (Esq) – Courtesy Nigeria Village Square
For once, I am breaking my self-imposed rule not to comment on individuals but on institutions. This, I do fully well in the unswerving belief that the man is truly deserving of whatever encomiums I, or any other writer or commentator may pour on him. I do this also because Pastor Tunde Bakare may end up being the ONLY TRUE representative of the religious institution that has so far shown itself to be verily devoid of a conscience and is contented to watch its followers and the general citizenry suffer and be raped senseless by a rampaging political class.
In taking this stance, I am not making any distinction between the Christian Preachers and the Moslem Clerics that bestrides our Motherland, Nigeria! Indeed, I hasten to state categorically, at this point, that neither Imams nor Bishops have done anything to serve the interest of the poor masses in our country, rather, they have, in my opinion, simply lifted up the hems of their religious skirts and trousers and proceeded to join the wanton and rapacious raping and looting going on in our country.
In years past, and as a kid growing up in South West Nigeria, we used to be brought into a state of submission from being unruly with the mere mention of the name Alhaji Ajagbe’mokeferi of Ibadan – he was one of the few pious clerics that were known to speak truth to power at all times. However, his time and type have since been supplanted.
Today, Moslem Clerics and Christian Bishops, Pastors et al have openly discarded their heavenly ordained mission of providing succour to the oppressed and are openly competing for worldly lucre in the form of gigantic camps along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
They have further taken the realms of the battle for worldly wealth from the corridors of our roadways into the corridors of the political realm where they now struggle viciously and piously to attract patronage from the filthy and corrupt political class. Otherwise, how do you reconcile the incredible platform that is given to these political officers in the Churches and Mosques? It is mind-boggling that the Religious Leaders do not bat an eye-lid when inviting these thieving politicians to come and speak on the lecterns to the assembled congregation; but also go beyond that in ensuring the front rows of the places of worship are then reserved for these bigots as if to underscore the fact that these people are more important in the eyes of God than the regular worshippers! Cry!!
I cry because any decent man/woman of God would, and SHOULD, have rejected even self-invitations from the thieving politicians to attend their places of worship in order to address their congregation but alas, no, our Religious Leaders actively seek out political patronage, not I daresay, for the purpose of edifying God but for the benefit of themselves.
Anyway, to come to the crux of my musing today, I wish to put it on public record, my admiration of the man, Pastor Bakare for his involvement in the SNG marches. Pastor Bakare has earned my undying respect for being a lone voice in a forest peopled by the likes of Pastor Adeboye, Pastor Oyedepo, Pastor TB Joshua, Dr. Is-haq Akintola, Major Umar Abubakar, Oyakilome and a host of others whose listing would not serve the purpose of this write-up.
To start with, my admiration for the man does not stem from any previous knowledge of him save the sporadic mention of his names on the pages of news articles which I never read; as with all other religious writings. Hence, I had no prior knowledge of his patterns of thought.
Rather, this admiration stems from his willingness and open display of this purpose to speak for the oppressed of the society whom he must rightly see as his charge to be involved in the Save Nigeria Group. I am further impressed by his forthrightness in forsaking what most sceptics like me think of the Religious leaders in Nigeria by coming out of his comfort zone to condemn the drift in the nation’s political landscape.
To wit; I am of the frank opinion that religious leaders in Nigeria generally set out to exploit the masses in the same way as the politicians do, save the fact that they then promise their congregation a reward in Heaven for later and thereby avoid possible recriminations and expectations from their followers who may or may not be disappointed at the end of the day, after all there is no return ticket from the dead, so there is no comeback!
After previously writing about the failure of the military, the political class and the intellectual class in Nigeria to move the country forward and the inability of the Fourth Realm to prod their collective conscience, I had remarked about the implied complicity of the religious class in this unending rape of our collective psyche, but never for once, had I imagined any political leadership emanating from this direction – let us ignore the Reverend Okotie joke!
For these reasons, I move the motion that Pastor Tunde Bakare should be given the people’s award of “Man of the Year” for his selfless move which becomes even more glaring when compared with the see no evil, hear no evil and speak no Good stance of other religious leaders at this time of national crises!
Fellow Nigerians, let us please reward the selflessness of this Man of God and Man of the People by coming out on the Marches organised in our areas. It is the only way we can reward him and acknowledge him as worthy of the risk he is taking for the rest of us.
God bless Pastor Bakare, God bless Nigeria.