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Bakare Kuye Odumakin El-Rufai

Day activists mobilized against corruption

A pro-democracy group, Save Nigeria Group (SNG), is at it again. The group, under the leadership of a lawyer and fiery preacher, Pastor Tunde Bakare is no doubt known for its penchant for civil protests anytime its members feel that democracy is being threatened. In January 2010, when the Nigeria Constitution was not being followed to the letter during the sickness of the former President, Umaru Yar’Adua, the group mobilized to “occupy Abuja.”

The group was also the backbone of the mother of all protests held in January this year when the administration of Goodluck Jonathan gave the country a new year gift of increase in the prices of oil products. The whole country was literally “occupied” by members of the civil society that was mobilized by the SNG until the government shifted its stance from N140 per litre to N97 per litre.

Presently, the group is spoiling for another big battle with the leadership of the country, this time, on corruption. And if the threat of the group last Monday is carried out, Nigeria is in for another round of “operation occupy Nigeria.” RAZAQ BAMIDELE, who witnessed the occasion where the fresh threat was issued, reports.

State of the nation

Since the formation of the SNG, the Convener, Pastor Tunde Bakare and his members had made it abundantly clear that the group is out to cleanse the society and purge it of all anti-people policies and anti-democracy tendencies. They have vowed that nothing can stop them from rising against any form of oppression and injustices in the polity.

It is against this backdrop that the group has taken it upon itself to organize series of seminars, symposium, workshops and annual lecture series to enlighten, educate, sensitise and mobilize the populace to know their rights and demand for them. Annual lecture series So, early this year, the first lecture, delivered by the universally renowned scholar, Professor Niyi Osundare was organized.

And not satisfied with the state of the nation, the group came up with the second in the lecture series. An Associate Professor from Department of English and Literature, Cerleton University, Canada, Pius Adesanmi delivered the lecture titled: Reparations: What Nigeria owes the tortoise. In the lecture, the don identified greed, selfishness as well as excessive corruption on the part of the country’s leadership as the cause of her backwardness, asserting that “until the nation is purged of all these societal ills, the country will continue to move from bad to worse.”

While likening Nigeria’s rulers to the proverbial tortoise in the ancient fables, the lecturer narrated a couple of fables where the tortoise was reported to have ruined itself through “excessive consumption to the detriment of the collective goal of the people.” According to him, since the resources of the country were for the welfare of the generality of the citizenry, “the covenant of greed, ala, the tortoise must be broken to give way to respect for collective goal and common will of the people,” insisting that “common will of the people is sacred.”

Adesanmi, who wondered that the same oil discover in Dubai that has become a blessing to that country was the same oil that has been spelling doom for Nigeria was of the conviction that everything possible must be done to evolve a natural self fashioning for nationhood where common goal would be the pre-occupation of all and sundry.

Waxing philosophical, the don warned that “the country would not move an inch if her leadership keeps on plagiarizing the greedy way of the tortoise and work towards a collective will of the people.” He expressed sadness that “the leadership of the country is, sadly, not even plagiarizing the tortoise but stealing, robbing and looting the tortoise intellectual property and thus owe the tortoise reparations.”

He then challenged “those of us who bear the brunt of the repercussions of our leaders’ greed, corruption and selfishness to rise up against the ills,” submitting that “it is then that we will gradually find our way back to our common goal and collective will that will move the country forward.” Call for protests The lecturer’s postulation gingered the former Minister of the Federal Capital territory (FCT), Nasir el-Rufai, to admit that the country was at a crossroads, warning that the situation would degenerate if the people did not rise up to tackle the misdeeds bedeviling the nation.

El-Rufai noted that creating what he called “Nigerian elite enclave mentality” would not shield anyone from the impending crises if the people refused to act now. According to him, people below the age of 20 currently constitute the majority of the country’s population, but they are faced with hardship and excruciating poverty. He bemoaned the decadence in the social structure, which he said had led to an unending cycle of violence and bloodletting, stressing that all these problems manifesting in form of violence and terrorist attacks, were products of corruption, lack of inadequate education, as well as the high unemployment rate in the country.

So to him, people must rise up to stop corruption in the country. Toeing el-Rufai’s line was the Lagos State governorship candidate of the Democratic Peoples Alliance (DPA), in the 2007 general election, Mr. Jimi Agbaje, who noted that the fight against corruption in the country could only succeed with the collective responsibility of both the leaders and the led. He called on Nigerians to resist corrupt leaders or they would be constantly pauperized by them. On her part, the President of Campaign for Democracy (CD), and leader of Women Arise, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, said the idea of always wanting to share the “national cake” had remained an obstacle to the nation’s development.

She therefore urged the government to prosecute all the parties found culpable in the controversial oil subsidy scam. “Gathering here is to prove a point that Nigeria belongs to all of us and we cannot fold hands and watch corruption tear us apart,” she said. The Chairman of the Ikeja chapter of the Nigerian Bar Association, Monday Ubani, said the country had failed but still working for those responsible for it. He called for a synergy between the public and the press to chart a new course for the nation in the fight against corruption.

A former member of the House of Representatives, Dino Melaye, asserted that the country’s problem is mainly corruption, regretting that 60 per cent of the nation’s budgetary allocation goes to mismanagement and corruption. He said the country was at the “emergency ward” and would go to the “intensive care unit” if the people did not act. In his closing remarks, the SNG Convener, Pastor Tunde Bakare lamented that the country is on the brink of collapse insisting that “it requires the urgent intervention of all citizens, especially through protests, to rescue it.”

Bakare therefore urged Nigerians to immediately take to the streets and bring an end to corruption and bad governance, which he said were seriously threatening the survival of the nation. Even religious leaders across Christianity and Islam were not spared as he alleged that some use their positions to enrich themselves, and maintain ostentatious lifestyles, including buying private jet just as he called on the people to begin to cleanse the corrupt system by moving against such clerics.

His words: “All G.O. (General Overseers) must go to prison…and all of us must be rounded up and put in jail. This is not the first time I am saying it. If the revolution does not begin in the church or mosque, Nigeria will not change. Dubai (United Arab Emirates) once came to Nigeria to borrow money. And what prevents transformation in Dubais from happening in Nigeria is the corruption of our leaders.”

According to the preacher, the massive protests that greeted the removal of fuel subsidy by President Goodluck Jonathan in January demonstrated that the myth that Nigerians are a docile people, who lost the capacity to be shocked by the misdeeds of their rulers, has been shattered forever. Calling for protests to immediately begin, Bakare noted that almost everywhere in the world, democracy was preceded by revolution, and development, just as he agonized that, Nigeria had put the cart before the horse.

If the clarion call for protests is heeded by the civil society, Nigerians, in no time will witness another mother of all protests against corruption and corrupt people in the country. And Bakare has assured that when it happens, it would shake the country to its very foundation.

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  1. James November 15, 2012 at 3:53 am

    The truth is that Nigeria has completely jumped out of development track.

    Incompetents have taken the front seat.

    All areas are affected, the society is begging for survival, the church that supposed to be home for us all is now a business centre.

    Members that contribute money for the church growth cannot even send their own children to schools built with their own money.
    God is watching

    • francis cole November 15, 2012 at 5:55 am

      @ James yes its true,Nigerian churches na business center. All the pastors of today areb 419, deceivers,proffetional big time funking liers. Before I do love and respect the ” CON ” president, but now. I see him as a lier. He has a Jet now for his birth day present, and thats a lie. We all the know the source. Is written in the Bible that, thou shall not tell .lies, but Orisajefor and his gang of pastors are big time..liers,deceivers. Even in USA or Europe no pastor has private plane. Orisajefor and his gang are fake. They are all out to rip people .off. They are all evil people.

      • Prince T November 15, 2012 at 6:39 am

        Creflo dollar, td jakes, bill hybel, winston, copelandd etc. The numbers of american pastors that has jets are more than those that do not have. Actually copeland gave a jet to bonke. And creflo gave out 4 out at a time once.

  2. Chukwudi November 15, 2012 at 4:08 am

    Become a netcontacts member today and start making N1500 for each person u invite to register as member, ladies and gentlemen embrace this opportunity and overcome ur financial struggle, click here and get started. .is very real.GÖODLUCK

  3. Great November 15, 2012 at 6:35 am

    Pastor bakare ride on 4 standing out among d pack. 4 pitching ur tent wit d pple, u r seriously carvin ur name in gold and wen d history of nigerian masses: their toilings and material strugles in adition 2 their emancipation that impends…will b told, u bakare will b given a pride of place.

  4. Merry Chukwu November 15, 2012 at 9:01 am

    Nigerians and civil society should be very wise, not to allow selfish individuals to lieu them into doing evil things that will draw Nigeria backward, the evil associated to Nigeria civil war is still in our minds today. who are this people calling for civil disturbance and riots. Using El-Rufia as a case study. This man was 2 terms minister of Abuja, where he made some homes homeless. He never criticized the FG one day. When he left PDP to CPC, he became a tore in the flesh of Nigerians, can a corrupt minister like el-Rufia fight corruption? No. They should use their looted money to create jobs.

    • usabram November 15, 2012 at 10:52 am

      Merry Chukwu, pls kindly mention anything seen selfish in the above said against corruption. If not all but some of these statements are commonly made when you talk with your peers in the closeth about the state of the nation. It is possible you might have made similar statement before now:So because Elrufai and Bakare said it, is now a problem to u. So because they are in CPC made them lesser nigerians to speak the truth. As OBJ is drawing nearer to his grave, he is seeing clearly now as expected of those nearer to their grave and now warning of impending revolution. If you reduced corruption drastically, investing in nigeria will be very easy, Dangotte will not be protected by govt, licenses wil be given to lot of interested investors to compete with him thereby creating more jobs like the telecoms sector. All impediment against investors would vanished. If the GOs are teaching Godly values not prosperity without work then it will be better for us all to channel through peace and abundance because God said so. God bless u and bless nigeria

    • PRINCE OSAS November 16, 2012 at 7:27 am


  5. ogba November 15, 2012 at 11:01 am

    Who is prince T? what a shameful comment from you! comparing US pastors to Nigeria pastors. Private jet, money collected from poor hungry Nigerian who are looking for miracle for survival

  6. Ogundu November 15, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    Arise Nigerians, defend yourselves, this land belongs to us. Let us support good people and flush out bad ones. Go on Bakare and co.

  7. Eddy November 15, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    What Nigeria need is not a bloody revolution, we need the revolution of the heart and mind from the FG level to the masses. averge Nigeria man is corrupt; you see corruption in our schools (lecturers money for marks), traditional ruler (Money for traditional tittle).

    El-Rufai should come out clean and confess his involvement in corruption, how many Nigerians declear’s gifts given to them in the line of their duties? Mallam El-Rufai, did you ever received a gift from a person, company or a country while you were the Minister of FCT? if yes, did you decleared it to your boss or to we Nigerians? if the answer is no, you are a corrupt man.

    • usabram November 15, 2012 at 2:26 pm

      Eddy, I quite agree with u to some extent but the truth is that corruption has built a tabernacle in naija…there is no where a system has changed positively without one that understood clearly the modus operandi of what to be crushed….Elrufai might be devinely ochestrated to fight corruption..its like the man has change o….he cannot be robbing minds with Pastor Bakare and not induced to some extent with anticorruption….If u remembered the story of Saul to Paul…So for elrufai working together with Bakare is very healthy as he is a former inner chamber to understand the methodology faces of corruption..

  8. Ochea November 15, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    We really need a revolution. We do not have leaders in this country, rather we have rogues who steal our money and use same to underdevelope us. Nigeria is in a pitiable state. The solution is to break into several countries or renegotiate our existence as a country. The more we keep running away from this fact, the more problems we have in this country. Unfortunately, Nigerians are a docile people, who have lost the capacity to be shocked by the misdeeds of their rulers, and this has not been shattered yet.

  9. Bond Boy November 16, 2012 at 5:28 am

    There must be kind of peaceful revolution before things can change hand in nigeria.TUNDE BAKARE has said the truth.How many people died of boko haram’s bomblasts.DO you think if revolution starts that 1000 people will die before we get rid of the bad leaders?My brothers think again.Up bakare.

  10. Morgan Ihomun November 17, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    Orisajafor is a criminal , he like d odas oyedepo, Adeboye ,kumuye etc r stealing frm d poor by using d bible n arranged miracles. Dey reg ds churches as companies wit CAC. Dey use ds church money which is d members commonwealth 2 liv flanboyant livs y members wallow in poverty. Using tit , prophet offering, project offering, kingdom investment, offering dey buy fastcars, mansions n private jet while members cnt even afford children’s sch fees in sch built wit d church’s commonwealth.

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