Pastor Tunde Bakare, serving overseer of the Citadel Global Community Church and a former presidential candidate for the All Progressives Congress, urged Nigerians on Sunday, July 18, to put nation-building before sentiments of ethnicity or religion amid the controversy surrounding the APC’s Muslim-Muslim ticket.
In response to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu; as well as former Borno State governor Alhaji Kashim Shettima’s Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket; Bakare said this in a statement he made accessible to the press after the church service in Oregun, Ojota, Lagos.
The fiery preacher said the development, which had been met with vehement opposition; rejections, resignations, and resentments by members of the Christian community, was not an issue; noting that the opposition to what had been called a Muslim-Muslim ticket was not unexpected. Further, he urged Christian leaders to learn from past mistakes of not participating in politics.
In order to discuss and come to an agreement on a strategy for nation-building and global development; he asked the Christian leaders to invite all of the candidates; as well as their running mates from all of the political parties in the nation to the negotiating table.
Bakare said, “As standard bearers of the message of the New Nigeria; we dream of a nation in which every Nigerian will be judged, not by their ethnicity, political leaning; regional affiliation or religious persuasion, but by the content of their character; as Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. once proclaimed in respect of his nation; the United States of America (USA).
“We dream of a Nigeria where there will no longer be indigene or settler but only a Nigerian citizen.
”We dream of a Nigeria where the state of residence will replace the state of origin in our official forms; where zoning or federal character will become archival aspects of our journey into political maturity.
“We dream of a Nigeria in which every woman, as well as every man, will be able to aspire to any political office at any time without playing the ethnic card and without recourse to it’s our turn or it’s their turn.”
The cleric who said he had chosen to be a bridge between Nigeria’s past, present, and future, added that “We choose to do this because we believe that building the New Nigeria is the calling upon every Nigerian worthy of the name.”