By Fred Chukwulobe
“For this I came, for this purpose I will be. He’s number 32 and I am number 33. Say that you heard it from me today”.
His congregation echoed a big amen as Pastor Tunde Bakare of the Latter Rain Ministries, Inc, rattled it off.
He and many others are waiting to take over from “him”. Some, who waited, waited in vain. Only God knows if there will still be something to wait for by 2023.
This was how I opened my article many months ago on Pastor Tunde Bakare’s claim that God has anointed him to take over from president Muhammadu Buhari, who he once ran as deputy in a presidential election.
Tunde Bakare, serving overseer of the Citadel Global Community Church, says God has turned against President Muhammadu Buhari. Why?
Speaking at the church formerly known as Latter Rain Assembly, Bakare declared war on Buhari and dared the president to come after him as he has done for other dissenting voices in the country, reports The Cable, an authoritative online news organisation.
“Sovereignty is not in your hand anymore, you are commander-in-chief of nothing, except the people put you there. The highest office in the land is the office of the citizen. Nigerians are going to rise and demand for their rights,” he said on Sunday.
“And I dare you to try to stretch your hand against me like you have done to others, then you will know whether God sent me or I’m just empty and just making noise…”
Some of my friends believe I criticise pastors too much. One once asked me why I’m always hard on pastors, especially those of the Pentecostal fold. Well, I’m also hard on Rev. Fathers Ejike Camillus Mbaka and Ebubemunso and I’m a Catholic. I see most them as con men who are religious entrepreneurs – pastorprenuers. They sell religion to the gullible and they’re stupendously rich.
How could a so-called man of God speak so assuredly before his congregation and ask them to mark the date, claiming he was born for that purpose and making them believe he’s God’s voice on earth? And the people clapped and cheered.
What happened? Did Buhari promise to handover to him? Is he angry the promise wasn’t fulfilled? Why the sudden anger and vituperations?
Again, the truth of the matter is that some of these men of God, in which ever denominations they are found, particularly among the Pentecostal fold, are businessmen and politicians who pry on the People’s vulnerability and fear. Nothing more.
I believe in God. But I also believe that most of these men don’t truly believe in Him. If they do, they won’t be speaking and misspeaking.
Tunde Bakare is a typical example. And I assure you, president Buhari’s media handlers will reply him, typically, but his estranged friend won’t. He acts and barely talks. He shoots straight and takes no prisoners, even if they’re gods of men.
*Fred Chukwulobe, journalist, PR consultant and public affairs analyst, writes from Lagos