Tunde Bakare, serving overseer of the Citadel Global Community Church, says anybody that wants to lead Nigeria must negotiate with the northern region of the country.
Speaking in an interview with ThisDay, Bakare said he doubts if the north would willingly give up power.
He said no section of the country “can win an election by itself” and as such, collaboration is pertinent to electoral victory.
“The way our country is constituted right now, no matter who wants to lead this country. Anyone that wants to lead this country right now will have to negotiate with the north and the north has a way of giving you the crown and holding the sceptre and if that’s going to change, our glorified death certificate called the Nigerian constitution must have to go through a rejig,” he said.
“I honestly will say, almost all the things that were going for the north in the days of Ahmadu Bello are no longer there. The textile industries where they dominated are not there anymore. The groundnut pyramids, etc. And what they have is what they hold. They have power.
“Nigeria is structured in such a way that no section can win an election by itself. The southerner cannot win an election without reaching out to the north and the northerner cannot win the election without reaching out to the south.”
On his assessment of how the current administration has fared in the last six years, Bakare said a lot of things have gone worse even though the government is “trying their hardest”.
“Our expectations were very high. Sometimes, I have sat down to think that, ah, as president, has Buhari not demystified himself, because the expectations of Nigerians were very high when he was coming to power,” Bakare was quoted as saying.
“To start with, the kind of ill health he had, he had never had such a thing and that affected grossly the first term. That ill health was a major thing. That he is still alive today is a miracle. If you put all the six years he has spent, other than infrastructure development, the promise he made to the public concerning Boko Haram or security, we know it has gone worse, as far as I am concerned.
“They say it’s not as bad as we think. But I need to be convinced. The rail track, a few days ago to Kaduna, they bombed it. When my brother, Nasir el-Rufai said I should take the train to Kaduna, I said I will wait. They are trying their hardest, but no matter from which angle you’re looking at it, whether it is economic, whether it is politics, whether it is security, you will have something negative to say. But it is easier to be critical than correct. I will not beat my chest until I sit on that seat and do better.”
Bakare added that he would “never sacrifice truth on the altar of friendship”. (The Cable)