During his Sunday sermon, Pastor Tunde Bakare, the Serving Overseer of the Citadel Global Community Church, cautioned his congregation about a style of politics characterized by the Yoruba term “Emilokan,” which translates to “It’s my turn.” This phrase gained popularity when President Bola Tinubu used it during his pre-election campaign in 2023.
Speaking during a State of the Nation broadcast at the church in Ikeja, Lagos, Bakare labeled ’emilokan’ politics as a manifestation of authoritarian tendencies. He recalled his earlier warning to Nigerians in January 2023 through a speech titled “Bridging the Gap between Politics and Governance.”
In that address, Bakare predicted that the politics of entitlement, exemplified by the ’emilokan’ mindset, could lead to a presidency with authoritarian inclinations, potentially leaning toward dictatorship and displaying intolerance towards dissent.
Bakare’s comments were prompted by recent events, including the arrest, detention, and prosecution of the suspended Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, and the detention of the former head of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Abdulrasheed Bawa, by the Department of State Services (DSS).
The DSS apprehended Emefiele in June on the grounds of suspected new criminal activities, as explained by the agency’s spokesperson, Peter Afunanya. The Federal High Court in Lagos has scheduled August 15 to consider Emefiele’s request to halt his trial by the Federal Government through the DSS.
Bakare expressed concerns about the DSS’s actions, highlighting potential lapses in professionalism and adherence to the rule of law. He pointed out the need for due process and equitable application of justice, especially in light of the reported invasion of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) premises and the handling of Emefiele’s case.
The pastor also scrutinized the present administration’s approach to the fight against corruption, suggesting that the focus seemed to be on making certain individuals scapegoats while other major challenges to Nigeria’s well-being remained unaddressed. He acknowledged that if Emefiele was found guilty, he should face prosecution. However, Bakare emphasized that the suspended CBN governor should not be made a scapegoat, given that his actions likely required presidential authorization.
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