The Serving Overseer of Latter Rain Assembly, Tunde Bakare said on Sunday that five elections after, Nigerians are getting poorer while the nation’s debt is mounting.
Bakare lamented that the country had spent about N450bn conducting elections since 1999 without the country getting good governance.
“Five general elections, yet around 87 million of us are extremely poor, earning our country the title, ‘Poverty Capital of the World’.
“Five elections, yet our country has one of the worst infrastructural deficits in the world; needless to say, our roads are lavishly decorated with potholes and our airports are among the worst of the worst.
“We have incurred another $74.28bn worth of debt, barely 13 years after a debt burden of $18bn was lifted off our shoulders. Yet, there is no commensurate development to show for the debts we are piling up for future generations of Nigerians.
“Five general elections and ours is a tale of increasing poverty and indebtedness!” he said.
The fiery cleric reiterated his position that Nigeria could not make progress without being restructured.
As such, he called on the Nigerian electorate to “demand allegiance to restructuring as a precondition for supporting any party or candidate in the next elections.”
Bakare made this call in his Independence anniversary address, which he delivered in his church in the Ogba area of Lagos.
The cleric warned Nigerians to be wary of some politicians who once supported the campaign for restructuring but “have now restructured their opinion because they have become part of the system.”
According to him, such people seem to have forgotten that the position they currently occupy is not permanent.
Also to be avoided by Nigerians, according to Bakare, are those who had been in government before and did nothing about restructuring but are now promising restructuring ahead of next year’s election.
He said, “I am convinced that for Nigeria, the idea whose time has come is the restructuring of our nation.
“Restructuring must be the overarching mission around which the social, economic and political development agenda is constructed. It must be the wheels on which Nigeria is propelled for strategic relevance.
“Among the political class, there have been diverse responses to the call to restructure. There are those who once championed restructuring but have now restructured their opinions because they have become part of the system. They have forgotten that the position they currently occupy is not permanent.
“There are those now promising restructuring who did nothing in that regard while they were in the system. Such politicians face the tall order of convincing the Nigerian people that restructuring is not a mere front for their inordinate political ambitions.
“Then there are those incumbents who are diametrically opposed to restructuring because they cannot imagine a Nigeria that is not dependent on petrodollars. I do not have a moment to spare for such sceptics. Their political extinction is inevitable because there is no force strong enough to stop an idea whose time has come.”
The legal-practitioner-turned-cleric also argued that there was no legal basis for the Independent National Electoral Commission to declare the September 22 governorship election in Osun State inconclusive.
He argued that by virtue of Section 53(2) of the Electoral Act 2010, INEC was empowered to cancel an election only when there were cases of over-voting, which, he said, was not the case in Osun State.
He said, “The recently concluded gubernatorial selection, sorry, election, in Osun State, is a pointer to the ignoble intentions of this political class ahead of 2019. What a sham, and what a shame.
“By what constitutional provision or act of the National Assembly is the Independent National Electoral Commission empowered to cancel election results the way it did in Osun State?”