The General Overseer of the Latter Rain Assembly, Pastor Tunde Bakare, has pleaded with Nigerians to exercise patience with President Muhammadu Buhari as he provides leadership at a difficult time in the nation’s history.
The outspoken cleric, who met with the president behind closed doors for about 45 minutes at the State House in Abuja on Friday, stressed that any change for good normally takes time.
“I will like to appeal to all Nigerians that we should just excise a bit of patience. This change will not become chain that will tie all of us down. Change for good takes time and we should just exercise a little bit more of patience.
“We trust that government is listening and the leaders are listening too and they will respond to the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians”, he told State House correspondents after the meeting.
Speaking further on the change agenda of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bakare, who was the running mate to Buhari during the 2011 Presidential Election under the platform of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), said: “When you are driving on a wrong direction, for example, you are going to Ibadan and you face Badagry and you get to Cotonu and you realize you have gone in the wrong direction for too long a time, then you turn back and make a U-turn, there will be some suffering you have to go through.
“Pain is part of gain. No pain, no gain. The years of wastage and all that we have done wrong has finally caught up with us. All we are praying for is wisdom for this government to do things right and to do the right things. So that gradually, we can begin to come out of the woods”.
He further said that it is too early to begin to judge the performance of the Buhari administration.
“If there is anything I know about Mr. President, it is that he has a good heart. He loves this country and he wants the country to run well. But it takes time. I know we are all impatient and in a hurry and I trust we will come out of the woods”, he added
Bakare also tacitly declined to speak on the budget padding controversy in the House of Representatives, stressing that he is still studying the allegations.
“I just return to the country last Friday. I am reading about it. I will make my decision when I have checked both sides. And I will definitely speak on that”, he said.
When asked if the time is not right for Buhari to effect a cabinet shake-up, the cleric said that it is left for the president to take the decision anytime he wants.
“He knows what he has given them. For example, I have not given any appointment to anyone so I can’t judge their performance. But if there are yardsticks and standards given to them and if they have performed below par, definitely, the president would not mind at the right time to do those things”.
On why he visited the Villa, he said: “I came to see the President and he is doing very well health wise. That’s all I came to do”.