The senior pastor of the Citadel Global Community Church, Tunde Bakare has revealed that former Minister of Education Oby Ezekwesili rejected the request to be President Muhammadu Buhari‘s running mate in the 2011 general election.
Speaking on how he emerged Buhari’s running mate in 2011 under the Congress for Progressives Change (CPC), Bakare said Pastor Enoch Adeboye of the RCCG advised him to be Buhari’s deputy and he duly accepted.
The popular cleric said Buhari had contacted him, requesting that he help him get a grass-root mobilizer as a running mate from the South.
According to Pastor Bakare, Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, Oby Ezekwesili, Jimi Agbaje, and Minister of Trade and Industry, Niyi Adebayo, were among those considered to run alongside Buhari.
He said with the help of Adeboye, Oby Ezekwesili was contacted after they had dropped Jimi Agbaje from the list of contenders.
“But Pastor Adeboye told me he (Buhari) would need a strong Christian to be his running mate. I said to him that Oby is strong too; he said no, that she must not leave certainty for uncertainty because she was working at the World Bank then,” Pastor Bakare said as quoted by the Sun.
“On January 15, 2011, at 12 noon, my phone rang, it was Buhari. He said, Pastor, I had prayed the way I know how to pray, and I want you to pray also, I want you to be my running mate,” he said.
“I said to him…that I will never seek an elective office or join a political party. He said I should pray about it and call him back in seven hours, I didn’t call him.
“I called Pastor Adeboye and informed him, he said that was it and that he already said Buhari needs a strong Christian and that I am the man and I must go there.
“I consulted across the board and I signed on at the last day to become his running mate. Of course, we didn’t win the election.”