Pastor Tunde Bakare, the Serving Overseer of the Citadel Global Community Church, made a bold statement.
He said he will never call the President-elect, Bola Tinubu, his president.
The cleric and politician, during a webinar on Saturday, alleged a series of malpractices during the 2023 elections, saying the Independent National Electoral Commission made a mess of the electioneering process.
He said this while responding during a Question & Answer session after delivering his speech on the Zoom programme titled ‘Building the New Nigeria: The Role of the Diaspora’ organised by the PTB4Nigeria In Diaspora Group.
The meeting, which began 7pm and was monitored by our correspondent, had over 200 participants.
While speaking earlier during the programme, he said the 2023 elections were below acceptable standards.
When asked if he would be happy to work for the new government as a Minister of Diaspora Engagements, he laughed and said he would say what he said to the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), last week.
He said he told Buhari that sometimes he called him President of Nigeria and other times, he called him “My President.”
Bakare said, “Last Wednesday, I was at the Glass House where he (Buhari) has been restricted now because the main house is being renovated. I said I have done that for you. I want you to know that, because of the circumstances of your flying into power on the wings of integrity and incorruptibility, but you’re now passing onto someone who does not have that value.
He said that at “any public lecture anywhere, before this mess is cleared off, I will address Asiwaju (Tinubu) as a President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria but I will never call him my president.”
He said he didn’t participate in the elections, and therefore, no one could say he lost.
Bakare, who participated in the All Progressives Congress presidential primary in June 2022, where nomination forms were sold for N100 million, polled no single vote.
Briefly touching this, he said, “I participated in the primary, and there were hundreds (of persons) who participated only by stepping down, so there is no shame in what we have done. We spoke truth to power.
“I wasn’t there when they voted, I wasn’t there when they scored (me) zero, but we won that badge of zero and badge of honour,” he said, adding that this was because some defeats were more triumphant than victories.
Answering the question, he said if he was called to be a minister under the incoming government, there would be conditions to it, “but I am not desperate to be a minister, not at all. I was offered before but I turned it down. My life is not just to take photographs with the president and shake hands.
“But we will do if it will benefit even one citizen.”
Tinubu will on Monday, May 29, be sworn in as the President of the country.
On Thursday, Tinubu was handed the transition report by Buhari, where he also promised not to disappoint Nigerians.
He pledged to address the security and power crises, among other challenges confronting the country.