The Overseer of the Latter Rain Assembly, Pastor Tunde Bakare, on Sunday said Nigerians should be grateful that the attempt on the life of a former Head of State, Maj. Gen Muahammadu Buhari, (retd.), was unsuccessful, as it would have led to a crisis of unprecedented destruction and loss of lives.
Bakare, who was Buhari’s running mate on the platform of the Congress for Progressive Change during the 2011 Presidential elections, said Buhari had millions of supporters in the North who might have taken the law into their own hands.
He said the crisis would have spread to the South, where more reprisals would occur.
Bakare said this while preaching in his church in Lagos on Sunday.
He said, “But for what could only have been an act of God, this past week might have marked the beginning of the end for our nation. For if the attack targeted at Buhari and his entourage on Wednesday had succeeded, the hatchers of the Nigerian disintegration agenda would have been smiling home to the bank by now.
“The enormous goodwill and massive following enjoyed by the General among the tens of millions of disadvantaged northern youths for whom he has become a messianic symbol, would have transmogrified into the unguided and uncontrollable fury of a vengeful army, whose target would not be without political and ethnic colouration.
“Invariably, this would have sparked up a corresponding reaction of violence from an equally militant antagonistic young population from across the Niger. One needs not be a political analyst to see that such a scenario might have culminated in the demise of our nation.”
Bakare said according to available statistics, between April 2010 and June 2014, terrorism had been the cause of about 6,000 deaths in the country while this year alone, a conservative figure of over 2,500 were reported to have been killed by the activities of Boko Haram.
He warned that it would be naïve for anyone to think that terrorism was purely a northern problem since 486 terror suspects had been arrested in Abia State while Boko Haram had claimed responsibility for the attacks in Apapa, Lagos after an attempt by the government to dub them mere “explosions.”
Bakare said the reasons terrorism thrived in Nigeria were because of the failure of intelligence which resorted to tracking the opposition rather than criminals and the enemies of the state.
He gave other reasons as governmental incompetence, a weakening armed forces, internal and international conspiracy; and opportunism.
He added that the attack should have made it clear to all that Buhari was not a Boko Haram sympathiser.
Bakare noted that the military at present cannot adequately combat terrorism, noting that soldiers confront members of the Boko Haram with “inferior weapons.”
He criticised President Goodluck Jonathan for seeking $1bn foreign loan to fight terrorism, saying “the last time the military was equipped was in the 1980s and there have been budgetary allocations every year.
“The senate say they want to reconvene to consider the request and nobody is asking what happened to the amount budgeted for security this year.”
The cleric noted that the reign of terror should not be ascribed to religion but “sheer psychosis.”
He warned that traditional Islam and radical Islam must not be grouped together, saying that radical Islam, alongside zoning deprivation, oppression and injustice, were the cause of terrorism.
“To win this war, we must embark forthwith on accurate diagnosis. There is a fundamental difference between traditional Islam and the radical Islam of our day. To lump them together would be a tragic mistake. It would only produce error, which would lead to attendant terror.
“I only hope that this is a wakeup call to our government and we must now rise up so that together we can deploy all our resources to stop the terrorists dead in their tracks,” he said.