Pastor Tunde Bakare of the Latter Rain Assembly, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to pick a successor.
Buhari’s constitutionally permissible second term in office elapses in May of 2023 and it is believed in political quarters that a scramble for who succeeds the retired general has already kicked on.
In a nationwide live broadcast in his church on Sunday, January 5, 2020, Bakare, who paid Buhari a visit last week, enjoined the president not to leave the choice of his successor in 2023 to chance.
According to Bakare, it is important for Buhari to influence who will emerge his successor so that his legacies will not be rubbished.
Bakare’s call for the president to handpick his successor, arrives barely three months after he boasted that he’s Buhari’s successor.
“Take it to the mountain top if you have never heard it before. I am saying it to you this morning, in the scheme of things, as far as politics of Nigeria is concerned, President Buhari is number 15 and yours sincerely is number 16. I never said that to you before, I want to let you know it this morning; nothing can change it, in the name of Jesus. He (Buhari) is number 15; I am number 16,” Bakare boasted while placing his right hand on his chest.
While emphasizing the need for Buhari to pick his successor now, Bakare stated that there is the risk that a looter might take over.
“God is into succession. Anyone in government that does not concern himself about succession is destroying his own legacy because the person coming after you can just mess up everything.
“Let us ask God for grace of accurate succession; that he (Buhari) will not hand over the baton of government and governance to thieves and perverts, to corrupt and power-drunk individuals, but those who are true patriots, who will serve like our founding fathers served; though not perfect, they did their best,” Bakare said.
According to the clergyman, by institutionalizing a system of succession, Buhari would join the league of strong world leaders like the late Deng Xiaoping of China; the late Nelson Mandela of South Africa and Goh Chok Tong of Singapore.
He added, “As the government of President Muhammadu Buhari ushers us into the second decade of the 21st century, the third pivotal objective of governance should be to build a strong post-Buhari legacy facilitated by accurate succession.
“In this regard, Nigeria must learn from some of the best succession examples in recent history. Of note is the legacy of Deng Xiaoping, a second-generation Chinese leader who laid the foundation for today’s China. Xiaoping flagged off the ‘Four Modernisations’ programme, which searched around the country for leaders who, in his words, were ‘revolutionary, younger, more knowledgeable, and more specialized.’
“In three decades, that programme gave China a succession of leaders who piloted China’s economic transformation, including the current President, Xi Jinping. Without their foresight, we would not be running to China today to finance our shortsightedness.
“We must also learn from Nelson Mandela who stepped aside after one term, but not without positioning the likes of Thabo Mbeki and Cyril Ramaphosa. We must learn from the success story of Singapore, whose former Prime Minister, Goh Chok Tong, once said, ‘Mr Lee Kuan Yew has always emphasized political succession, and when I took over, likewise, I planned for succession…Prime Minister Lee is also working very hard to plan for succession.’
“Therefore, even as we build institutions of democratic governance, a key responsibility that history has bestowed on President Muhammadu Buhari at this turning point in our journey to nationhood is to institutionalize systems of accurate succession that will build and sustain the Nigeria we desire. This is a task that must be done.”
Meanwhile, Buhari had in January, last year (2019), stated that he had no plan of grooming anyone to succeed him in office, and that anyone who wants to become Nigeria’s president should try as much as he did.