Pastor Bakare of the Latter Rain Assembly launched a scathing attack on the Buhari administration. It was fiery advice from a friend
Bakare is close friends with President Muhammadu Buhari.
In 2011, Bakare even emerged Buhari's running mate ahead of that year's presidential election. It was the year Buhari broke down in tears, wondering through soaked eyes if the PDP could ever be defeated.
To be fair, there were several parts of Bakare's address on Sunday where he lavished praises on Buhari. But that isn't why we are here.
Because if Buhari must come good eventually, he's got to listen to the "bad" (not the "good") things his friends say.
We have seven of those from Buhari buddy, Bakare:
a) Buhari's "Change" government has brought nothing but suffering
We'll allow Bakare do the talking:
"From variations of ‘chanji’ to ‘shenji’, to the conflation of ‘change’ and ‘recession’, few, if any, have been immune to exclamations of discontent in the year 2016. At a public event sometime last year, I pointed out to the nation that this exclamation now reverberates across the landscape –“from the importer who can’t access foreign exchange, to the manufacturer whose loan capital has been devalued by over a hundred percent;
"From the parent whose naira estimation of the cost of education for his ward has been overwhelmed by the cost of a dollar, to the employee whose remuneration has become the victim of a downward spiraling purchasing power”; from the retrenched worker to the perennially unemployed; from the overburdened start-up entrepreneur to the weary investor. It is unfortunate that what was once the rallying cry for progressive development has now become associated with retrogression and suffering".
Obviously, Buhari has fallen his friend's hand.
b) Buhari's foreign exchange (forex) management has been a disaster
The Buhari administration has received plenty of flak for its monetary policies.
Here's Bakare with one more take-down of what has been described as a shambolic forex policy:
"To begin with, the confusing and discriminatory multiple dollar to naira exchange rates – favourable to some and not so favourable to others, and without doubt confusing for potential investors – must be discarded while a more reliable and predictable exchange rate, mutually beneficial to our people and economy and attractive to foreign investors, should be put in place.
"Similarly, prohibitive and punitive interest rates must be lowered in order to liberate the creative ingenuity of our people..."
c) Bakare considers Buhari's anti-graft war a joke
There are persons in President Buhari's inner circle who have been accused of corruption, yet not one presidential finger has been lifted against them.
Bakare is just as riled by it all:
"It is my considered opinion that we are still fighting corruption – our nation’s perennial archenemy – with kid gloves. If we are fighting corruption, let us remove the kid gloves.
"During the 2012 subsidy protest at Ojota Park, the Save Nigeria Group (SNG) adopted the slogan “Kill Corruption, not Nigerians.” It is very disheartening that allegations of corruption remain rife in our country, even against key office holders in the present government".
d) Bakare wants Buhari to reshuffle his cabinet
Some of Buhari's ministers and some members of the President's kitchen cabinet, have been described in non-performing terms.
During his "State of the Nation" sermon, the clergyman made the point as well.
"Mr. President must galvanize his team to get the job done; square pegs in round holes must be removed or put in appropriate places; the wicked who surround the righteous must be led away from the presence of the king. Those who cannot stand the heat must get out of the kitchen", Bakare flared.
e) Buhari has been described as slow. Bakare agrees
Buhari's slow governance style has been slammed by almost everyone with no access to Aso Rock.
You should have heard Bakare say it:
"We have no more time to waste. It is time to demonstrate leadership, wise judgment and astute public policy that guarantees stable and prosperous nationhood upon a foundation of peace; it is time to build a well-ordered nation with strong institutions dispensing justice; it is time to arise with patriotic zeal to build a great nation such that, years from now, generations yet unborn will look back at their history, not with disdain, but with gratitude to God that our generation preceded theirs.
"If we are diversifying the economy, let us make tough choices; and if we are confronting insecurity, let us also address the systemic issues that make it possible in the first place".
f) Buhari's communication team is a mess
Not our words, Bakare's:
"For a relatively long time, perhaps understandably due to the quagmire it met on ground, but also due to insufficient coordination of strategies, the government failed to effectively communicate its direction as encapsulated in the “Change” agenda.....Instead, due to the communication gaps, change is now associated with unpleasant experiences by Nigerians;
"Again, due to the communication gaps and poor mobilization, there has been insufficient corresponding action by non-state stakeholders, in particular, the private sector –the engine room of economic growth."
Is Bakare right about communication gaps from the Buhari presidency? To answer that question, name one of the President's spokespersons or media aides who has impressed you.
We dey wait.
g) Buhari's administration has been characterised by policy somersaults
"After a slow start characterized by series of policy somersaults....Mr. President and his team must summon the courage to make hard choices, especially the choice to restructure and the choice to embrace the necessary self-sacrifice that precedes economic recovery", Bakare said.
Was anyone at Aso Villa watching?