by Obinna Akukwe @ObinnaAkukwe
In March 1999, Tunde Bakare told a stunned nation that President-elect Olusegun Obasanjo would be killed by the military before the May 29th handover date. According to the prophesy that was credited to him, Bakare said that “In a vision I eavesdropped on the conversation going on in heaven. I saw Jesus on the throne called the seat of Governor and the subject they were discussing was Nigeria. This was what came out of the lips of the Lord. ‘Rejoice not oh land, or your joy is temporary. For I am bringing your judges and your rulers, your priests and your prophets to my threshing floor. I will judge Saul and his comrades and after I have finished, I will restore to you a permanent joy. Obasanjo is not your messiah. He is King Agag and the prophetic axe will fall upon his head before May 29.’ And I asked Lord, how are you going to judge Saul and what has he done? God said: ‘I sent him on an assignment to overtake, to recover, and to demolish but he didn’t. He spared the fat calves, he spared the big sheep and he brought Agag back to Jerusalem. I will judge Saul and his comrades and after I have finished my purging, then your joy will be permanent.”
Eventually, Obasanjo was sworn in on the 29th of May 1999 and was never assassinated until he handed over to late president Umaru Yar’adua. However, I do recollect that following Pastor Bakare’s prophecies, Obasanjo set up two groups of prayer teams in Otta Farms, a women’s exclusive group and a general group, all interceding that the transition to civil rule be not truncated by soldiers. During the same period, Obasanjo ran to Pastor Adeboye’s Redeemed Camp for spiritual fortification. He also ran to Primate Olabayo to deliver him from Bakare’s prophecies and there are reports that he also embarked on a seven day fast. At the end the military were eased off without bloodshed.
Was Bakare’s prophecy false- I do not think so? I believe that his interpretation of the vision and implications was faulty. God told Jonah to go to Nineveh and declare the judgments of destruction from God on the inhabitants, the Ninevites repented at the preaching of Jonah and God told his prophet that He has averted the catastrophe He intended for that nation- and this u-turn made Jonah very angry. I believe that Bakare had understanding that something evil is about to occur in the land but while he foreclosed the possibilities of redemption, other prophets, pastors and prayer warriors heeded his warnings and used the power of intercession to avert the calamity.
However, earlier in 1993, he prophesied on Abiola’s death, asking sarcastically, “Is there no old man in MKO’s house to restrain him because once he begins, he will not come out alive?” Many pastors in Sokoto still remember that he prophesied the humiliation of the caliphate in 1995 when he first visited. According to Bakare ”1995 is the year of the unprecedented humiliation of the Sokoto caliphate. Its influence in the sociopolitical setup of Nigeria will not only wane, it will die. This (the then) Sultan will not be there by the end of the year” In that same year, General Sanni Abacha deposed Dasuki as the Sultan of Sokoto.
Tunde Bakare is a prophet of national and church rebirth. He is angry for the state of Nigeria just as prophets Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Isaiah cried for the spiritual fallen state of Israel. They also challenged the governments of the day and condemned evil in the land. Therefore, Bakare is fulfilling his calling. He is in the forefront of a new generation of pastors who are no more ready to tolerate profligacy that has brought poverty on the nation. This is the prophetic ministry dimension of Tunde Bakare.
Tunde Bakare has only one church, Later Rain Assembly, Lagos; however, it is discernible that hundreds of thousands of Nigerians listen to his television preachment from all walks of life, including Muslims. He seldom dwells on prosperity, rather Christian maturity, responsibility and leadership seems to be the central theme of his message, with occasional bashing of the government of the day for ineptitude. Therefore, a drifting state like Nigeria needs the prophetic irritating voice of the likes of Bakare in order not to fall into a state of Armageddon.
Tunde Bakare became the running mate to the leader of Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and the most popular Muslim politician in Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, in the 2011 presidential polls. A lot of Christians and prominent pastors berated Bakare for teaming up with a Muslim fundamentalist, describing him as a saboteur. However, these pastors do not find any problem that Ekwueme ( Christian) teamed up with Shagari (Muslim) in 1979 and 1983, and that Jonathan ( Christian) teamed up with Yaradua( Muslim) in 2007, and they have no problem with Diya ( Christian) being deputy to maximum dictator, Abacha (Muslim) but because it is controversial Bakare, everybody must complain.
It is obvious that Muhammadu Buhari have been so entrapped by the sincerity of this Christian clergyman that he defied the advice of northern elders and Muslim Ulamas and picked Bakare, a Muslim convert to Christianity, as his running mate, even though he knew that it may cost him the support of a section of the political elites, and indeed it cost him the 2011 presidential victory. This is the type of influence Bakare is wielding, able to create a cross religious trust in a nation polarized along religious lines. The last thing an average Nigerian Muslim wants is a preacher of the gospel as a deputy or running mate, but Bakare have broken that barrier. No wonder I know a lot of Muslims who personally told me that they listen to his preaching on Television every Sunday while a few confessed to me that they’ve sneaked to attend his church service at one time or the other.
As a church revival prophet, Tunde Bakare’s programmes with other denominations are always geared towards sanitizing the churches which have derailed from the message of salvation to the message of empire building and stomach enlargement. I attended one of them in Sokoto some years back and noticed that pastors, after the conference, went back to their churches and started a revival process. I noticed the same pattern in Enugu quite earlier when some pastors went back to the gospel roots after one of his visitations.
Tunde Bakare condemns pastors who make their wives automatic pastors and Deputy General Overseers. He also condemns pastors who hang around political office holders without telling them the truth. He condemns turning every day of the week into church service without time for people to practice what they were taught. Above all, he wants the church to return to its apostolic roots.
However, as a prophet, I have areas where I disagree with Bakare. He has variously condemned the use of anointed oil, anointed handkerchief, Holy Communion, communion of sprinkling, Shiloh sacrifice among others which some other denominations use as faith extenders. For instance, Winners Chapel uses anointing oil, mantle, blood of sprinkling, feet washing;
The handkerchiefs of Paul was used to heal the sick, Acts 19 vs 11-20 states that “God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: so that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them.” As an itinerant missionary to some interior regions of Nigeria and Africa, I have personally encountered emergency darkness, demonic attacks, evil operations and occultist manipulations and it took the application of some of these faith extenders, as dictated by the Spirit, to contain some life threatening situations.
Tunde Bakare has his excesses and has tendencies to overlap his functions, but as far as advising the church and nation is concerned, he has not failed yet, and as far as I am concerned he is a man sent as a prophetic voice of rebirth and revival to a corrupt nation and decaying church, and he needs the support of discerning men.