BEING TEXT OF SPEECH DELIVERED BY PASTOR ‘TUNDE BAKARE
DATE: SUNDAY, MARCH 22, 2015
VENUE: THE LATTER RAIN ASSEMBLY, LAGOS, NIGERIA
THEME: THE SNARE IS BROKEN AND THE EMBARGO IS LIFTED
Psalm 120:1–7 (NKJV):
1In my distress I cried to the Lord, And He heard me. 2 Deliver my soul, O Lord, from lying lips And from a deceitful tongue. 3 What shall be given to you, Or what shall be done to you, You false tongue? 4 Sharp arrows of the warrior, With coals of the broom tree! 5 Woe is me, that I dwell in Meshech, That I dwell among the tents of Kedar! 6 My soul has dwelt too long With one who hates peace. 7 I am for peace; But when I speak, they are for war.
Psalm 124:1–8 (NKJV):
1“If it had not been the Lord who was on our side, “Let Israel now say— 2 “If it had not been the Lord who was on our side, When men rose up against us, 3 Then they would have swallowed us alive, When their wrath was kindled against us; 4 Then the waters would have overwhelmed us, The stream would have gone over our soul; 5 Then the swollen waters Would have gone over our soul.”
6 Blessed be the Lord, Who has not given us as prey to their teeth.
7 Our soul has escaped as a bird from the snare of the fowlers; The snare is broken, and we have escaped. 8 Our help is in the name of the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.
Fellow citizens of our great country, those within the comfort of their homes joining us via live streaming, and those in the auditorium of The Latter Rain Assembly at this hour, let me announce to you that I have come peaceably today, for the Lord will speak to His people.
Many of you are aware of the embargo placed on the election so as to put our house in order within the provisions of the Law and avert disaster.
Today, I am inclined to lift the embargo I placed here publicly following the message I gave on January 4, 2015 titled “The Gathering Storm and Avoidable Shipwreck: How to Avoid Catastrophic Euroclydon”.
The reasons for the embargo are clearly stated in the speech, including:
i) Poor Level of Election Preparedness by INEC;
ii) Safety and Security Risks;
iii) Likely Minority King-making, and
iv) Looming Constitutional and Legal Crises, to mention a few.
It is on record that some of these issues have been ameliorated during the six-week extension by INEC. One wonders what could have happened if some of these grave issues had not been addressed.
In addition, one other reason this embargo is being lifted is the fact that God does not violate people’s will. Since the political class has spurned a timely warning, let them go ahead and have their way. But please note that in no way will God’s word return to Him void. Therefore, let the defiant proceed bearing in mind three passages from Scripture:
i) Psalm 78:17–31 (NKJV):
17 But they sinned even more against Him By rebelling against the Most High in the wilderness.18 And they tested God in their heart By asking for the food of their fancy. 19 Yes, they spoke against God: They said, “Can God prepare a table in the wilderness? 20 Behold, He struck the rock, So that the waters gushed out, And the streams overflowed. Can He give bread also? Can He provide meat for His people?” 21Therefore the LORD heard this and was furious; So a fire was kindled against Jacob, And anger also came up against Israel, 22 Because they did not believe in God, And did not trust in His salvation. 23 Yet He had commanded the clouds above, And opened the doors of heaven, 24 Had rained down manna on them to eat, And given them of the bread of heaven. 25 Men ate angels’ food; He sent them food to the full. 26 He caused an east wind to blow in the heavens; And by His power He brought in the south wind. 27 He also rained meat on them like the dust, Feathered fowl like the sand of the seas; 28 And He let them fall in the midst of their camp, All around their dwellings.
29 So they ate and were well filled, For He gave them their own desire.
30 They were not deprived of their craving; But while their food was still in their mouths,31 The wrath of God came against them, And slew the stoutest of them, And struck down the choice men of Israel.
ii) Proverbs 1:24–33 (NKJV):
24 Because I have called and you refused, I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded, 25 Because you disdained all my counsel, And would have none of my rebuke, 26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your terror comes, 27 When your terror comes like a storm, And your destruction comes like a whirlwind, When distress and anguish come upon you.28 “Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me. 29 Because they hated knowledge And did not choose the fear of the Lord, 30 They would have none of my counsel And despised my every rebuke. 31 Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way, And be filled to the full with their own fancies. 32 For the turning away of the simple will slay them, And the complacency of fools will destroy them; 33 But whoever listens to me will dwell safely, And will be secure, without fear of evil.”
iii) Proverbs 14:12 (NKJV):
12There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.
Since January 4 and 11 when I preached here, followed by my piece at the back of the THISDAYnewspaper of February 13, 2015 titled “The Heart Cry of a Watchman”, I have made the following observations.
(i) Rather than choosing constructive cooperation and finding a way out of our political logjam, men who are extremely wise in their own eyes have displayed their level of comfort with mendacity. They have flagrantly distorted the truth and indulged in a bold and extravagant illusion as if the rest of us were seized by collective amnesia;
(ii) The situation has so deteriorated that the erstwhile glaring divisions in the land along ethnic and religious fault lines have now advanced into a terrible ethnic implosion as two camps within the Yoruba fixed their meetings on the same day but at different locations, Lagos and Ibadan, both within the South West enclave, with each airing the proceedings on television for all to see.
The meeting in Lagos that was passionate about the restructuring of our bastardised federalism had a stain of unforgiveness as if the canvassers have never read the part of The Lord’s Prayer that states, “Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us” (Matthew 6:12; NLV), not to talk of the explicit admonitions of Mark 11:24–26 (NKJV):
24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. 25 “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.26 But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.”
When I hear such sentiments as “I will never forgive General Muhammadu Buhari for what he did as a former Head of State”, my heart sinks because I know that is a prescription for closed heavens, especially among those professing Christianity, except those who hold such a view are merely playing to the gallery. The simple reason is that both the man who is not forgiven and the one who refuses to forgive will end up in torment:
Matthew 18:21–35 (NKJV):
21 Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. 23 Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. 25 But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made. 26 The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ 27 Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt. 28 “But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’ 29 So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ 30 And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt. 31 So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done. 32 Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. 33 Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’ 34 And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him. 35 “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.”
Apologies to those who may be offended by this truth, but I do not want any of our old veterans to be delivered to the torturers in their sunset years.
The Ibadan meeting that held at Parliament Building I earlier referenced would make anyone sick to the extent of throwing up at the depth to which our polity has sunk. These “democrats” declared that the Yoruba delegation at the 2014 National Conference did not accomplish any of the demands they took there. This is definitely far from the truth. Besides, what was so alarming about the Ibadan ‘conclave’ of Thursday, March 19, 2015, is the double standard displayed by men so highly placed and respected.
On one hand, the Convener openly declared that it is not part of Yoruba culture and values to endorse any candidate; instead, the Yoruba people should be permitted to choose freely. However, one of the chiefs representing the Olubadan at the summit brought a purported endorsement from the revered Oba for the presidential candidate of their choice and they all clapped. The Olubadan has since rebutted that endorsement. On the other hand, under the Convener’s watch, another anti-climax eventually came when a well-known attendee of the same summit contradicted the Convener in that hallowed chamber when he declared that any Yoruba person who votes for a particular candidate (name withheld) must be a bastard. How do you reconcile these absolute irreconcilables? To the wise, “honest differences are often a healthy sign of progress” (Mahatma Ghandi). Alas, it is clear that our brand of democracy is saddled by riddles. With this divided house and an implosion within the Yoruba enclave, how can either of the 2015 presidential candidates receive a block vote from the South West that will guarantee a highly coveted victory?
Perhaps we can still close ranks and build bridges instead of walls before it is too late. After all, politics is the art of negotiation for a people’s political interests and well being. It should not be about the leaders’ egos. As President Lyndon B. Johnson (LBJ) said, “You never tell somebody in politics to go to hell unless you can send them there”.
Let no man deceive you or, better still, do not deceive yourself; “we must either learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools” (Martin Luther King Jnr).
If anyone thinks PDP’s loss is going to be APC’s gain, he or she should think twice, for after the polls APC’s pain may be PDP’s gain.
May God save Nigeria from needless diversions, contradictions and confusion.
As you vote the presidential candidate of your choice on Saturday, March 28, 2015:
i) May God Almighty ensure that NIGERIA wins;
ii) May neither of the gladiators win if the price we must pay for winning an election is losing the nation;
iii) May we never again experience the June 12 debacle in this land forever;
iv) May the good Lord bless Nigeria with peace, security, prosperity, equity, justice, and fair play; the very attributes of good governance we desperately need, in Jesus’ mighty name. Amen and amen.
Pastor ‘Tunde Bakare,
Serving Overseer, The Latter Rain Assembly,
& The Convener, Save Nigeria Group (SNG).