By Levinus Nwabughiogu
ABUJA-Following the harsh economic realities in the land, an outspoken Lagos based Christain preacher, Pastor Tunde Bakere of Later Rain Assembly has appealed to all Nigerians to exercise patience with President Muhammadu Buhari led administration, saying the hard times would be over soon.
He assured that the maxim of change which is the slogan of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC would not translate to chain for the people.
Bakere who was a running mate to president Buhari in one of his previous attempts at the presidency during the 2011 general elections was in the presidential villa to pay homage to the president on Friday.
He said that Nigeria had drifted from its positive direction in the past and needed some conscious efforts to fix it.
He said: “I came to see the president and he is doing very well healthwise. That’s all I came to do.
“When you are driving on a wrong direction, for example, you are going to Ibadan and you face Badagry and you get to Cotonou and you realize you have gone in the wrong direction for too long a time, then you turn back and make a U-turn, there will be some suffering you have to go through.
“Pain is part of gain. No pain, no gain. The years of wastage and all that we have done wrong has finally caught up with us. All we are praying for is wisdom for this government to do things right and to do the right things. So that gradually, we can begin to come out of the woods.
“I will like to appeal to all Nigerians that we should just exercise a bit of patience. This change will not become chain that will tie all of us down. Change for good takes time and we should just exercise a little bit more of patience. We trust that government is listening and the leaders are listening too and they will respond to the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians”.
Asked to give a rating of the government in terms of performance, pastor Bakere said it would be too early to judge the president.
Similarly, he also refused to align himself with calls to the president to reshuffle his cabinet.
He however said that sacking or otherwise of ministers was the exclusive prerogative of president Buhari who appointed them and assigned them portfolios should the ministers under perform.
“It is too early and to soon to begin to judge. If there is any I know about Mr. President, it is that he has a good heart. He loves this country and he wants the country to run well. But it takes time. I know we are all impatient and in a hurry and I trust we will come out of the woods.
“That’s your opinion not mine. And it is Mr. President’s. He can do what he likes when he likes it. He knows what he has given them. For example, I have not given any appointment to anyone so I can’t judge their performance. But if there are yardsticks and standards given to them and if they have performed below par, definitely, the president would not mind at the right time to do those things”, he said.
On the crisis recking the House of Representatives over the padding of the 2016 budget, Bakare said he would speak at the appropriate time.
“I just return to the country last friday. I am reading about it. I will make my decision when I have checked both sides. And I will definitely speak on that”, he said.