Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Bakare's Chat with SSS


State Security Service (SSS) is attempting to silence the fiery Lagos pastor and activist, Pastor Tunde Bakare of the Latter Rain Assembly, telling him to tone down his critical political messages, it was reported today.
In a face to face interrogation which lasted about 45 minutes, the SSS reportedly pressured the activist Pastor to soft-pedal his hard hitting political messages from the altar. Pastor Bakare’s Sunday sermons regularly delve into current political affairs, and the public waits expectantly to hear the latest from his pulpit, Sunday afternoons.
Specifically, the SSS asked the Pastor what he meant in his last sermon when he referred to ‘election before 2015’. Pastor Bakare said the comment referred to plans for a post-impeachment presidency should the President be removed.
 The SSS said the Pastor’s series political revolutionary sermons began as a
way of furthering the protest he led as the convener of the Save Nigeria Group [SNG] during the January fuel subsidy protest in Lagos has become problematic for public order.
 Over the last three weeks, Pastor Bakare’s Sunday service had become a center of intense media scrutiny, as his messages hit the polity. Three weeks ago, he said President Jonathan’s destiny was to bankrupt Nigeria.
 After a visit to the Ukraine, Pastor Bakare’s sermon was even more inflammatory, inserting the president’s name (Jonathan) into the lyrics of a popular Pentecostal revival song: ‘Let us carry Jesus up and throw Jonathan away, up, up, Jesus, down, down, Jonathan.)
 Responding to journalists on July 8 during the commemoration of the 14th anniversary of the Late MKO Abiola, Pastor Bakare dismissed public speculation that he was being harassed by police.
“I’m alive and well, nobody is harassing me,” he said. “Rather, I’m the one harassing them, and I’ll continue to harass them until they do what is right’.
 Yesterday, Pastor Bakare continued his series on the process of changing Government. His interview at the State Security office, unlike the cozy media chat President Jonathan had recently, was not unconnected to the series of public political sensitization he has been giving from his pulpit.
His chat with the SSS today ended with the State requesting that he soften up on his critical sermons, because, he was told, “messages from church attract the entire nation”.
 Knowing the nature and undying spirit of the activist pastor, it is not certain that he will stop the series because of the Security interview. Pastor Bakare may hit even harder next Sunday. 

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