Following his virtually hour-long tirade – an Ecclesiasticus, he seems to perceive it – concerning his interpretation of the Nigerian political climate, Pastor Tunde Bakare, a man whose words were once widely regarded as carrying the wisdom and anointing of God, now comes across as a pitiable figure. The anointing of God, it seems, he has sent on a hiatus, and that’s what makes him pitiable. Had he remained a faithful steward of the anointing, there would be nothing to pity and everything to covet about him. How then did this tragedy come about, for tragedy in the classical sense connotes the fall from grace of a high-standing person due to some inherent flaw called a tragic flaw? The answer is simple – power.
To start with, the man is a lawyer. This already puts him in a good place in society even without the anointing. Then he was graced with the anointing of the spirit of power and truth, and in the strength of that anointing, founded a prosperous church. He held a lot of promise. He may have even, in his private moments, mulled over the comparisons he was enjoying from well-meaning supporters, to the Apostle Paul in the Bible. He had divine insight into the Word and could dissect seemingly tricky issues with an ability that was clearly a gift. But that’s what it was – a gift. A gift should not be abused especially when it comes from the Holy Spirit. The gift ought to have stood him out above every other, but taking the gift, he went and cast his lot with others, and in so doing set the stage for his own self-authored tragedy.
There are many before him who have tried to combine ministerial offices with political offices and have failed. One poignant example is John Alexander Dowie, who stood for parliament in 1880 thinking that he could perform God’s work better in government than out of it. He found out, and in disgrace, that the divine mantle cannot be mixed with the political mandate. This is why his most recent excursus on the nature of politics fails as a logical idea since politics is a game of governance and power that thrives on deals. Nowhere in the world is politics conducted without these deals. The five ministerial offices already give the holders mantles that control men. The offices already carry even more power than the political offices. Prophets have dethroned kings and evangelists have brought nations to their knees. Why then is the pastor seeking a lesser office to perpetuate his belief on governance? Is the spiritual now inferior to the physical?
And now, the tragedy of his failing relevance is being made manifest, a spectacle for all to see, in the failure of his prophecies. A good student of theology knows that a major proof of a prophet’s validity is in the fulfilment of his prophecies. He has prophesied many things about Nigeria that have not come to pass, and have even failed utterly, including his bold prophecy that he would be Nigeria’s 16th president. That he is not Nigeria’s 16th president should have made him evaluate himself to determine whether he is not fast becoming a false prophet. Many who hear him cannot deny his love for Christ and his passion for the ministry, but the problem is that the devil is also aware of that and will look for how to send false spirits to minister things to him. Does pride not go before a fall and a haughty spirit before destruction? Has the pastor truly humbled himself to hear from God? Pastor Bakare should meditate on these things.
Then there was the debacle of the presidential primaries of APC where he spent N100m to procure the form and could not even secure one vote. He claimed he carried the God-factor and grace, so he did not do the work of going around campaigning. He simply sent bulk sms to the delegates. He alone knows his relationship with God, but as other Christians know, you must still do the work. You must go round and campaign. You must sell your ideology and belief to the delegates. Pastor Bakare did not do that. He will do well to take a cue from the life of David and even the Apostle Paul who, having received promises from God, acted on it through faith to fulfil their destiny. And, as the Apostle James preaches, faith without works is dead.
It is now a tangible fear that Pastor Bakare is conducting himself like a sore loser. He has become unhappy and vengeful. He has resorted to untruths, slander, and subtle jabs to accuse other candidates of things that he believes they have done. Let him remember what the Bible cautions about bearing false witnesses, for if he is indeed sure of his facts, then why does he not speak boldly? He gained renown for his fiery sermons and bravery to always speak the truth. Now, we see a shadow of that bravery and foolhardiness in the pursuit of unapostolic Ecclesiastes. A true tragedy, but not an irredeemable one.
To redeem himself, Pastor Bakare must truly, humbly and with a broken spirit and contrite heart, seek the face of God. He must receive once more the direction of purpose that characterised the heavy presence of the Spirit of the living God upon him. He must realign his purpose to the will of the true God who gives promises and never fails. He must become an apostle of the faith, and not a seeker of public office. And, while at it, could he please invite Dr Paul Enenche in prayers? Who knows, perhaps they have the same or at least similar lessons to learn?