Pastor Tunde Bakare has offered to the nation’s leadership a blueprint for the rebuilding of Nigeria, the disillusionment about which triggered the recent protests by Nigerian youths.
In a speech from the pulpit on Sunday, Bakare recalled the hopes of Nigeria’s founding fathers and how the hope has now turned into despair.
“In the past week, we witnessed with great sorrow the desecration of our nationhood as Nigeria’s armed forces stained the banner of our nationhood, the Nigerian flag, with the blood of our children, the Nigerian youth, to whom our founding fathers charged us to handover a banner without stain”.
“Fellow citizens, at the root of the issues that confront our nation is a foundational problem of nationhood that has persisted from one administration to another and provided a conducive environment for the State-Aided Robbery Squad (SARS).
“Until this foundational problem of nationhood is addressed, the call to End SARS will persist long after the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad. No degree of brutal repression of protesters can quench the flame of protests in the hearts and minds of the Nigerian people. Your bullets may drive them off the streets, but your bullets cannot pierce their spirits or puncture their resilience”.
Bakare blamed what he now called a Tsunami of youth protest to the mismanagement of the Nigeria bequeathed by the foundational leaders.
‘At independence, we inherited a promising nation, but we are bequeathing a predatory nation to the young generation.
“We inherited a nation whose structural foundations were built on principles of true federalism, a nation in which the diverse groups had the freedom to determine their destinies, but we are bequeathing a unitary nation, federal only in name, in which subnational expressions are suppressed by an overbearing centre.
‘We inherited a nation in which free and functional basic education, as well as affordable and quality tertiary education, guaranteed the path from penury to prominence, but we are bequeathing a nation whose educational system is lying-in-state.
“We inherited a nation where a young graduate was guaranteed immediate employment with housing and a car loan, but we have bequeathed a nation in which our youth are largely underemployed, unemployed or Yahoo-employed.
‘We inherited a relatively secure nation characterised by a thriving nightlife and a peaceful village life, but we have bequeathed to the younger generation a society grappling with kidnapping, banditry, terrorism, and police brutality.
‘ We inherited a banner without stain, but we have introduced a new colour to our green-white-green: blood red.