Popular cleric, Pastor Tunde Bakare has said that he did not ask President Muhammadu Buhari to pick a successor as being circulated across the country.
Bakare, the Senior Pastor of Citadel Global Community Church formerly known as Latter Rain Assembly, noted that what he did in his January 5 national address was to advocate credible, free and fair elections in 2023.
He maintained that no successor plan could take place in a democratic setting without credible polls.
Bakare said he felt compelled to set the record straight following the controversy generated by his earlier address.
In an address at his Lagos-based church on Sunday, the cleric-cum-politician, said, “My use of the word ‘succession’ has drawn curious reactions from various quarters. Apparently, and without my participation, it has been interpreted as my asking Buhari to foist his choice on the nation in flagrant disregard of democratic principles.
“I neither did this, nor did I insinuate at any point that Buhari should ‘pick’ or ‘choose’ his successor as some news outlets have conjured.
“Succession is an expansive term that does not focus on one position alone, mindful as I am that no individual can singlehandedly solve Nigeria’s problems. Instead, it focuses on the institution of systems of predictable progress, and the sustainable replacement of capable hands with capable hands across the entire system, whether through elections or appointments.
“Unfortunately, some have chosen to place leadership succession on the one hand, and free, fair and credible elections on the other, as mutually exclusive issues when, indeed, the latter is the strategic vehicle for arriving at the former.
“In a democratic society, you cannot achieve accurate succession without free, fair and credible elections.”