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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Trivial 1 Pastor Bakare and Jonathan's $50,000 'Bribe'

Trivial 1.
Tunde Bakare and Jonathan's $50,000 'Bribe'
By Dr. Aliyu U. Tilde

There are many issues that warrant commentary. However, writing once a week, as dictated by newspaper space allocation for any column, forces me to select only one of those that would allow a long commentary while the rest are allowed to pass without a word from my big mouth. I think it will not be a bad idea especially on the Internet to write more than once a week to cover additional issues that I find very tempting to comment on either in addition to the discourse topic of the week or in its stead. I call such titles Trivial, if you do not mind, not because the issue discussed is necessarily trivial but because it is rendered briefly. There could be many a week. Each Trivial will consist of a short discussion on one or more current issues mostly related to governance in Nigeria. This issue is the first. It covers the $50,000 Jonathan/Bakare scandal. Please endeavor to leave a comment behind at the bottom such that we can drink from the fountain of your wisdom. If you have a better word for the titles, better than Trivial, please help me with it. God bless.

Pastor Tunde Bakare and Jonathan's $50,000

Tunde Bakare is one of the assets of this country. He is for good governance, fearless and does not care if he is swimming against the tide, a Pastor, unlike many others Pastors. His Save Nigeria Group (SNG) visited President Goodluck Jonathan. The group was among those which saved Jonathan from the grip of Turai when Yar'adua (May God have mercy on him) was on his death bed. It, along with many of us who supported Jonathan then, thought we were saving Nigeria especially when the vacuum created by the President's illness began to have disastrous effect on national security. Bakare and his group must have now realized, as many of us have too, that it only saved Jonathan but Jonathan is not ready to save Nigeria. The SNG decided to pay him a political visit last week.

They saw him one night in the Villa. Jonathan started his political rhetoric that we are now accustomed to: he is not a sectional leader, that he is for Nigeria's future, bla bla. However, The SNG delgates nailed the present to specific issues of governance that portray their displeasure over his style of leadership. The meeting ended without a consensus. Baram baram. It was time to leave. As the delegation was about to leave the parking lot a presidency staff dashed to offer them $50,000 in crisp $100 denomination. They declined but the staff persisted. Not desirous to create a scene in the villa at that time of the night, the Pastor and his group collected the money, reached his hotel and, next day, called the President's man who sent the money to say they are returning the money through his agent. They did and confirmed that it reached him.

Perhaps sensing that Bakare will reveal the story of the 'gift' to the press, and now with no love lost between the President and the group, the Presidency preempted him by leaking the story to the media. Saharareporters got in touch with the Pastor who confirmed that they indeed paid a visit to the President and, yes, $50,000 was offered, as bribe, but was made 'back to sender'. Saharareporters published the story on the Web and it occupied the minds of many Nigerians as well as the Presidency for some days.

Naturally, the presidency refuted giving any money. Bakare and members of the group insisted that it did. Commentators were divided on the issue, each to his own, with the Pastor and people inclined to good governance on the one hand, and the Presidency and its beneficiaries on the other. In the end, the first group won. Presidency did give the money, it is now generally believed even by supporters of the President. The debate then shifted to the nomenclature of the money: was it a gift or passages money as the Presidency claims or was it a bribe as our noble Pastor alleged? Su'alun! Tambaya.

I believe it was neither this nor that. It was not a bribe, certainly. But it was not a gift either. It was a PR. The presidency should compensate me for this ingenious discovery. You see, a person of Bakare's standing cannot be bought with a mere N7.5m. Haba. I doubt if the Presidency is foolish enough to think otherwise. Let us be fair. The Presidency, by its standard practice, would have thought of plenty millions, choice plots in Abuja and Lagos or oil blocks, if it wanted to bribe the group.

However, due to two or more reasons, I do not agree that it was to cover the delegation's return tickets from Lagos and a night at Abuja: why was it in dollars if it were for passages? Was not there any Naira in the volts of the Presidency? And why was it up to N7.5million, an amount that would cover the expenses of 75 people from Lagos who would lodging at NICON? Bakare's delegation even by the best of estimates were not up to 24. Also, it could not be for passages because SNG initiated the meeting. So we expect it to handle its own expenses. There is a motive to induce, even if only to court appreciation, when you give more than enough from pubic coffers. Also, why money, instead of clothing, wristwatches and other items which we know governments in the country give to guests of governors and presidents? I do not think it was ordinary gift either.

The presidency must have given it as a PR just to induce mutual understanding and cooperation with SNG especially with regard to 2011. A bribe, on the other hand, is an inducement but to do something that contravenes the law, which is not the case here.

But people have missed the point all together. From where did Jonathan got these dollars? Were they from pubic coffers or from his personal account? Just before the visit, he told Nigerians that he does not have a foreign account. So the dollars must have come from our treasury. But if it is ours, still, why was the transaction in foreign currency? Also, has the President turned the Villa into his campaign office? Then comes the moral question: why is the savior of Nigeria inducing a man of God, Tunde Bakare for that matter, with money? If he could do this to such a man of God, you can just imagine how many millions of dollars are dolled out to ordinary laities everyday in the Villa by this messiah. I can now understand why some people could go as far as saying that Jonathan was God-sent. We can as well conclude that he is here not to save Nigeria but to sink it further into the ocean of corruption.

Like father, like son.

2 December, 2010


Anonymous said...


abba said...

It is indeed sad that this sort of thing is happening. And like all such revelations, I won't be surprised if it goes the way of the others;Blown in the wind and forgotten. We need Gods intervention in this country. They could have sent the money to all those we see everyday on AIT begging for money to treat themselves.
Abba Gadzama, Abuja

Suleiman said...

Read the story Carefully from the beginning... That money would not have been mention if the government had not leaked it to the press!! DID the group SNG tell Nigerians they were going to ASO rock? No!! it was only after the press caught wind of the smelly affair that they went public and returned the money

Anonymous said...

Suleiman, e bi like se you dey talk ses-o. I like you and Tilde!

Tank you, jare.

danhaki said...

It is rather tragic for Nigeria as a nation of over 150 million people but still suffering the menage of corruption and poor leadership. I am still curious as to why the gift was not in Naira. This simple act in itself signify how low our leaders think and do business with others. I bet you would never see President Obama or any other leader for that matter using foreign currency as a gift or a means to bribe their religious supporters. I cry for Nigeria.

Aloma said...

PR Indeed!

Hamid Sidi Ali said...

The situation we found ourselves in Nigeria today is very unfortunate, the posers you raised were certainly mind boggling and have definately revealed the type of leader we have, I may have to believe that the Jonathan Ebele we have now was not the Jonathan Goodluck we knew before he declared to run for the Presidency. The way things are unravelling fast, would enable the electorate know who will lead them, hopefully in a free and fair election.I may suggest you may name your discourse as "PONDER" or "EYE OPENER"

S B ABUBAKAR said...


Anonymous said...

I wrote an article published by Nigerian Tribune sometimes in July that Jonathan should concentrate on good governance and let God and the Nigerian masses decide if they will vote him in for a full term.I made him realise it was not his diligence or performance ability that catapulted him to that position but his destiny, for he had always being a favorable child of good circumstance.He thought otherwise.Let us now wait and see if he has what it takes not withstanding the power of incumbency to win an election.
I believe deep in my heart that the opportunity for him is slipping away.He does not appear prepared for the 'prime time' not yet.

Arlington,Tx. USA.

Anonymous said...

Indeed like father like son
it is really sad. . . such "trivial" issues goes on a mamoth scale in our dear country 1440 minutes a day.
So the man is nor only a security risk but could also worsen the country's annual rating by Transperency international.

Oh God. I beseech thee save Nigeria and Nigerian from the the trivial misdeeds of self-proclaimed messiahs. Oh God, come to the rescue of your servants. May the 2011 elections be revolutionary enough to ses the end of miscreants, unpatriotic and all sorts of undesirable elements in the Nigerian polity. All patriotic Nigerians say "AMEN"

Umar Gwallameji said...

The best way to go about this issue of inducement is to kick start the impeachment process.its high time that the NASS intervene in this act of irresponsibility by applying another doctrin of necessity. We cannot continue to be deceived by this dude from the creek. He has proof that he doesn't have the wherewithal to effectively manage the country. The country is in a state of imminent collapse, hence the need for a progrressive change in the Aso Rock._

Anonymous said...

Hmm!! ibi like say Suleiman can do with some PR. He sure deserves some PR

Abubakar said...

The SNG is equally a culprit. They would have chopped the money if it were sizeable. They would have been quite if GEJ syndicate did not expose.However, we should begin to count the thousands of dollars that was paid out of our treasurer to Solomon Lar, Jerry Gana and thousands of VIP-like visitors to ASO ROCK from the period that he indicated interest in the presidency to now. It is painful EFCC is not talking.But we are in Nigeria were we hail him the saint!!!

Umargarbai said...

All the President supporters are thinning everyday and he will insha Allah be the first incumbent to lose. He is never intelligent and not analytically and he indeed did not really represent the kind of intellect to lead Nigeria

Binyamin, IIUM Malaysia said...

Dear Dr.;

May Allah increase you in the wherewithal.

Please permit me to send this to you as my feelings on the article.

This piece is a way of looking at issues from a diferent angle away from the two perspectives available to the ordinary eyes. I called this "The Third Philosophy". It will only take a discerning eye to see from the day one, i watched it on the screen; the day that this family was sworn in: If anything the first lady show the signal.
Fellow Compatriots, with the recent annulments i think we should be ready to call it an end to this type of politicians. We must be ready to resist them not minding the financial/property lost. So, it will only take the spirited souls to do what Pastor Bakare did, may Allah increase him in Guidance and protection.

Ghana has Gone for Good, Malaysia came here but that is also history as Mahatir has pulled it up from his 1983 rule just like we missed the same opportunity from the Buhari 1983 rule. We can still make the changes, Allah willing, we have the natural capability to do; see what Fashola and Amaechi are coming up with... At least it was a different from the status quo, even if they are yet to satisfy our yearnings, they show us that we can still make the diffence. That's "The Third Philosophy" You can rule out that we still have good ones in this most popoulous black African nation.

A A Yusuf, PhD said...

It is indeed Trivial like you refer to it. I think I will second Bilyamin's suggestion and recommend the name 'The third Philosopy'. Because it is indeed one.
The article was well written Sir, and its straight to the point without sentiments. To say GEJ is not thinking analytically is just an understatement because as a holder of the degree Philosophae Doctor he should act wisely. Its getting messy by the days.

Balarabe said...

MY Dear Dr Tilde,

Your approach to this issue is on the right track. I pray we get more people like Pastor Bakare. Such response will make the our leaders realize that there are honourable men among us who could not be bought over by money.

Thank you.
B. Bello

Anonymous said...

I beg my brodas lets face it: Maradona, during his reign of office once tell us sey, "every Nigerian has a price tag and de moment you rich de price de man go sell". I wonder wheda any tin had changed since he left office. So therefore, me too, like someone said before, may de on coming election-engineering be so revolutionary enough to reverse engineer all those greedy politicallimentalitianelectrons orbiting our oil reach country.

I really like de way dis writers dey fire on dis commentation field. Wallai Oga Tilde I de commendate and estimate you very high.

Tank you jare, God bless all of una.

Anonymous said...

Seriously u dont need a foreign account to have dollar bills

Raimi Lukman said...


Anonymous said...

The Almighty will surely save our country as the veiled are now being unveiled, so shall our bad leaders be replaced with good ones.Its only a question of time.

Dalhatu Z said...

The N7.5m could be a personal reward (PR) from Mr. President, but certainly NOT Public Relations. Ethically, Public Relations does not recognize monetary inducements as a means of securing goodwill. Rather, consultations, facts and figures are used. May Allah guide and protect us, amin.

Bashir Yahuza Malumfashi said...

Assalamu alaikum. Well done job Malam Tilde. May Allah reward u and give u the energy, intelligence and support to continue in this direction of enlightenment to the public. More ink to ur tireless pen. Thanks.