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Put Nigeria First, Bakare Tells PMB, Atiku, Others

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The presiding pastor, Latter Rain Assembly, Pastor Tunde Bakare, has urged presidential candidates to look beyond the 2019 elections and place the interest of the nation above their political interests.

Bakare, who is also the convener of the Save Nigeria Group (SNG), gave the advice in Lagos yesterday while delivering the 2019 State of the Nation Address in his church.

He urged all the candidates not to see the 2019 election as a do-or-die affair or consider winning it as the only means of impacting positively on nation-building and good governance.

The SNG convener said Nigeria was losing with the winner-takes-all politics, adding that he believed all candidates could work together in a team after the polls for the common agenda of building a better Nigeria.

“Our country needs a uniting force that can rally our diverse strengths around a common narrative, towards a common objective, to achieve a common vision – The Nigeria of Our Dreams.

“After all is said and done, may Nigeria win, no matter who wins or loses in this year’s elections. After the elections, we have a nation to build together.

“I am reminded of the words of Anwar al-Sadat, ‘There can be hope only for a society which acts as one big family, not as many separate ones’.

“With our zero-sum game and winner-takes-all politics, we could be losing the ideas, the brilliance, and all the strengths required to build a nation.

“But when, beyond the elections, the Buharis, the Atikus, the Moghalus, the Ezekwesilis, the Durotoyes, the Sowores and the likes come together to minimise our weaknesses and maximise our strengths, as one political family, with one agenda – nationhood, we can shape a new nation beyond 2019,“ he said.

Bakare said restructuring was a precondition for the progress of the country, advising that candidates could form what he called, ‘Team Restructuring’ to address the country’s challenges after the elections.

He said the array of brilliant candidates paraded by some of the political parties was a good development for the nation’s democracy.

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