By Ben Agande, Abuja.
Newly appointed Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the President on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, yesterday frontally confronted some of the president’s worst critics as he upbraided the Vice Presidential candidate of the Congress for Progress Change (CPC), in the 2011 elections, Pastor Tunde Bakare to stop converting his pulpit to political podium in order to deceive unsuspecting Nigerians.
In his second interactive meeting with state House correspondents, Dr Okupe similarly accused the former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, (FCT), Mallam Nasir el-Rufai of losing his cool over politics.
According to Dr Okupe the manipulation of the present security situation in the country by politicians for selfish reasons was not in the best interest of the nation or its citizens.
The Senior Special Assistant to the president said insurgency as a phenomenon was difficult to resolve in places where it occurred around the world like Iraq, Iran even the United States of America but noted that there were no calls on the leaders of those countries to resign on account of the terrorist activities.
He said , “el-Rufai is my younger brother. I have so much respect for him but politics is more or less derailing or deranging him.
“Everybody knows that insurgency is a very difficult national problem. It is not anything peculiar to Nigeria. No responsible citizen of any of those countries affected by insurgency before call on their Presidents to resign.”
“when he (el-Rufai) talks about intelligence, there is no better security in any country than by the people of the country. It is communal security that will help government and security agencies to root out insurgence.
“If people shielded insurgents, they make the works of security agencies more difficult. Can President Goodluck Jonathan be in Borno and everywhere at the same time?”
“I believe that people just want to play politics. All what you are hearing is just the manipulation of the present situation to suit their political purposes.
“I am sure that my brother, El-Rufai is hopeful to be a presidential candidate of one of the parties very soon. What I will expect him to do with the level of intellect, intelligence and the resource that has been given, his own personal education is to come out with some reasonable plans, some suggestions, not just criticising government for criticising sake.
“If El-Rufai was President of Nigeria, what will he do? Why don’t he say that? Or is he keeping that until when he becomes the President by which time the whole country is wiped off?
“When tragedy befalls a country, responsible men and women of that country forget partisanship and rally round their nation and they try their best to help existing government to tackle that. Once that is over, they go back to politics. This is not time for politics.
“Every man or woman who politicises this issue of Boko Haram, people should disregard and discard whatever information they hear from them. They are not serious-minded people.
“Pastor Bakare also falls into that category. It is shameful. You cannot convert the pulpit to a podium. If you want to be a politician, please come out.
“I have personally followed his career si ce he ventures into politics and have found it extremely difficult to clearly decipher who he really is – is he a reverend gentleman, a politician, or a civil rights activist. Often times he manifest all the above traits but virtually in all cases there is a major tinge of extremism that tends to cast serious doubts on his personality be it as a man of God, a politician or even a Civil Rifgts Activists.
“It is however most pathetic that since the Buhari/Bakare ticket failed as expected, the pastor’s obsession or hate-backed capacity tp disparage and insult President Goodluck Jonathan is limitless and boundless. Pastor Bakare must now accept that the elections are over and the nation has moved on.
“Pastor Bakare came into politics a few years ago and he became a vice presidential candidate of a major political party. Some of us have been in politics for 30 years and we did not even become a governor and we did not say the country must come down, that is unfair. It is unacceptable,” he declared.
Okupe recalled pastor Bakare’s prediction that former president, Olusegun Obasanjo will not be elected in 1999, a prediction that he said fell flat but not done went ahead to say Obasanjo will be beheaded like an old testament king. “But the glory of God, whose mercies endureth forever, Obasanjo completed hus term and is still heal and healthy to this day”.
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