The Serving Overseer of the Latter Rain Assembly, Lagos, Pastor Tunde Bakare, on Sunday, condemned the mode of arrests in the aftermath of the clash between the indigenes and the Hausa community in the ancient town.
Speaking in Lagos during his sermon at the Latter Rain Assembly, Bakare described as “an abuse” the arrest of some Yoruba as suspects in the clash and the justification of the arrest by the police.
The police had paraded 20 suspects of Yoruba extraction in Abuja last week, alleging that they masterminded the riot in the town on March 8, where 46 persons were reportedly killed.
Police spokesman, Jimoh Moshood, who conducted the parade, did not, however, give reasons why no Hausa, who were involved in the clashes, were arrested as suspects.
The Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, justified the arrests, which some Yoruba groups and individuals had described as one-sided and unacceptable.
But Bakare, stressing the importance of justice and equity in nation-building, wondered what could have informed the arrest of members of a party in the crisis, leaving out the culprits on the other side.
“If there is a fight between two people, you don’t arrest one person and leave the other. What you do is to arrest the two and let the law takes its course. To arrest one party and leave the other and even go ahead to justify it is an abuse.
“No one should be allowed to promote ethnic agenda in the country. That is not the way of righteousness,” added the cleric, who spoke on ‘The raising of a model leader’.
Bakare equally accused those he described as “sons of disobedience” around President Muhammadu Buhari of leaking a memo, written by the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai, to the President.
El-Rufai had, in the 28-page memo, said to have been written in September 2016, drew Buhari’s attention to the state of the nation, warning the President that the All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government was failing to deliver on its promises to Nigerians.
Some analysts had argued that the outspoken Kaduna State governor leaked the memo to the media, ostensibly to rubbish the incumbent Buhari administration and curry favour towards his rumoured 2019 presidential ambition.
Bakare alleged that those around Buhari deliberately leaked the memo to create friction between the President and the governor to fulfil their selfish interests.
The cleric explained that he joined El-Rufai to deliver the letter to Buhari at the Presidential Villa last year.
Bakare stated, “I can never deny that I knew about the memo; I knew about it. I flew from Lagos to meet El-Rufai in Abuja to discuss the contents with President Buhari. There were just three of us at the meeting.
“The memo was an assessment of what was going on; where mistakes had been made and things were not going on well; and what could be done to move the country forward.
“It was not an attack on anybody or on the President but some sons of disobedience around President Buhari leaked the memo to Sahara Reporters to make it look as if it was meant to attack the President for their own selfish interests.
“Can you imagine that the memo was written in September last year and some people think that they could gain from that? Woe betides anyone who thinks he can further his interest by manipulating anything in this era.”
Going short of mentioning the names of those he accused of leaking the memo, Bakare, who contested as the running mate to Buhari in the 2011 presidential election on the platform of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change, stated that it was too late for anyone to set him against the President.
The pastor lamented that most Nigerian leaders “hate those who love them and love those who hate them”, saying some leaders of the nation only listened to those who did not wish them well.
Bakare said though one did not have the right to choose one’s father, one had the right to choose one’s model in life, asking leaders in the nation to promote righteousness in order to ensure that there was joy in the land.
He also berated the Senate for leaving pressing matter of national importance to concentrate on a flippant issue of the uniform of the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Col. Hameed Ali (retd.).