The Senior Pastor of the Citadel Global Community Church, Tunde Bakare, has revealed that the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, at one time tried to get Dr Oby Ezekwesili to run as a running mate to President Muhammadu Buhari.
Bakare, who spoke on the occasion of his 66th birthday, disclosed that Dr Ezekwesili rejected the offer. He explained how he ended up with the blessing of Pastor Adeboye as Buhari’s 2011 running mate on the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) platform at the last minute after other options like Jimi Agbaje and Otunba Niyi Adebayo were equally turned down.
In a report published on Saturday on the Green White Green online news medium, Bakare restated that Buhari himself wanted a grassroots mobiliser like Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, but he opposed a Muslim-Muslim ticket.
He said, “I was in Spain when the call came that I should get them a vice-presidential candidate. I was so excited and I gave them Jimi Agbaje. I took him to Abuja to meet with them and they met a couple of times, but something happened and they dropped him.
They called me again and I went to Pastor Adeboye to give me Oby Ezekwesili and I called her to run with President Buhari, but she refused. But Pastor Adeboye told me that he (Buhari) would need a strong Christian to be his running mate. I said to him that Oby was strong too. He said no, that she must not leave certainty for uncertainty because she was working at the World Bank then.
“So I sent for the current Minister of Trade and Industry, Niyi Adebayo, saying that I would like him to take this opportunity. Before this time, Bola Tinubu had sent Lai Mohammed to me that I should persuade Buhari to run on the platform of the Action Congress before it became Action Congress of Nigeria. But while we went to meet Buhari, we asked who would be his running mate. He said the greatest grassroots mobiliser in the South-West. I said I could not broker a Muslim-Muslim ticket, so we left that.’’