10th November, 2019
President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated Pastor Tunde Bakare, his running mate in the 2011 presidential election for clocking 65 years..
Bakare, the Serving Overseer of the Latter Rain Assembly, will clock 65 tomorrow.
“I rejoice with you as you gracefully clock 65 years of age in good health. I am glad that you have remained faithful and true to your callings particularly as a pastor and preacher, contributing to pointing people to God’s kingdom, teaching them on how to get there, and live acceptable lives before God”, Buhari said in a signed statement about the man, who triggered controversy recently on his plan to succeed Buhari in 2023.
“We have shared ideas on how to engender a better country, and formed a tag team for political power. May the ideas germinate fully, proliferate and give us the country of our dreams.
“As you turn 65, I pray that your indomitable spirit will continue to point Nigeria to all that is noble and just. I wish you longer life in good health and strength,’’Buhari said.
Bakare was born in Abeokuta in 1954 and had his early education in the town, attending All Saints Primary School, Kemta and Lisabi Grammar School.He later went to read law at the University of Lagos and graduated in 1980. He was called to the bar in 1981.
After his National Youth Service, he practised law at different times with Gani Fawehinmi Chambers, Rotimi Williams & Co and Burke & Co, Solicitors. In October 1984, he established his own law firm Tunde Bakare & Co (El-Shaddai Chambers).
As his law practice grew, Bakare was also being pulled away by pastoralism. He started from being a pastor of Deeper Life Church. He later moved to Redeemed Christian Church, from where he went to establish his Latter Rain Assembly in 1989.
The one branch church has grown phenomenally since then, just as its founder has grown his engagement with politics.
He is famous for using the pulpit to make critical commentaries on political actors and even once got into trouble with a former president, Olusegun Obasanjo. He was also part of the efforts to get the National Assembly respect the constitution during the political crisis occasioned by the illness of former president Umar Ya’Adua. In 2011, the same year that he ran a futile campaign with Buhari, he was in the forefront of the campaign to stop the Jonathan administration from sharply increasing petrol price.
He is still politically involved and just recently, he stirred a national controversy when he said from the pulpit that he would succeed Buhari in 2023.
President Buhari may have stoked the controversy further with his birthday message: “We have shared ideas on how to engender a better country, and formed a tag team for political power. May the ideas germinate fully, proliferate and give us the country of our dreams”.