The National Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Ajibola Basiru, on Sunday questioned the competence of the Serving Overseer of the Citadel Global Community Church, Pastor Tunde Bakare, to criticise key economic decisions by President Bola Tinubu.
“Mr President, even though you have announced some palliatives, let me remind you that palliatives cannot address the root cause of the problem,” Bakare said in an ideologically charged “State of the Nation” address broadcast on Sunday.
Bakare’s comments echoed sentiments across the country, which have played out in a shortlived nationwide protest and protracted negotiations between organised labour and the Federal Government, following fuel price hikes occasioned by the removal of subsidies and the rising cost of living.
Basiru, who made a live appearance on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics, called the cleric’s competence into question on the subject matter.
While buttressing Tinubu’s decisions, the APC secretary acknowledged that the situation was “challenging now”, adding that “we cannot close our eyes to that reality”.
He however argued that in the long run, the country’s economy would be better for it.
“I must quickly comment on what you played that Pastor Bakare said, although I don’t see him as a politician and, with respect to him, I don’t see him as even competent to say what he has said,” Basiru said.
“The fact that you are talking of palliatives does not mean that we’re not confronting the headlong of correcting the dysfunctions and imbalances in the economy. So, we’re both addressing the issue of palliative as an immediate step and addressing the fundamental problem.”