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Pastor Bakare: Jonathan Offered Us $50,000 Bribe, But We Returned It - Pastor Tunde B

Fiery Lagos-based pastor, Tunde Bakare, has confirmed to Saharareporters that President Goodluck Jonathan provided a $50,000 cash bribe to a delegation of the Save Nigeria Group that visited him last Monday, but that the group sent back the money.

Pastor Bakare’s confirmation came in the midst of a tepid denial of our earlier report by Tony Uranta, one of Mr. Jonathan's political operatives. Uranta had claimed on his Facebook page yesterday that Saharareporters misrepresented the crux of the meeting between the president and the Pastor Bakare-led delegation.

Specifically, Uranta denied that Jonathan discussed his ambition to run for office with the SNG delegation. He also stated that no money was offered to the SNG team and claimed that, contrary to our earlier report, the Bakare group had not asked him to return the bribe money to Jonathan.

But in a telephone interview with Saharareporters on Sunday evening, Pastor Bakare confirmed that the details of our earlier exclusive report were factual and unimpeachable.

Bakare, who has a reputation for speaking out fearlessly on current political issues, affirmed that the Minister of the Niger Delta, Godsday Orubebe, had offered the SNG delegation the sum of $50,000 on behalf of President Jonathan. The SNG had met with Jonathan to review his performance in office.

In the phone interview, Pastor Bakare stated categorically that his team was indeed offered money after it submitted a position paper on why it was opposed to the president's ambition to be re-elected. He confirmed that the cash was immediately returned to sender through Uranta, shortly after it was presented to the SNG delegation.

The SNG convener told Saharareporters that his team felt terribly embarrassed and offended by the orchestrated attempt by Jonathan and his team to buy the SNG’s support through illicit means.

An obviously angry Bakare said, “You can quote me. I don't do deals and I don't lie. Tony [Uranta] could be saving his own face. Tony lied that he didn't collect the money from us. There are living witnesses. Orubebe has confirmed to me that the money was returned. Mr. President is aware through Oronto Douglas that we returned his money through Tony.”

Bakare said he, Yinka Odumakin and other SNG officials went to the meeting with Jonathan with a written document that explained why the SNG would not support his candidacy.

“We submitted a document regarding the culture of impunity in which he (Jonathan) continues to swim," he said.

As Saharareporters had exclusively reported, Jonathan sought a meeting with the Save Nigeria Group to discuss his ambition to run for office after it dawned on him that former Vice President Abubakar Atiku, the consensus candidate chosen by the so-called Northern Political Elders Forum, was going to present a stiff political challenge.

A close aide to Mr. Jonathan told Saharareporters that, whilst Atiku is steeped in corruption, the president was also aware that the Atiku group had a dossier on corrupt deals by both Jonathan, his wife and his close associates and advisors, including former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

After Bakare made his presentation and accused Jonathan of having abused the goodwill offered him by Nigerians, the president tried to buy the group’s loyalty by giving its officials $50,000 through Orubebe.

An Abuja-based democratic activist told Saharareporters that, by attempting to buy the SNG's support, Mr. Jonathan had “exposed himself to charges of hypocrisy and doing the opposite of what he preaches.”

In a speech on Saturday, Mr. Jonathan had urged Nigerians to ignore politicians who seek to win elections by offering money to groups and individuals....The president gave the do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do sermon at the 2010 graduation ceremony of the Senior Executive Course 32 of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) in Kuru, Plateau State. Vice President Namadi Sambo represented the president at the event and read the speech on Jonathan’s behalf.

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Comment by Henrietta Uche Uwadia on November 30, 2010 at 10:16am
Pastor Bakare has become a problem to Nigeria rather than a blessing i wonder where he should be categorized in politics or God's Vinyard?My question to u mr Pastor is all these ur pull him down syndrome u've always targeted on those higher than u in position both in the peoples government and in God's Kingdom where have they led u to? If u're not satisfied with ur job in God's Vinyard and want to vy into politics do as u want cos no one is going to stop u. U lost focus in the work of God when u put ur care in the things of the world. All u know how to do very well is run people down, what is wrong in giving someone who visited u a gift? Bakare make we hear word jo.
Comment by Angela Nkama on November 30, 2010 at 9:03am
Nigerian's.....please lets take it easy..ohhhhhhhh!
Comment by Ahenmokhai Sebastian Drew on November 29, 2010 at 11:49pm
Moses Talks too much. talk talk
Comment by Moses K Tawose on November 29, 2010 at 9:33pm
Regardless of what was discovered as regard this story be it true of false nobody knows anything anymore. Each one of them has an agenda and their agenda isn't in the interest of the country, but their very own. If we're looking at all the candidates standing elections none of them has clear motive for the overall interest of the country in question except President Jonathan Ebele Azikiwe Goodluck. He might not be the best, but he's the lesser of all the evils running around for their own interest. Pastor Bakare should stand up and his group of SNG where they belong. They needn't support the President nor made him to conform to them nor coerce him or made him to be under duress to bend to their agenda, rather they should present their argument to the people of Nigeria and if they bought it so be it. They're not suppose to visit him or pander to him if they so desire because they weren't seeing things in the same spectrum. Let them put their mouth where there money is which means let them go where they feel their voice would be heard or present their own candidates if that's what they want. Case settled........!!!
Comment by skibochi on November 29, 2010 at 6:41pm
well i do not see anything wrong in giving a gift of appreciation, call it whatever you want but one thing i know for sure is that, these gifts fly freely even in developed worlds and as friday james rightly said.....whhichhhhh one you dey sef Bakare?? if you go do politics, enter am oha!!
Comment by friday james on November 29, 2010 at 6:01pm
pastor bakare, all this u are doing as pastor, is not good for u at all, if u want to go into politics, pls do so and leave the work of God. u scandalise ur fellow men of God too as well. the question here is where do u belong? u are not the only postor in this country but make unneccessary noise everywhere. poeple like u cant not even move this nation forward if u where given the chage to.
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