This was, as they described his spending and ostentatious lifestyle in uncomplimentary terms as fraud, waste and insensitive, owing to his bid to spend N13 billion on church building.
Apart from that, the members are unhappy that another whopping sum of N2.7 billion would be spent on importing 5200 chairs with, 200 of the chairs special ones for Very Important Personalities, VIPs, in the Church that would be seated in front.
Bakare’s chair, members say would be “very special, made of gold,” with another huge sum allocated to decorate the pulpit.
Musical instruments they say have another huge sums allocated but they could not say how much.
When Daily Mail visited the Church on Sunday morning, not a few members expressed their disapproval to what they called “unnecessary things from the Pastor who does not have any source of income apart from offerings, tithes and donations.”
Not wanting to be named, a worshipper who has been a member of the Church for nine years said, “this action is condemnable. That Pastor (Bakare) thought of it alone is bad enough. Why should he spend such amount of money to import chairs or even build another church? What happens to where we are?
“This is the same Pastor who spends his times querying and criticising some of his colleagues but here he is outspending them as if it’s a competition.
“We have poor people who donate all their earnings to him. We have graduates without jobs. We have widows who need help. And so many orphans who can’t go to school or feed.
“Meanwhile the Church has nothing to help these people despite their faith in God for attending this church. They sweep, clean, wash and help in one way or the other apart from donating their window’s might but some one they believe in is turning his back on them in this manner.
“Already they are talking and they would be a lot of talks. For me, I am donating nothing again to this church.”
Another member of the Church said, “God will judge them in the last day. If they think they will deceive men, they can’t deceive God. God will judge them.
“I have been a Church member for three years as a graduate, I have no job. They church can’t help me get anything small but Pastor is spending such. What happens to opening skill enters to create employment and empowering people?
“I will join those who want to petition EFCC because he needs to explain his source of income. That’s too huge a money to spend from one man who owns nothing producing money.”
An elderly woman simply told Daily Mail, “That’s their business, Nigerian pastors have shown they can’t be trusted.”
Daily Mail had reported that a Human Rights activist Adeola Samuel Ilori, who has been a strong member of Bakare’s church, for more than 20 years, also condemned him in strong terms.
He said, “I was here when Winners built 50,000 capacity, I know what he said. The people you did not build with will destroy the building. He said what do you need 50,000 capacity for? It does not matter where you worship God but how you worship God.
“Who you are is what matters. To me, I believe that where we are worshipping God right now in Akilo is more or less where God wants him to be, you might ask me why.
“He has said it severally. Not only he said that his mother of blessed memory, without Pastor Bakare knowing that place, fell somewhere around that area inside a gutter, and the day that Pastor Bakare came to that place, God said to him this is the place I have reserved for you.
“Quote me verbatim. My question that agitates in my mind when the issue of Citadel came up was that if God said this is the place I have reserved for you, has God also reserved the new place? Or has He changed His mind? I talk in facts; I talk in what I know. What I don’t know I will tell you I don’t know.
“Nobody can tell me about Pastor Bakare as far as Latter Rain is concerned or the message he preached, I will tell you the day, the time, the hour, what he said and what he didn’t say. It’s just like the day I went to him and challenged him when I had issue in 2015 May, I said sir it is not from you that it’s supposed to come that you are asking for interim government, he said no, I said I recorded it live and can play it for you. I believe in word of God that was spoken directly, not the one they told me. His word came from his mouth to say God said this is the place I have reserved for you.
“Nobody has sent us away from the place God reserved for us. For whatever reason, he said God is in Citadel as well. I’m not disagreeing with that, but I’m not comfortable with it. That does not stop me from the little I contribute when they are asking us to contribute. But what I’m not comfortable with, I will say it out, it does not matter who does it. He has let us realize that God needs us more than He needs building.
“We can use and channel that money to something else. How I wish that that place is nothing but a state of the art hospital, internationally recognized hospital. With 13 billion naira that has been spent on that place, I’m very sure that if that place was a hospital, it’d become the cynosure of all eyes today.
“If today Citadel becomes the talk about town because of whatever might have been put there, in no time somebody else will build something bigger. That is the way Pastor Bakare taught us. That’s why he said you don’t build a monument after your name. the monument built that was called the Gigantic House of God then, now it’s a mosque that is besides it, people don’t recognize the importance of the place anymore. That is the work of monument.
“Had it been our opinions were sought, had it been it was not something that was wrapped under with the cover of God says. . . Pastor Bakare that I knew before would say something and would back it up with the word of God and you will know truly he is speaking the truth.
“The chair is more or less like the one we use in the cinema. It has where you put your bible. I felt it was beautiful and we all clapped. He said the cost is 560 million naira and it is not to be provided here in Nigeria, it is to be imported from abroad. It is 5200 chairs, the 200 is for the leaders, the 5000 is for the congregation. That was what angered me. I told my friend this is not Pastor Bakare that I knew.
“The way I was passionate about Nigeria is the way he was passionate about Nigeria and the way I was passionate about him. I just packed my phone and left the service. I remember meeting Dr. Segun Osinaga on the way and I said to him that your friend has goofed. You are close to him, tell him what he did today, I don’t like it at all and I’m going to talk about it if you people cannot convince him. Number one, do we need capital flight as the person that talks about the economy of Nigeria, giving indices of how we can turn it around?
“Number two, the money that we are going to use, even though he might be the one to contribute the larger size of it, are we now saying that there are no furniture makers here that can make those chairs? Are we now saying that within us in Latter Rain Assembly, there are no furniture makers that even contributed their money?
“The chairs we are currently sitting on, what has changed? That’s where my anger lies.”
Daily Mail reports that Bakare is a close supporter of President Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria’s president and a regular visitor to Aso Rock. He has said many times he would replace Buhari in Aso Rock as President.
(Cover Picture: Bakare [right] with President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria)