Reno Omokri, special assistant to ex-president Goodluck Jonathan on new media, says in spite of his constant criticism, he prays twice daily for President Muhammadu Buhari.
Omokri, a pastor, said the Bible is not against chastising leaders, and noted that the president is often oblivious to the things happening in the country.
Consequently, he said Nigerians have a responsibility to inform the president of developments that “sycophants” surrounding him may not reveal.
In a video posted on his Facebook page, Omokri said: “People have been asking some questions about why I was criticising President Buhari. It’s as if a lot of people don’t understand what is happening.
“They say ‘Reno you are a pastor, you are not meant to criticise the president… the Bible says you should pray for our leaders’. This is simply a case of misunderstanding what the Bible is talking about.
“I pray for president Buhari every single day. The Lord is my witness. May the Lord punish me if I’m lying. I shouldn’t be saying this. I’m being forced to say this because of the email I have been getting. I pray for him twice a day — morning and night.
“That is what the Bible says but the Bible did not say we should not criticise our leaders. If you read the Bible, Jesus in (Luke 13 vs 32) criticised King Herod.
“In 2nd Samuel 12 vs 1-14, Nathan the prophet criticised David. Before then, Samuel himself criticised Saul in 1st Kings chapter 17 and 18.
“When you criticise people, it doesn’t mean you hate them. It means you love them and [you are] showing them the way to go. The people who wound you, criticise and correct you, are your real friends.
“Buhari, a lot of times, does not know what is happening in the country. I have been in the presidential villa where I was a spokesman to the former president.
“Till today, that president still holds me in high regards and I am the only one of his spokesmen he kept after office and I can still speak for him today.
“The man has confidence in me but when we were in the villa, you could see how people were so sycophantic. They will tell him things were okay and when I want to speak, someone will hit me on the back and say ‘don’t talk’.
“So, the president needs people who are patriots who love the country to tell him what is happening. The president may not know that a bag of rice is N20, 000, he may not know that bread is about N300. He may not know that Nigerians are buying dollars for N500 at the black market.
“He needs people to tell him what is going on. We have to tell him what is going on. God forbid that I would use foul words against the Lord’s anointed. I would never insult the president. If God does not want him to be president, he wouldn’t be.”