Bakare soft pedals on use of Arabic phrases
Pastor Tunde Bakare yesterday at the National Conference took time to explain that he has no objection to the use of short Arabic phrases by delegates in their comments if users will be gracious enough to interpret what they say.
Muslims normally start their public speeches or comments with short prayers but Bakare, a day after President Goodluck Jonathan inaugurated the Conference, objected to the use of Arabic by chairman of the conference Justice Idris Kutigi.
On that day, Bakare said “Mr. Chairman, yesterday you said something at the inauguration of the conference and I did not understand. Today again, you said it. I think you should pray in the way all of us understand because if I stand up and say, ‘Praise the Lord somebody,’ we will turn this place into a church service.”
However yesterday, while praising Kutigi for the way he runs the conference and wishing him well, he recalled what happened on that day and said there was a need for delegates to build bridges.
He said “on the 18 of March, I made three observations and one of them was directed at what you said at the opening of this conference…with a view to building bridges and not walls.
“I have since realised that sir, it was not any act of intimidation on your part, it was just your way of opening any meeting and part of sensitivity to one another is to accommodate ourselves. When Nuruddeen, my brother from Nupe finished his comments yesterday, I took time to go and embrace him and to thank him for building bridges.
“Mr Chairman sir, I just want to add…let’s do what the gentleman towards my right, I can’t remember his name did yesterday when he said Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim, he interpreted it into English for us. That way we know that it is a prayer coming from the heart. In the good book that I read, Apostle Paul said he who speaks in an unknown tongue must also add some interpretation so that others can benefit from it.”