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Nigerian pastor questioned over call for president to quit

By AFP

LAGOS (AFP) - Security agents on Monday questioned a fiery Nigerian pastor and ex-vice presidential candidate over comments he made to his congregation saying President Goodluck Jonathan should resign, a spokesman said.

Tunde Bakare, a member of the opposition Congress for Progressive Change and pastor of the Latter Rain Assembly Church, was questioned for about an hour by agents from the State Security Service (SSS), Yinka Odumakin said.

"He was invited today for an interview by the Lagos director of the SSS," Odumakin said. "The director complained about his preaching in the church yesterday on how to change a government."

His comments on Sunday were reported in some Nigerian newspapers.

Bakare, who ran for vice president in 2011 on the Congress for Progressive Change ticket, said in the sermon that resignation was the best option for Jonathan, according to Odumakin.

An SSS official confirmed on condition of anonymity that Bakare was questioned, but did not provide further details. An SSS spokeswoman did not respond to phone calls.

Bakare, a lawyer who also heads the Save Nigeria Group pressure organisation, had in January helped mobilise thousands to protest a hike in the price of petrol, which resulted from Jonathan's decision to end fuel subsidies.

Protests and a nationwide strike forced Jonathan to backtrack and partially reinstate the subsidies.

Bakare and his group have since consistently criticised Jonathan, particularly over the government's alleged lacklustre fight against corruption.

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