‘Buhari’s government, not taking herdsmen insurgency seriously’
• President should not seek reelection due to health, age
Ahead of the 2019 general election, President Muhammadu Buhari has been urged to place Nigeria’s interest and development above his personal ambition and the desire of those advising him to seek reelection.
The president was rather urged to seek the face of God in prayers before deciding to run for second term in office due to the persistent ‘downturn situation’, which the country has witnessed under his administration since 2015.
Making the admonition in an exclusive with The Guardian, the General Overseer, Ever Increasing Anointing Ministries, Pastor Taiye Emmanuel Olayemi said the unity of Nigeria has never been this threatened as it is in the last three years, saying the manner in which armed herdsmen have been killing and dislocating communities without check by security agencies is worrisome.
The clergy also expressed concern about the increasing rate of poverty and economic challenges in the country, saying unless something crucial is done to address the situation and the increasing rate of insecurity; Nigeria may be heading for the worse.
Speaking on whether the president should seek reelection, Olayemi said, “If I am to look at it from the spiritual angle, Mr. President should not seek reelection in 2019 without first consulting God, who is the ultimate giver of power and position.”
According to him, “In the first instance, it was not by accident that Mr. President emerged in 2015 under the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). He contested unsuccessfully more than twice before God gave the nod to his ambition in 2015 when he had almost lost hope. It is therefore important for him seek from God whether he has performed to the expectations of Nigerians for him to continue in office or not.”
The cleric appealed to the president to disregard the pressure being mounted by some sycophants around him, saying it is not about whether some people around him want him to rerun. There are two things he must consider, which are his state of health and age. If theses two critical issues were not in Buhari’s favour to seek reelection, I would personally urge him to step down and go back home. If he can summon the courage to do this, Mr. President would forever be remembered as a hero in Nigeria.
Reacting on how the Church has fared under the incumbent government since 2015, the clergy said, “It is not in dispute that the Church and even Muslims are feeling the crunch of poverty under this government; every other Nigerians are because the Church is part of the larger society therefore what the society is passing through the church is also feeling it. We can only pray.
But Olayemi warned that it is not enough for Nigerians to continue to groan or that Christians, Muslims should restrict themselves only to prayers in this situation without doing the needful. “If there must be change, the Nigerian masses must realise the fact that the strength to change the current situation lies in their vote and not by murmuring, groaning or praying.
Said he, “The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will not count our prayers and lamentations but vote. So, if we continue to pray or lament about our situation that would not change anything. It is only our votes that will count and therefore if Nigerians want a change they should obtain their Permanent Voters Card (PVC), wherein lies their strength to change the government.”
On the threat posed to the nation’s unity by armed herdsmen activities, he said, “I will respond to this question beyond the scope of Nigeria and the physical. There is the need to understand what the word of God says concerning the end time tragedies. If we are to place what is going on in Nigeria side by side along what the entire World is facing, I don’t think there is anything anybody can do to avert the situation. The issue is every professing Christian should get serious.”
He however said the increasing rate of insecurity particularly the armed herdsmen crisis has some political undertone due to the lackadaisical manner the government have been handling it.
According to him, “I want to believe there is a political undertone to the ongoing armed herdsmen crisis. For instance, the 2019 election is less than a year, you would recall when the 2015 election was approaching some people deliberately sponsored the Boko Haram insurgents and ultimately used it to bring down the government of erstwhile President Goodluck Jonathan.
“The political motive behind the herdsmen crisis is what we should investigate. There are oppositions to every government and what is their role? Another puzzle is if the government is about putting an end to the herdsmen killings it wouldn’t have dragged this long.
“To me this government cannot claim to be unaware of what is happening; otherwise tell me any concrete policy statement this administration has issued on the crisis? What drastic measures has the government taken? We expect the government to come up with its view on how to resolve the killings because it is getting out of hand. Unfortunately some government officials told the country sometimes ago that the Benue State killings in which 73 souls died was a communal clash.”
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