Insecurity: Military, security agencies collaborators of inhuman acts
The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) in September 2022 held its Standing Committee in Abuja, which was presided by the Primate, Most Rev. Henry Ndukuba. Addressing participants, the Primate took a swipe at some national issues as they concern Nigerians. Below are the excerpts:
We live in very uncertain times where many Nigerians have lost and continued to lose their homes, livelihood, lives and property. Today, some people in some regions of the country are constantly under attack and some of our dioceses and churches have been destroyed. Let us say it pointedly that the increasing kidnapping of Christians and the invasion of Christian-dominated villages is evil.
Many of our people have become refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in their own land. It is now clear that in some cases, the military and security agencies are collaborators in these inhuman acts. Global Terrorism Index (GTI) has now rated Nigeria the 3rd worst country with insecurity in the world after Afghanistan and Iraq. The current situation is a cumulative effect of failed government and bad leadership.
Justice, equity and equality for citizens in a free and democratic society remain issues that must be openly and frankly discussed, legislated on and implemented for the survival of this country. Cases where indigenes of some ethnic groups spring unprovoked attacks on other citizens is inhuman and must be stopped. Factors breeding insecurity such as porous national borders and free flow of ammunition and firearms, youth unemployment, drugs and blatant criminality must be tackled head on.
Restructuring our national agencies for effective performance
There is an urgent need to change the National Security Adviser and the security architecture of this nation. Law enforcement agencies will need to be better equipped and motivated. Let the truth be told, the enemies of the state have infiltrated our security agencies and those that have compromised must be purged. We, therefore, demand that these agencies of government be totally cleaned up without delay.
State of the economy
The state of the Nigerian economy is of great concern. With fast-depleting external reserves, double digit inflation on a persistent upward trajectory, humongous public debt servicing put at more than the revenue of the nation, we cannot but feel very concerned for the debilitating state of our economy.
We call on relevant authorities to expeditiously address the sharp fall in remittance by NNPC. In this regard, we re-emphasize the urgent need for a lasting solution to the lingering abuses around fuel subsidies and persistent oil theft and vandalism meted out on our National Oil infrastructure. Government must show the political will to act by leveraging technological infrastructure to protect these assets. We demand for more transparency and accountability by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) in the management of this key national wealth.
Inflation has moved from 15.63 per cent in December 2021 to 18.6 per cent in June 2022, and those entrusted with the task of regulation must utilise necessary monetary policy tools to stem this tide, as Nigeria does not have adequate social safety nets for its citizens as obtainable in other climes. Our economy has suffered so much setbacks that the common man is terribly battered. The current unstable and exorbitant exchange rate of the Naira to the Dollar needs urgent attention.
It is evident that the eradication of corruption and the change promised by the Buhari-led administration have eluded us. The bogus budget padding and syphoning of funds through government establishments and projects, need a proactive intervention. We certainly cannot afford to continue accumulating debts capable of enslaving our future generations.
The political process
The activities for the general elections of 2023 are picking up and there is need to strengthen internal democracy in the political parties. We must say that the insensitivity and display of impunity by political leaders, especially in the two major big parties are worrisome.
The APC’s inconsiderate and insensitive Muslim-Muslim ticket is a recipe for the Islamisation of the country. If this arrangement is forced down on this nation, religious and social discrimination and open public enforcement of the Sharia law will take roots in some parts of this country. Nigeria as we know it, will cease to exist, and those who say that it does not matter must be prepared to fight the terrorists who will want to take it beyond your so called civilised understanding.
On the other hand, PDP should resolve its internal issues. The major parties have taken the citizens for granted, so we need a Third-force to change the tide.
Citizens’ political action and engagement will deliver this country from political ineptitude. The 2023 election is a very crucial opportunity for the citizens to change the current narrative of woe. The Church of Nigeria Political Mobilization Group will help us engage the political sphere and respond to developing current issues in the country and advise us appropriately.
We commend INEC for the conduct of the PVC registration and Nigerians for demonstrating maturity and political awareness through the massive turnout at different PVC registration centres across the country for the registration of their PVCs. Beyond getting the PVC, we must prepare to vote, however sacrificial this may demand. Once again: “Don’t sell your vote and mortgage your future and the future of your children for a ‘pot of red stew’ like Esau. Say no to money politics, vote wisely, vote right, always remember what we have suffered in this country. Vote to change our sad story. The Church is not apolitical or partisan, but a godly conscience people for the nation as well as light and salt of the world.
Collapse of the educational sector
The collapse of our educational system is becoming almost irreversible and the Federal Government seems bereft of ideas to stem the tide. A case where a university student sits at home for a whole year is grossly unacceptable. It is a complete waste of life and future of these young people. This is what we get when the wrong people are placed in authority. The declining standard in the educational sector demands a holistic solution. Specifically, funding interventions in our tertiary institutions must be revisited.
Yet, this is an opportunity for the church to make a difference. We encourage our dioceses to invest in the education of our people. The Church of God must rise to give quality education rooted in sound Christian faith, moral life and godly values that will lead to the transformation of our society
• Culled from Primate’s address by the Ven. (Dr) Princewill Ireoba