By SamÂ Eyoboka
Prelate of Methodist Church Nigeria, His Eminence Sunday Ola Makinde, has called on the Federal Govern-ment to deal decisively with the increasing wave of extremism and fundament-alism in the northern part of the country.
He made the call in a release made available by the churchâ€™s Head of Media and Communications, Rev. Olada-po Daramola in Lagos, saying that the level of intolerance and bigotry on the part ofÂ some Muslim extremists which over the years and especially in the last few months have given way to repeated crisis in Bauchi State, the mayhem unleashed by the Boko Haram in Borno State, the shame brought on the country by the young Muslim boy, Abdul Mutallab who attempted to blow an American aircraft, the recentÂ crisis in Jos is unacceptable.
The Federal Government must wake up to its respon-sibility and save innocent lives from dying.
In his own words, Makinde said: â€œSo far, reports show that more than 450 lives have been lost with many on danger list while several churches and manse includ-ing quite a number of such belonging to the Methodist Church Nigeria have been burnt down since this latest madness began on Sunday leaving countless homeless and scores of people turned into refugees.
â€œUnfortunately, this want-on destruction of lives and properties would have been prevented if government had listened to several appeals by the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council, NIREC for peaceful co-existence and considered seriously reports on past religious crises which over and over again have proffer-ed solutions to this situation which has taken a monstrous dimension.
â€œFor how long will Govern-ment continue to watch innocent people die, thou-sands of people displaced, parents separated from their children and peoplesâ€™ means of livelihood taken away from them? This is a fundamental question which I believe should pre-occupy the minds of those in authority and are saddled with the responsibili-ty of securing the lives and property of citizens of this country.
â€œIs it not surprising that religious uprisings of this nature have continued unabated only in one part of the country? I feel very sad about this situation not just because it is preventable but because the perpetrators believe that they have a licence to continue to unleash mayhem on innocent people since Government seem not to have the political will and courage to make a scape goat of those that were caught in past occurrences.
â€œWe must remember that justice delayed is justice denied. Christians cannot continue to be killed as chickens and yet those that are supposed to protect them continue to turn a blind eye. This country belongs to everyone and one side of the country cannot continue to suffer because of their faith and religious beliefs,” he added.