By Tony Edike and Chidi NKWOPARA
ENUGUâ€”THE Anglican Bishop of Enugu and former Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Bauchi State chapter, Bishop Emmanuel Chukwuma has condemned the current mayhem in Jos, Plateau state which has claimed hundreds of lives and properties worth billions of naira, saying that the crisis has seriously threatened the corporate existence of Nigeria as a nation.
The cleric also joined the call on President Umaru Musa Yarâ€™Adua to immediately resign from office on health grounds and hand over to Vice President Goodluck Jonathan, insisting that the president had shown from all intents and purposes that he was totally incapable of ruling the country.
â€œItâ€™s unacceptable for a sick president to be leading a country of over 140 million people from a sick bed. He should immediately throw in the towel because the stress of power will even compound his woes. We really need a healthy president to make a healthy nation, but looking at the present scenario, itâ€™s obvious that our sick president can only make us a sick nation,â€ Bishop Chukwuma declared.
The Anglican cleric who spoke with newsmen in Enugu shortly on his return from Christian pilgrimage in Jerusalem, noted that the Jos crisis which came at a time the nation was still battling to convince the United States of America to remove her name from the security watch-list, had further confirmed Nigeria as a terrorist state.
According to him, the situation in Jos was clearly an act of internal terrorism, saying rather than criticizing the US government for listing Nigeria as a terrorist nation, the federal government should engage in high diplomacy to resolve the issue.
His words: â€œThe situation in Jos is condemnable, animalistic, unfortunate and clearly threatening the continued unity of Nigeria. For it to be coming at a time the President is battling with health issues abroad shows that some people are not even concerned about their leader. I feel sad and depressed in our brother Muslims and Christians.
â€œLet there be a law prescribing severe punishments for any community, local government or state that allows this kind of sectarian disturbances to happen within its domain.
In his own reaction, the Anglican Bishop of Okigwe South, Rt. Rev. David C. Onuoha, described the current Jos crisis as â€œsenseless, terrorist in content and execution.”
His words: â€œThis is a nation that superintends over the periodic senseless murder of its people by fellow citizens acting under varying platforms. The planning and execution of the current crisis in Jos is nothing short of extreme terrorism.”
It was his considered opinion that the occasional killings have persisted because the federal and state governments have failed to make the perpetrators face the full weight of the laws of the land.
â€œEvents have shown that the federal and state governments do not have the will power to deal with the perpetrators of this dastardly crime. The perpetrators do not live in the moonâ€, the fiery Anglican cleric said.
Continuing, Bishop Onuoha lamented that there were panels set after previous riots that claimed several lives, regretting that their recommendations were swept under the carpet after submission.
â€œHow can Nigeria continue to lose its citizens in this fashion and claim there are no terrorists in its fold? It is an irony that a panel is still looking into a previous riot and had not even finished its public hearing before the current sad event. I really do not know where we are going toâ€, the cleric lamented.