By Tony Edike
ENUGU— CATHOLIC Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Rt. Rev Matthew Hassan Kukah, yesterday, blamed the increasing wave of insurgency in the country on what he described as conspiracy of silence and break down of societal surveillance.
He said that any society that was not sensitive to social and security threats in its environment was bound to experience manifestations of insurgency such as Boko Haram terrorism in parts of the North.
Kukah made this known in Nsukka while delivering the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, UNN, 43rd pre-convocation lecture entitled “After the Insurgency: Some Thoughts on National Cohesion.”
The cleric said that if Nigerians were sensitive to their environment Boko Haram would have been detected early before they become terrorists. He also said that if members of the immediate community where the Boko Haram started had detected their activities early enough, the insecurity plaguing the nation today could have been averted.
Kukah said, “The first mistake that people made was to see them as illiterate people and over looked them. Nigerians should be sensitive to their environment. We must stop this idea of ‘it does not concern me,’ whereas when that evil grows fully everybody will suffer from it.”
He pointed out that the intention of insurgency in any part of the world was to weaken and subvert any nation where they operate in order to take absolute control, noting, “security operatives should use more of intelligence in finding the solution of Boko Haram. Every Nigerian must assist the security operatives by providing them with useful information that would help in finding lasting solution to the menace.
“Security agencies should perform their duties in a way to earn trust from Nigerians so that citizens will feel free to provide security information to them.”
Expressing deep concern over the worsening state of affairs in the country, Kukah said, “There is need to try to understand why things have not worked out for us in Nigeria, why the project for national integration and development have been stalled and why the cumulative impact of all these has created such a fractious, angry and seemingly frustrated society.
“We must seek to explore how we ended up with so many years of retarded development, how we became such a severely fractured country and what can be done to rebuild it again. Boko Haram has tested our wills, but we also have many lessons to learn especially regarding the real history of our country, the levels of injury, grievances and wounds that our communities carry. We also need to learn the importance of proper and correct diagnosis.”
In a remark, vice chancellor of the university, Prof Bartho Okolo, said as he was about to step aside, he was very proud of achievements of his administration, stressing, “UNN under my watch has regained lost ground as it can compete with other universities in the globe.” Okolo said that pre-convocation lecturers were chosen from those who distinguished themselves in their field of endeavours.
Earlier Sen Ken Nnamani, former Senate President, who was chairman of the occasion, said that he was satisfied with level of transformation UNN had recorded recently.