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Sacking Babachir, Oke not enough, Onaiyekan tells Buhari

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By Joseph Erunke

ABUJA—THE Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, has said Monday’s sack of Mr Babachir David Lawal and Ayodele Oke, as Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF and Director General of the National Intelligence Agency, NIA, respectively by President Muhammadu Buhari was not enough.

The duo were relieved of their appointments by the president following corruption related cases against them, which have generated controversies in the public domain.

Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Babachir Lawal and Suspended Nigeria Intelligent Agency NIA Ayo Oke

Reacting to the development in an interview with newsmen, yesterday, in Abuja the reverred clergyman said having carried out the sack action, what was expected of the president was a follow-up with prosecution and subsequent recovery of what the two men may have carried away from the government treasury.

He spoke to newsmen on the sidelines of the Bicentenary (200th) Anniversary of the Birth of Baha’u’llah, the Prophet and Founder of the Baha’i Faith, organised by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Nigeria.

He insisted that President Buhari must go beyond Monday’s sacking of Lawal and Oke by prosecuting them, according to the country’s extant laws.

The Cardinal said not going beyond their sacks would make other people susceptible to be tempted of corruption knowing they can only be sacked from their positions after stealing.

He said: “Nigerians should be patience with the government and President (Buhari) on this matter. Also, there should be further actions beyond their sacks.

“If nothing is done after that (their sacks), other may think what can be meted to them as punishment for stealing millions is only sack. They should also be made to refund the stolen monies if they were found guilty and maybe we can forgive them.”

Onaiyekan used the occasion to preach for religious tolerance in the country, saying it was the only way the country could experience its much desired peace.

To this end, he urged Nigerians to see the merits on the lives and teaching of the late Baha’u’llah on religious tolerance.

Also speaking at the occasion, Chairman of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Nigeria and former FCT Commissioner of Police, Barrister Lawrence Alobi, said God sent prophets to guide mankind to success and save them from errors and that Baha’u’llah born in November 1817 in the present day Iran, was an evidence.

Alobi said:”The prophesies of Baha’u’llah are already manifesting in the quest for mankind to seek a common front peace and unity. Baha’u’llah stood for sustainable peace and harmonious progression of mankind.”

The former FCT Police boss said all problems of humanity could only be adequately solved through spiritual teachings and asked people to deviate from material teachings to spiritual ones.

The Chairman Councilors of Baha’is of West Africa Councilor Martins Yusufu said it is in the interest of mankind to manifest and imbibe the lives and teachings of Baha’u’llah.

Also, the Secretary General of the Universal Peace Federation of Nigeria, UPFN, Dr Raphael Ogar Oko, said God manifested Himself in many ways and that the teachings of Baha’u’llah was significant and worthy of being reflected upon.

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