By Ikechukwu Odu
The Archbishop of Enugu Ecclesiastical Province, Anglican Communion, Most Revd. Emmanuel Chukwuma has lambasted the Federal Government over the introduction of the just suspended Ruga settlement programme.
The cleric said the programme should be stopped entirely and not suspended, as it would only breed violence across different sections of the country.
He spoke at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, UNN, yesterday, during a conference organised by Grace Uzoma Okonkwo Foundation in collaboration with the Department of English and Literary Studies, UNN, tagged Criminality and Violence as a Growing Phenomena in the 21st Century Globalised World.
The cleric said Federal Government should not be talking of Ruga programme when the minimum wage has eluded implementation.
According to him, “the government has not done enough in curbing violence in the society, instead, it is promoting it. Look at this Ruga thing. It is not a programme that would promote peace.
“The minimum wage has not been paid, infrastructure has not been done, the education system is not encouraged and you are bringing the Ruga programme, which will gulp about 11 billion dollars.
“What type of nonsense is that? This is not our priority. Government is also promoting violence through that policy and they must withdraw it; not just suspending it. Let them spend this money on education. When people are educated and there are enough jobs, there would be no violence and criminality.
“What brings out violence is when people react to negativity. Ruga is abnormal and must be stopped otherwise, more violence would come.”
Earlier in his opening remarks, the Vice-Chancellor of UNN, Professor Charles Igwe, who regretted the rising crime rate in the country, said the intelligence community should not watch the unfolding national siege without lifting a finger in search of causes and possible solutions.