James Ogunnaike, ABEOKUTA
The Bishop, Diocese of Ijebu North, (Church of Nigeria) Anglican Communion, the Rt. Revd. Dr Solomon Kuponu has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to take immediate steps to redress the worsening insecurity in the country, which he said has affected the economy negatively.
Bishop Kuponu, who made the call in his charge at the 1st Session of the 6th Synod of the Diocese of Ijebu North, held at St. Paul’s, Ago-Iwoye, called for a national consensus on how to effectively tackle the insecurity in the country.
He said the cause of action, which the Buhari-led government has pursued so far has a very high cost on the national life of Nigeria saying that “we cannot afford to continue like this”.
The Bishop said, “In 2015, when the present administration presented itself to us as the viable alternative to the then PDP, we all felt we have the solution to Nigeria’s problems particularly with the “Change” mantra they came with, the events of the very recent times have clearly shown that indeed they gave us change, but not in the direction we were expecting”.
His words, “we see clearly that indeed we got a change. A change in lopsided appointments to federal positions, a change that took away our freedom to move freely, a change in a further weakened economy among others”.
“The fact that his cabinet is greatly one sided leads credence to the allegations of Islamization and Fulanization agenda and this must be addressed immediately. The National Assembly must wake up to their responsibilities and ensure they do their oversight function right”.
Speaking on the economy, Bishop Kuponu added, “under the watch of President Buhari, Nigeria’s microeconomic indicators have been heading south and the economy on a free fall without anyone seriously doing anything to put a wedge to its slow down or reverse the trend. It is an economy characterized by high levels of unemployment and underdevelopment, a fast-depreciating naira, peak levels of inflation, senseless profligacy, a rating as the poverty capital of the world, fleeing foreign investors, reduced capital importation and gross domestic product in recession, and when it grows at rates below the population growth. What a pity!”
“Both the political and economic initiatives have been over centralized in a federal polity that has been led, in most part, by malevolent incompetents. The fate of Nigerians is tied to the whims and tomfoolery of misfits, with no love for Nigeria. It is looking as if some people just love the fact that other Nigerians have sunk into the poverty bind that is difficult to escape”, the cleric lamented.
“Insecurity is disrupting farming, transport, market and destroying infrastructure, the economy, hit by COVID 19 pandemic, and power shortage is battered. The country just crawled out of its second recession in five years, but food inflation is now over 20 percent. Schools have been closed in several Northern states, a catastrophe in a region that averages over 70 percent illiteracy rate and 75 percent poverty”.
“Anarchy looms; weapons, small and large have flooded the country. Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Niger, Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina, Benue and Kaduna States, the governments cannot fully enforce their writ. When a state loses control of territory, of the means of the instruments of coercion and begins to negotiate with criminals and militias, state weakness is strikingly obvious”.
The Bishop therefore supported the recommendation of the Governors’ forum that says, “Criminals must be swiftly apprehended and prosecuted, saying that criminality has no identity”.
He added that “the practice of blanket amnesty and compensation for criminals should stop. Only a failed state pacifies criminals and terrorists with cash and amnesty”.
“Emphasis should be on protecting and rehabilitating victims of banditry and terrorism. There must be a total, all out war on criminality, adding that the country should reach out to other countries for help.
“There should be strong cooperation between the federal and state governments and between states. Military and police action be driven by intelligence and technology and accompanied by provision of basic social services”.
“The porous borders should be monitored and undesirable aliens apprehended and locked out. A massive mop up of illegal arms should begin. Governors should take full charge of security in their states”.