From David Onwuchekwa, Nnewi
The Bishop, Diocese of Nnewi Anglican Communion, Anambra State, Rt Rev Ndubisi Obi has wondered why the Federal Government should continue to pursue the IPOB and its vigilante arm, Eastern Security Network (ESN) while bandits kidnap, herd pupils and students into forests at will for ransom.
Bishop Ndubisi spoke his mind in a press briefing at the Bishop’s Court on some national issues when he announced the 9th session of Diocese of Nnewi Anglican Communion synod, Anambra State scheduled to kick off September 2 to last three days at St. James Church, Ichi, Ekwusigo Council Area.
He said that people at the corridors of power created more problems in the country other providing solutions to them. The Bishop took a look at, according to him, the way the Federal Government deployed soldiers to Imo State to chase around members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its ESN leaving bandits and armed herdsmen to ravage in the North as well as other parts of the country, killing, maiming and kidnapping for ransom.
“When you talk about agitation, what leads to that is when the government of the day is not sensitive to what the people are passing through. Instead of doing the right thing, they do the wrong one.
“So, the Church cannot but give advice on what government should do to stop what brings about the agitation.
“Just look at the way they are handling security issues in this country. I continue to ask myself why government should send the military to pursue the IPOB and its ESN in Imo State when bandits in the Northern Nigeria kidnap school children and students of higher institutions at will. Sometimes they will be more than 100 and are herded into the forest for ransom. And the bandits do these things and go scot-free but every effort is channeled towards the pursuit of agitators, ” the Bishop said.
He ex-rayed the issue of open grazing which he said the Federal Government had begun to revisit.
In his analysis, the Federal Government had the option of setting up cattle ranches at the Sambisa forest and other forests in many Northern States including Niger, Yobe, Nasarawa, Kaduna, Zamfara, Kebbi, Jigawa and Katsina. He said those ranches if established could be irrigated from the Rivers Niger and Benue.
He said with due sense of responsibility that if government could initiate the policy and execute it religiously as he had enunciated, the problem of farmers and herders clash and other security challenges would be a thing of the past.
The Bishop declared that if the Federal Government could build oil pipelines from Nigeria to North Africa and a railway line from Nigeria to Niger Republic “why can’t it set up the ranches in those forests?”
He said that the Church would continue to speak out against “I don’t know whether to call it stupidity or foolishness of the government.” The Bishop added that it was the actions and inactions of the government that had continued to fuel agitation for self-determination.
Bishop Obi later told journalists that the synod would host about 600 delegates while 137 churches are expected to participate in the programme.