•Say Nigeria descending into Hobbesian state of nature
Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
As the nation marks Democracy Day today, the Northern States Pentecostal Bishops’ Forum of Nigeria (TNSPBFN) has bemoaned the absence of the practise of democracy in the country.
This is even as the forum warned that mindless attacks on places of worship and killing of defenceless Christians in Nigeria were unacceptable and must stop immediately.
The bishops added that there would be dire electoral consequences for the disturbing silence and inaction of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The bishops expressed regret that the Nigerian political leadership, since the advent of the Fourth Republic in 1999, has failed to rise up to the occasion in salvaging the battered pride of the nation.
The northern bishops further said at no time was the situation most evident than in the current dispensation.
Briefing journalists in Abuja, TNSPBFN chairman and founder, Dominion Chapel International Churches, Archbishop John Praise Daniel, said nepotism, abuse of power and flagrant disregard for the rule of law have been elevated to a higher pedestal, adding that the nation is gradually descending into the Hobbesian state of nature where might is right.
The northern bishops said: “Having regard to the disturbing occurrences assailing our nation in recent times, it has become compelling to have a rethink as a people, with a view to charting a new path towards national renaissance and taking our pride of place in the comity of responsible nations, in a new world order anchored on equity, fairness, justice and respect for human dignity.
“Indeed, our gradual descent into Hobbesian state of nature, where might is right and violation of human rights becomes the norm rather than the exception, thereby rendering life ‘nasty, brutish and short,’ elicits great concerns and calls for urgent remedial actions.”
The bishops’ forum further said it considered it a patriotic duty to be in the vanguard of crusading for national rebirth with genuine fear of God and promotion of equity and justice in the country.
The bishops said it was time to make democracy in the country truly ‘a government of the people, by the people, and for the people,’ with deliberate efforts towards creating a healthy space for the actualisation of legitimate aspirations.
The northern bishops’ forum added: “In this regard, we wish to humbly put forward a few suggestions to reverse the chaotic order that has prevailed in Nigeria’s socio-economic and political spheres in recent years.
“First, the spate of deadly attacks by armed herdsmen in various communities nationwide, particularly the North Central geopolitical zone, resulting in massive loss of lives and properties, need to be decisively dealt with by government in line with its constitutional responsibility, which must not be abdicated.
“Mindless attacks on places of worship and killing of defenceless Christians in Nigeria are unacceptable and must stop forthwith, as there will be dire electoral consequences for the disturbing silence and inaction by this administration.
“Indeed, the ugly development portends grave danger for our national unity, food production capabilities and overall development,” the bishops said.
They called on the Federal Government to be more aggressive in efforts deployed for the rescue of Leah Sharibu, the lone Dapchi girl still in the custody of her abductors, Boko Haram, as well as the release of the Chibok girls.