From Fred Ezeh and Vikky Uba, Abuja
President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev Samson Olasupo, and Spiritual Leader of Muslims in Nigeria and Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, have stated that a breakup is not the solution to the ongoing security challenges in the country.
They made the appeal yesterday, in Abuja, during the second quarter 2021 meeting of the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC).
In his address, Olasupo who is the co-chairman of NIREC, admitted that insecurity posses the greatest challenge facing the country, but said the solution is not to divide the nation and, therefore urged agitators for secession to see Nigeria as one nation.
He said: “Many things are not right with the nation today. The greatest challenge today is insecurity. To travel some distance today calls for serious prayers and traveling with, perhaps, heavy security personnel because of kidnapping for ransom, ritual killing, armed robbery, insurgents attacks, banditry and other forms of violent attacks.
“Breaking the nation into fragments will not be the answer, rather proactiveness of those in power to guide agitators for secession to the right step; to treat the nation as one one. To do otherwise is to gamble dangerously.”
“Similarly, setting up of the body of security experts that will investigate the sources of ammunition that are in the hands of criminals spread all over the nation, in order to block such avenues, has not been seen to be done by the government.
“It makes this a cause of concern about the sincerity of the government in nipping these evils in the bud. We want to see the criminals prosecuted. Otherwise, the government will be seen as aiding and abetting criminality.
“This is the time for us to unite and speak in unison against all these evils before being wiped away by the criminals. The daily bloodshed is worrisome and must stop,” he said.
Olasupo also buttressed the need for government to tackle the issue of mass unemployment, which is one of the major reasons criminality thrives in the country.
“The time is now for those in authority to address the problem of mass unemployment in our nation. It’s the breeding ground for criminality, and equally gives the bandits and terrorists opportunity to recruit the youths into criminality with ease,” he noted.
In his remarks, Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, who is also co-chairman of NIREC, emphasised that dialogue is the most effective and peaceful way for the country to reach a resolution to its problems.
“Let’s continue to work together and dialogue. I’m a total believer in dialogue and nothing will change my mind, because my religion teaches me to always dialogue. If we can solve our problems without going to war, then why do we need to take up arms to solve the problem,” he said.