Noah Ebije, Kaduna
The Catholic Bishop of Kaduna Archdiocese, Most Reverend Mathew Man’oso Ndagoso has expressed deep concerns over the spate of insecurity across the country, saying that the nation is at cross roads, and President Muhammadu Buhari must wake up to his responsibility of providing security for the citizenry.
This was even as lay people in the catholic council of Nigeria called for the restructuring of the country for efficient management of security matter, if the present structure of the nation has proved too difficult for agencies to handle.
Bishop Ndagoso fielded questions from newsmen shortly before the commencement of 142 National Executive Council (NEC) meeting by Catholic Laity Council of Nigeria (CLCN) on Saturday in Kaduna.
The theme of the occasion was titled, “Unifying Nigeria’s Divergent Diversity for National Cohesion and Greatness”.
While addressing the council, the national president of CLCN, Thomas Adekoya lamented that insecurity has bastardised the image of Nigeria before the local and international communities.
Adekoya therefore called on government, “as a matter of urgency, initiate moves for the restructuring of the country and saddle the federating units, which we suggest should be the six geopolitical zones, to secure themselves”.
However, Bishop Ndagoso advised that since the general election was over, President Buhari must ensure proper national integration of the country.
The Clergyman noted that Nigerians have been so divided following the election of President Buhari during the last election.
According to him, “Anybody who cares for this country must be concerned about what is happening today regarding the insecurity.
“What is happening in the north east which has crept into the north west, south east and south west is becoming alarming
“I have made this call before and I will still make it that the responsibility of any government either through the ballot or barrels of the gun or through whatever means is to safeguard the life and property of the citizenry.
” I keep saying if you build roads, build hospitals and other infrastructures, if there is no peace, all these things are useless.
“Any responsible government must endure that there is peace in the country.
“Now that elections were over, the President must ensure integration of Nigerians”.
Earlier in his homily at Our Lady of Apostles Catholic Church, preceding the event, Bishop Ndagoso also stressed the need for the country to harness its diversity like the Catholic Church where they are unified regardless of their diversity.
Laity Council President said, “If the managers of the nation’s security have reached a cud de sac or simply put, have reached their wits end in terms of securing our lives and property, then it means the present structure has become unmanageable. The federal government should therefore, as a matter of urgency, initiate moves for the restructuring of the country and saddle the federating units, which we suggest should be the six geopolitical zones, to secure themselves.
“It is saddening that our country, Nigeria, has continued to be in the eyes of local and international communities for the wrong reasons. For the past three months, or since we gave the last state of the nation address, no single day has passed without news of one gruesome killing or the other; one case of kidnapping or the other, raping of minors by matured men, including those who descend as low as raping their own innocent daughters.
“From the foregoing it is clear that insecurity has continued to dominate our national discuss. However, our greatest worry is why the Catholic Church should be at the receiving end of some of the most bizarre of these killings. Late August, 2019, Rev. Fr. David Tanko was on his way to Takum in Taraba State to attend a meeting that would seek ways to end the renewed age-long Tiv/Jukun crises when he was killed by gunmen. What made Fr. Tanko’s murder more gruesome was the fact that his assailants not only killed him, they set his body ablaze in his car. Earlier that same month, Rev. Fr. Paul Offu of Enugu Diocese was also murdered. And if you recall, Rev. Fr. Clement Ugwu was kidnapped and later killed about five months before Fr. Offu, also in Enugu. Combining the killings of these anointed men of God with others happening daily in our country reminds us of Thomas Hobbes’ ‘Life in the state of nature’ in which human existence is described as “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.”
“Perhaps nothing demonstrates the fact that our government has lost grip of the security situation in the country than what happened in Kano State recently when the State governor, with the whole gamut of his security apparatus, went into a forest to negotiate with kidnappers and other forms of criminals terrorizing the state. While we can condone the federal government negotiating with Boko Haram for the release of Chibok girls and other similar hostages the Kano example only shows how deep the nation has sunk in terms of securing its citizens.
“If we hold dear that the protection of lives and property; and the welfare of citizens is the greatest responsibility of any government towards its citizens then our present day government has fallen far short of the expectation of Nigerians, no matter any other achievements it may credit itself with. One dare asks at this point: For how long shall Nigerians continue in this Hobbesian state of nature?
“Nigerians are tired of losing their dear ones to these killings; Catholics are tired of mourning and burying their priests who are daily murdered for no just cause. If the Church must produce more martyrs let it not be at the hands these killers. We therefore renew our call on the governments at the federal and state levels to wake up to their responsibility of protecting the lives and property of citizens”