- The Primate says armed self-defence would lead to anarchy in Nigeria
Obinna Odogwu, Abakaliki
The Archbishop Metropolitan and Primate of all Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Most Reverend Nicholas Okoh on Sunday called on the government at all levels and the various security agencies to sit up on their responsibilities and ensure adequate security of lives and property of Nigerians.
The clergyman said that the responsibility of security lies squarely on the shoulders of the government as that was, according to him, part of the social contract it entered into with the people.
Apparently referring to the call by some prominent Nigerians for the people to defend themselves, the Prelate said that a situation where everybody would have to carry arms to defend themselves would spell doom for the country.
The Primate made the call at the Cathedral of All Saints, Abakaliki, in an interview with newsmen shortly after commissioning about 135 metres of road that leads to the Cathedral, which was constructed by the Ebonyi State Government.
The Archbishop was on a twpo-day visit to the state to dedicate a series of projects executed by the Abakaliki Diocese, led by its bishop Rt. Rev. Chukwuma Nkwoagu. The projects include a multimillion naira Cathedral Church, Diocesan Office Complex, Bethel Mission Hospital, and a brand new church (St. John’s Church) built for the people of Imeabor Okaria community by philanthropist Dr Charles Okpalanzekwe.
The Primate’s call came on the heels of the increasing wanton killings of Nigerians by supposed Fulani herdsmen and other militants. This year alone, more than 200 persons have reportedly been killed in various parts of the country, particularly in Benue, Nasarawa and Plateau States.
According to the Reverend, “Politics is an agreement between two groups – the people and those who are looking for power. When the politicians came, they asked for power and the people agreed to give them. And the contract is that they will protect the people.”
“So, that agreement must be kept. Whether at the federal, state or local government level, it is a contract and that contract must be kept by each party. The contract is that government must provide security, wellbeing and enabling environment for progress.
“Then the people themselves must obey, honour, and follow. That is the contract. So, the security of the people is squarely that of the government because if you contemplate a situation where everybody will carry weapon, then the country will come to an end.
“This is because nobody will travel; the police cannot even be on the road, because they will attack the police and the soldiers. We don’t want our country to degenerate into a kind of militia country where everybody organizes his own army. It is not right,” said the Primate.
On his part, State Governor David Umahi commended Archbishop Okoh and all Anglican clergymen for their key role in promoting peace in the country.
While commending his Senior Special Assistant on Infrastructure Maintenance, Chief Ali Odefa, for a job well done, he disclosed that he embarked on the construction of the Cathedral Road and asphalting of its compound as part of his avowal to work in God’s house.