Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Bishop, the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Ibadan South Diocese, Oyo State, Right Rev’d Akintunde Popoola, has warned that violent religious and ethnic restructuring of the country is looming if the Federal government does not effect a true and sincere restructuring of the nation now.
The priest gave the warning when he addressed a press conference to flag off a two-week 20th anniversary of the diocese titled: “Pressing towards the mark” at the bishop’s office boardroom, Kudeti, Ibadan on Monday.
Popoola also cautioned advisers of President Muhammadu Buhari to desist from offering him crisis-promoting policies, noting that the country is unconsciously being governed by issues of circumstances, instead of the leaders leading by carefully deliberating on issues that would shape the development of the country.
He appealed to the government and the people to contribute their quota to the growth of the country, saying: “The newly-elected and appointed leaders and especially our legislators, should give sincere thought to a planned, true restructuring of our country before a revolution or religious/tribal conflicts restructure us violently.”
Popoola stated further that “the issue of security in this country is complex and all the security chiefs must show more concern about the sporadic growth of insecurity in the nation. Worthy of note and attention is the destruction of crops and property, killing and kidnapping across the country, usually attributed to Fulani herdsmen, which really threaten the peace and unity in this country.
“It is an unacceptable thing that the government is trying to find grazing grounds for cattle, which they now call RUGA, at the expense of the livelihood of thousands of people. Grazing routes cannot also be the answer as our population grows and family lands continue to be balkanised. The president should be objectively advised to de-emphasised crisis-promoting policies.”
Popoola advised the government on the practical solution that would safeguard the future of the country and exit the country from socio-economic challenges.
His words: “It is a recognisable fact that there are some barriers confronting the economy of our nation, some of which are unemployment, infrastructural challenges, devaluation, inadequate security, power failure and corruption amongst others.
“The current issue facing the economy of this nation is unemployment. Statistics show that a lot of blue and white collar jobs have been lost in the last five years. The rate of graduate unemployment has pushed many into postgraduate studies only to finish and still be struggling for jobs, even where the entry qualification is clearly stated as Ordinary National Diploma (OND).
“We encourage the government to understand that gainful youth employment must be a fundamental policy in order to curb incessant violence in the country. The government should also stand up to the task of reviving the economy of this nation and come up with plans to restructure this country.
“Nigeria is in bad shape today because many who do not believe that God is omnipotent and omnipresent continue in wickedness. If we all discard self-ascribed glory, power intoxication, self-aggrandisement, pride and self-centredness, our society and country would be a better place.”