New Telegraph

Insecurity: Buhari must accept responsibility –Onaiyekan

…urges Nigerians to deliver themselves from self-inflicted punishment

His Eminence, Cardinal John Onaiyekan, has said President Muhammadu Buhari must take responsibility for the worsening insecurity in the country. This came as he advised Nigerians in the New Year, to deliver themselves from what he described as “self inflicted punishment” of bad governance, and pray God to deliver the country and the world from the COVID-19 pandemic. Worried over the dimension the wanton killings and kidnappings have assumed, he lamented that if nothing was done to address the crisis, Nigerians may no longer be able to move freely without fear.

He said: “Once we consider the level of insecurity in the land, I cannot go and blame my grandmother in the village. I have to blame the people who have taken it upon themselves to rule us. “They asked to rule us, they campaigned that we should vote for them and they claimed that a majority of Nigerians voted for them so they are responsible, there is no excuse, they cannot put the blame on anybody else.

“They have to accept responsibility for the reality of insecurity in the land and when I say they, I mean the government and the leader of the government, President Muhammadu Buhari, so the buck stops at his table.

There is no point dancing around it, that is the reality. Onaiyekan, who is the Arch Bishop Emeritus, Abuja Catholic Diocese, said the nation was in critical need of sound minds who would develop workable ideas and strategies that would save the country from the claws of insurgency and criminality.

He said: “Like everybody has been saying and experiencing the nation has been very insecure not only on the point of view of insurgency in the North-East, but also there is the rampant criminality, kidnapping and banditry and we don’t know what to call what is happening in the North West whether it is part of insurgency or criminality but what ever it is, it does means that lives and properties are being destroyed.

“Everybody has been saying it people have been suffering it, people have been kidnapped and people have been killed and our government seems to think that they have done the best they can but even at the best they can, this best is not good enough.

“We are hoping that somehow some where somebody will start thinking differently, will find a different approach to solving this problem. “We must be sincere in our efforts and put in people in the right places to get the job done.

Basically, it means do we have a government that cares for the safety of the citizens, if we do then we want to see the results. Onaiyekan, however, said contrary to popular belief, the solution to the worsening insecurity in the country had gone beyond just sacking of the service chiefs.

He said: “The situation we are in now is not a situation that can be solved simply by sacking some service chiefs although they are long overdue for change. “What is required now is a total review of the way the security of the nation is handled which will also include I am sure, not even the changing of the service chiefs, but all other chiefs that are in charge of the different segments of our security in the nation.

“The way things are going, Nigerians will no longer be able to move out to anywhere without being afraid of being kidnapped or killed. It is not correct, it should not be happening in our modern world.”

He advised Nigerians to see 2021 as an opportunity to review their ways of doing things so that the country could be better for everyone. He added: “In the New Year the expectation of every Nigerian is that we will deliver ourselves from the self inflicted punishment that we have been getting through bad governance in the past years, we also pray that God will deliver us from the natural disaster of COVID-19 and so on.

“For COVID-19 to be successfully overcome, we must do better in organising our affairs well, taking care of one another especially of those who are in need but a situation where a few people who are in power are getting all that they want and caring less about the poor will not lead a country to greatness, it will only continue to drag us down.” On the criticisms by certain clerics trailing the Christmas Homily by Bishop Matthew Kukah on the nation’s woes, he lamented that Nigeria had become a country where anybody could become a cleric adding that it no longer matters what anybody says.

He said: “Bishop Kukah has delivered his Homily. When we speak on the pulpit we speak in the name of God and who ever doesn’t want to hear it, too bad but those who are wise will listen to it and take the lessons.”

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