We’ll have no country if insecurity continues – Archbishop Adeleye
By Joseph Kingston, Calabar
The Anglican Bishop of the Diocese of Calabar and Archbishop of the Niger Delta Province, Bishop Tunde Adeleye, has warned that there may be no country again for Nigerians to call their own if the country’s political leaders do not bring to an end the brazen destructions of lives and property across the country.
The clergy, who said this during a chat with journalists, maintained that the country was passing through the worst form of insecurity never envisaged by its founding fathers and that the killings had reached an intolerable level and that it must be made to stop.
He said: “We expected so much from this government as all of us wanted change from what we had before but we didn’t know it could be worse from what we were seeing. This country has never been in this kind of standstill with sycophants, deceivers, liars, wicked and callous people all over the place dragging Nigeria to the precipice.
“Nowhere is safe again, insecurity is now in our houses, on the main road, everywhere. People are killed as they travel. Suddenly, a cow becomes more valuable than human beings. Somebody said that the country has failed but I don’t agree with the person. The truth is that with this level of insecurity, there is no country again.
“Is this a country? For a country to qualify as a country there should be security. The number one responsibility of the government is to provide security but here, it is not there; jobs are not there; treatment for sick people is not there; fair treatments for retirees is not there.
“The creators of Nigeria didn’t know the country would turn out to be like this. Somebody recently said that the Fulani herdsmen/farmers’ clashes, with the attendant bloodshed, was sufficient reason for another civil war, and I agree with him.
“The government is not only failing but it is going into extinction with the level of insecurity and corruption we face daily. Some sections of the country are suffering. They are being highly marginalised, they are being ignored, set apart and cheated and not remembered in appointments.
“I was aghast when somebody opened his mouth to tell Nigerians, who are mostly victims of insecurity and bad governance, that the killing by herdsmen is because some governors refused to donate land for cattle colonies or RUGA. Can you imagine that! So, somebody must die for not allowing you to use his land for your business!
“In some streets in Calabar, like the satellite town, you’ll see cows walking on the main road, passing feaces all over the tarmac, and these roads are paid for to be swept daily. Unfortunately, nobody is talking.
“People want to create a road from Niger to Nigeria whereas the road from Calabar to Akwa Ibom did not only collapse but does not exist anymore. And nobody bothers, nobody cares.”
On the way forward, Bishop Adeleye said “unless we usher in true federalism, real federalism, these problems will continue. The restructuring will ensure that one particular tribe does not dominate over others. It would ensure the protection of lives and property and shall ensure equity and fairness. This is our only anchor of survival and hope.”