Reporter :CHUKWUBUIKE MADU
The Anglican Archbishop of Enugu Ecclesiastical Province, the Most Reverend Emmanuel Chukwuma wants the Federal Government and Security Agencies to rise up to the growing insecurity in the country to forestall a total breakdown of law and order.
Archbishop Chukwuma, who made the call in Enugu in commemoration of his thirty-one years anniversary as a Bishop, decried the deterioration of security especially in the South-east, including recurring attacks on security formations and personnel.
While blaming security agents for their high handedness and abuse of power, especially on innocent citizens, Archbishop Chukwuma appealed to unknown gunmen carrying out the attacks to sheath their swords.
“We as a church condemn these continuous killings of innocent people and destruction of security posts. And we are not happy that police and the soldiers are being attacked because these people are to maintain peace. Whatever that may be the mistakes of these policemen and soldiers; let’s give them a chance at least to defend the integrity of our land.
“But again, the police and those in charge of security have disappointed Nigerians by not being serious with sincere security. There have been selective negligence in security, which caused the endSARS protest because innocent people are being molested unnecessarily and not only that, the checkpoints have been turned to a place where people are being extorted and being dealt with for doing nothing,” the Anglican high priest pointed out.
The man of God urged the Federal Government and the security forces to unmask those behind the ongoing killings in the south east, which he described as scary and sophisticated, insisting that Igbos were not known for wanton killing and destruction of public infrastructure.
He expressed belief that the perpetrators of the crime might be strangers that had infiltrated the south east and must be fished out for peace to reign.
Archbishop Chukwuma also appealed Federal Government to de-proscribe the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, to help douse tension in the zone, just as he urged the Leader of the group, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu to remain calm.
“We have now begun to talk to IPOB that they should please sheath their sword. We are working hard as a church and even Ohaneze Ndigbo to have a time of dialogue with these our brothers and to know that they cannot do anything about this agitation alone.
“Nnamdi Kanu is being advised to make sure that he calms down and cooperate with the peaceful move that is being made and we don’t want war anymore,” the Archbishop said.
The Most Reverend Chukwuma advised government to do all it could to create job opportunities for the teaming unemployed youths, to curb the current security challenges.
He warned that the situation, if not well checked, might lead to anarchy and revolution.
“This country is sitting on gunpowder; the earlier we put things right, the better. Our youths are very much idle and that’s why the devil seems to be using them because an idle mind is devil’s workshop. Hunger is so much in the land, many of the industries are closing down.
“Now time for planting is near. If time is not taken to make sure that we stop these killings, to go to farm becomes a risky thing and then there will be scarcity of food,” he cried out.
The Archbishop called on Igbo Leaders of thought at home and in the diaspora to support the present leadership of Ohaneze Ndigbo in ensuring that the regional security outfit “Ebubeagu” was well established and made functional to protect the people of the South East.
“We must also appeal to our Igbo leaders, irrespective of political party differences to work together and cooperate with Ohaneze Ndigbo so that we can together defend our land.
“The security outfit called Ebubeagu, which has been adopted by the five south east state governors, is nothing but to defend the security of the south east people; it’s not to antagonize anybody and that should be made clear,” Archbishop Chukwuma emphasized.
Archbishop Chukwuma used the opportunity to advise fellow church leaders to do more in evangelism and sympathising with the less privileged members of their congregation instead of exploiting them as been the case with some pastors and priests.