Posted by Pamela Eboh, Awka | 15 May 2018 | 2,094 times
The Anglican Bishop of Awka Diocese, Rt. Rev. Alexander Ibezim, on Monday, said that the federal government was handling the issue of the Fulani Herdsmen with kid gloves, saying their activities were seriously threatening the very existence of the country.
Speaking at the second session of the eleventh synod of the Diocese which took place at St. Peter’s Church on Wednesday in Amawbia, Ibezim regretted that instead of the government fighting corruption, it is rather harbouring the actors.
He said: “It does seem the fight against corruption for which this administration was voted into power has slowed down, if not jettisoned.
“People had expected prompt prosecution and incarceration of offenders, to deter others, but what we witnessed was a situation where some key officials of this administration were involved in unwholesome acts, capable of tarnishing the image of government.
“The latter did not respond effectively or looked the other way, thereby eroding the confidence of the people in the fight against corruption.
“A government that is serious in fighting corruption should not engage in lopsided appointments, reducing some sections of the country to second class citizens or entrenching ethnic chauvinism in its policies.”
On the activities of the Fulani Herdsmen, the cleric expressed worry that Nigeria is yet to come out from the Boko Haram insurgency and its numerous atrocities, to host to another terrorist group as yet unrecognised.
He said, "Fulani herdsmen, nomadic cattle grazers, have been named one of the deadliest terror groups in the world comparable to Boko Haram, ISIS, the Taliban and al-Shabaab."
According to him, the group has wreaked enough havoc to be acknowledged by the global community as the fourth deadliest terror group in the world.
He said the Fulani herdsmen brutally kill natives including women and children in communities they invaded in different parts of the state in Nigeria.
His words: “They are armed with sophisticated weapons and usually attack their target communities at a time they are most vulnerable such as at midnight or on Sundays when they are in church, killing people indiscriminately and burning houses and looting properties.
“Most worrisome is the brutality and impunity with which the assailants operate without regard for the law and the sanctity of life. The Nigerian Police and even the military seem powerless to defend the victims from being mercilessly slaughtered in their homes.
“It is unfortunate that this level of criminal impunity is happening in a sovereign nation with a constitution which declares that the security and welfare of the citizens shall be a major responsibility of the state.
“Perhaps we need to ask why the police and the military are incapable of protecting the farmers from violent attacks by Fulani herdsmen. Is it true that the Fulani militia is better armed and sometimes outnumbers the police?
“Why is it difficult for the federal government to contain the terror of the Fulani militia? Who are those arming the Fulani herdsmen to unleash mayhem on innocent and defenceless Nigerians?
“Nigerians are tired of speeches and condolence messages to victims. Lost lives are not retrievable. If this country will continue to remain one, then those who perpetrate crime must be dealt with accordingly without minding whose ox is gored.
“In the face of all this, it is unfortunate that with the first four years of the present Buhari administration winding down, there is still hardship in the land. The economy has not picked up despite the claim that the country is out of recession.”
While saying that prices of commodities and service are still not within the reach of the average Nigerian, petroleum products are also still without price control
“Workers and pensioners are still owed several months by some States, making a mockery of all the bailout funds and Paris club refunds.
“Nigerian citizens should be made to feel and enjoy the impact of the billions of money in both local and foreign currencies recovered from corrupt officials.”
The Anglican Bishop while regretting the hardship in the country said Nigeria possesses a stark dichotomy of wealth and poverty.
He maintained that the disparity between the growth of the GDP and the increasing poverty was indicative of a skewed distribution of the country’s wealth.
Ibezim noted that that the ruling party, All Progressives Congress (APC) government has failed to fight corruption to a standstill.
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