Rotimi Olawale

Primate of The African Church, Julius Olayinka Osayande Abbe has lamented the alarming insecurity situation, current economic situation, among many other problems facing Nigeria as a nation.

In his speech delivered at a press conference to herald the commencement of the activities of the 120th Founders’ Day Anniversary of the church, at The African Church Model College, Ifako, Lagos, Primate Abbe said that the security situation in the country is in shambles.

According to him, insecurity in Nigeria has become a hydra-headed monster that security agents in Nigeria appear incapable of handling. The situation has become so worrisome to the point that people can no longer sleep with both eyes closed for fear of being attacked.

“The situation had assumed a disturbing dimension in the last month. The spate of violence, kidnapping, armed robbery, assassinations, raping, arson, lawlessness and corruption in the country is alarming.

“Between December 2020 and now, not less than 700 students have been abducted and over 600 schools closed in the North. Between February and now, no fewer than 12 police officers have lost their lives to deliberate attacks and at least eight police formations have been burnt in the South-East and South-South regions of the country.

“In March, attackers stormed a forestry college in Kaduna, seizing dozens of students despite the compound’s proximity to a military academy. After over a month in captivity, kidnappers released 10 of the college’s students for a ransom of N17 million. Last week Tuesday, armed kidnappers came on foot and struck Greenfield University in Kaduna; kidnapping quite several students. When ransomed was not paid on time, five of the innocent students were killed.”

Speaking further on insecurity in the country, the Clergyman explained that last Sunday, unknown gunmen attacked worshippers right in the church at Haske Baptist Church, Mannai in Tasha Village of Kaduna and shot eight people dead on the spot and abducted several worshippers.

“No region in Nigeria is safe now; even South West is gradually turning into something else. The rate at which robbery, kidnapping and murder, among other heinous crimes, are increasing daily in Oyo, Ondo, Ogun and Lagos is quite pathetic.

“You can no longer travel from Ijebu-Igbo to Ibadan again with peace of mind. It has reached a crescendo now that our lawmakers at the National Assembly are proposing a complete shutdown of the assembly and have made an urgent call on President Muhammadu Buhari to rise to the occasion and call for help from the international community rather than asking the whole Nation to ask God for help.

“The situation had never been this bad. This is the result of our being careless in fixing a problem when it is still manageable. Now the spark of fire has snowballed into an outbreak that requires much effort to extinguish”, he added.

Speaking further, the Primate noted, “Statements attributed to a serving minister recently clearly shows that we have people in government who are supporting terrorism in our land. Nigeria is sitting on a keg of gun powder under the present government. Let me at this juncture make a call to our President, General Muhammadu Buhari. My President, if you no longer know what to do, it is better to resign and give way to someone who has solutions to the myriads of the problem facing us, than allow innocent citizens to continue to experience unnecessary hardship, pain and untimely death”, he said. 

On the state of the country, he said, “Abduction of school children has now become terrible and is beyond our imaginations. Boko Haram has gained more territories than before. Kidnapping, insurgency, armed robbery, maiming and terrorism have taken a turn for the worse.

“If we are saying things were bad six years ago, they are worse now. For us to have a better understanding of how bad the situation is let me paint a picture of what I am alluding to by briefly addressing three out of the many problems facing us as a country”, he explained. 

The Clergyman who also lamented over Nigeria’s economy said, “Our economy, according to the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele is in a bad shape. We are being referred to as the giant of Africa and yet large chunks of our population live in abject poverty.

“The Nigerian state continues to be plagued by corruption and poor governance. According to The National Bureau of Statistics, the unemployment rate jumped from 27.1 per cent in the second quarter of 2020 to 33.3 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2020, the highest in the modern Nigerian economy.”

He pointed out that six years earlier, in 2014, during Jonathan’s government, that the country’s unemployment rate was 6.4 per cent. “Our GDP per capita has been declining every year, with GDP growth since 2015 less than population growth. Nigeria has the largest number of people living in poverty than any other country, over 100 million.”

Commenting on the Unity of Nigeria, Primate Abbey said, “the shouts of secession and self-determination are rife in almost all the regions of the country. The reason for this is not far-fetched; our President is perceived as being more loyal to his ethnic group than being a national figure.

“Under his watch, Fulani militia is on a mission of conquest all over Nigeria. They are infiltrating and trying to take over every region of this country, they enter any area with impunity killing and maiming innocent lives.

“The security forces that should offer protection to heartless criminals to the extent that they are being treated with seeming indifference, in the face of this kind of evil, you cannot expect a reasonable individual or group of persons to still believe in the unity of Nigeria! Seem to rather act as if they are in collusion with these hardened and

“This is the right time for the government to look into the agitations and grievances of groups clamouring for secession before things get out of hand.” 

In his contribution, Deputy Lay President of the Church, Prince, Debo Oduguwa, who is also the Chairman of the Planning Committee, of the 120th-anniversary celebration, said, “The church came into existence precisely on October 13, 1901, and has gone through many hurdles to get to where it is today and it is no longer news that the church broke out of the Anglican Church (CMS).

“From inception to date the church had produced 12 primates and 25 lay presidents, we have branches all over the country with seven provinces comprising 47 dioceses in every geopolitical zona of the country.

The Cleric said the anniversary would allow them to break forth and achieve all its set goals, which include aggressive evangelism to win more souls for Christ.

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