By Gbenga Osinaike
The Bishop of Diocese of Ijebu North, Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion, The Rt. Rev Solomon Kuponu has decried the parlous security situation in Nigeria stressing that the government of President Mohammadu Buhari has failed woefully in that regard.
Kuponu made the declaration in his charge at the first session of the fifth synod of the diocese on Friday June 1, which held at St. John’s Anglican Church, Ijebu Igbo, Ogun State Nigeria.
Kuponu noted, “that lives are no longer safe in country. Apart from the menace caused by the herdsmen in Nigeria, the Ijebu Igbo community has not been spared the activities of cultists. We hear reports of how old women were being raped in this community. Lives are being lost every now and then. Properties are being stolen. We have to close whatever we are doing by 6 p.m and go home because of fear of the cultists. The government of Ogun State should do something quick on this” he said.
He then expressed great displeasure at the way security agencies across Nigeria have allowed herdsmen to decimate lives and make many parts of the country especially the middle belt unsafe.
While reeling out over 30 newspaper headlines on the callous killings carried out by the herdsmen in the recent time, Kuponu said, “Sometimes I wonder if cows voted for President Buhari because cows are being venerated in Nigeria today by the powers that be.”
While charging the security agencies to live up to their billing, he wondered what would have happened if the people in the middle belt were the ones who went up north to kill Fulani herdsmen.
The cleric who has been Bishop in the diocese since 2005 pleaded with lawmakers to come up with laws that would guide the activities of nomadic herdsmen and put in place a process that would make offenders face the full wrath of the law.
“Both the state and the federal government should find a lasting solution to the recurring killing of innocent, harmless Nigerians who find themselves defenseless before fellow armed citizens of whatever professional or religious disposition.”
Kuponu also lamented the activities of Boko haram and the continued detention of Leah Sharibu, the Christian girl who reportedly refused to denounce her faith in the camp of the Boko haram insurgents. He counselled that with the brazen activities of the mindless terrorist group, government should ensure that schools in isolated places in the north are well secured while those that cannot be secured be merged with existing schools in busy communities.
He recalled that US authorities fired two admirals and several captains after four ship collisions in the pacific ocean last year adding, “Buhari should for once be shaken. He should critically review the performance of his security chiefs and the officers whose lapses, misjudgments and incompetence led to parlous security lapses in the country.”
While describing the nation’s economy as being delicate, the Anglican Bishop commended some of the economic initiatives of the government especially in agriculture and the relatively stable exchange rate. He however pointed out that the gains in the agricultural sector is being wiped out by poor rural social infrastructure, which makes harvest to rot away on the farmlands, activities of herdsmen and smuggling.
He then called on state governments to concentrate on building rural roads and invest in storage facilities and other social amenities.
Kuponu explained that the theme of the synod, “the people who know their God will be strong and do exploit” was born out of the experience of the Jews in the hand of wicked rulers and the attendant courage displayed by Daniel who had predicted that the Jews would experience wicked rulers. ‘As Daniel anticipated this atrocity, he asked himself how these people would ever be able to survive. The answer was not long in coming: the people who know their God shall be strong and do exploits.”