Tackle insecurity now or risk destabilisation, Archbishop Martins tells Buhari

Philip Nwosu and Doris Obinna

The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Alfred Adewale Martins, said yesterday that unless the Federal Government addressed the problem of insecurity that plagued the country during the first term of the administration, Nigeria might explode into anarchy.

Martins, who addressed journalists on the occasion of the 2019 World Communication Day, said insecurity is a major problem that the government must address, adding that the killing and kidnap of innocent citizens were becoming so bad.

He said: “I believe that it’s on the lips of everyone in this country that insecurity and the tackling of insecurity is a major issue that the government needs to address because the killings are getting too many, the kidnappings, which nobody is held accountable, is becoming rampant and, indeed, it’s becoming so bad that people are beginning to think of how to defend themselves. And if government does not address the problems of insecurity, it could lead to the destabilisation of the country.

“By the time different people begin to seek ways of protecting themselves and taking the protection of their lives into their own hands, it could lead to anarchy, which will not be good for the country. So, whatever the government is doing before in terms of insecurity is definitely not enough. If it means changing of personnel and rejigging the security apparatus, then it needs to be done because that is what determines the corporate existence of our nation at this point in time.”

Martins chided the government on the support being provided for the establishment of Herdsmen Radio and the trip to Saudi Arabia by President Muhammadu Buhari to attend the meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), saying that all these points to the fact that there is grand plan by the present government to Islamize Nigeria.

“I was taken aback when I heard that the government has a plan to establish a radio station specifically for Fulani herdsmen. I am sure that they will have some rationale for proposing to establish such a station, but whatever the rationale is, I think it should be put side by side with the situation of our country because there are already fears of what former President Olusegun Obasanjo called the Fulanisation of the country.

“It will be rather insensitive when you put it side by side with the whole thought of establishing a Fulani radio station. In any case, the timing of bringing that project to notice gives a wrong impression to people and this is almost happening when the new government is about to be sworn in, and almost immediately after he was on his way to Saudi Arabia for OIC meeting. These two things put together is going to bring about suspicion; it’s going to bring about fear of Islamisation.”

He lamented that Nigeria was deceived to be a member of the OIC, calling on the government to quit the organisation, especially on the ground that the country is not an Islamic state, but a secular state. He said former President Ibrahim Babangida, as military president, “dragged Nigeria into the OIC and made Nigerians believe that we were there on observer status. With the present development, it is clear that Nigeria is now a full-fledged member of the OIC.”

Martins said only true federalism would save Nigeria, urging the government, especially President Buhari to think towards instituting true federalism in Nigeria.