Archbishop John Onaiyekan, former Catholic Archbishop of Abuja Diocese, has asked the current administration to vacate power if it can no longer protect lives and property.
Speaking with journalists in Minna, Niger State capital, after the ordination of the Auxiliary Bishop of Minna Diocese, the Cleric lamented the high rate of crime in the country.
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Onaiyekan, who rejected the idea of negotiating with bandits, asked those in government to “stop pretending” that they are in charge, saying non-state actors are making attempts to take over the country.
“The fact remains that we are not where we should be. We should not be living in a country where we are always with our hearts in our mouth when we are moving from one place to another. We should not be living in a country where the children cannot study in schools and where bandits can come and cart away students and their teachers into the bush and sit there and boast for dialogue.
“And government agencies are talking about reaching out to them. It is not the right thing to do. It is about time we had a government that takes care of its people. Sadly, we have people who claim to be our leaders, who during elections forced us, begged us and cajoled us to put them in power. Now you are in power, do your work for goodness sake.
“This has nothing to do with APC or PDP. It is not political and we have also seen that it has nothing to do with Islam or Christianity, not even with our ethical differences. We have a gang of criminals that are almost taking over our country and the government should either do it or allow others to do it.
“If the government cannot secure the lives of the people, they should call for a kind of national cohesion. They should stop pretending that they are the ones ruling. In some countries when these incidents happen, it gets to a stage where the government will call for national unity where everyone comes on board to proffer solutions.
“If the government continues this way, it will get to a stage where non-state actors will take over,” he said.
The Archbishop, however, reiterated that the government has no excuse for what is currently happening in the country.
“There is no excuse whatsoever for not doing the work they promised to do. No excuse that people are coming from outside the country and find it easy to come in with guns and ammunition,” he noted.
Plan to destroy the country
Onaiyekan further stated that if there are plans from any quarters to destroy the country, it would not work.
“If people are planning to destroy this country so that they can take over, it cannot work. It is not possible. If the government does not act, it won’t be long before there is a reaction from Nigerians and we pray that it will be peaceful.”