- Insists dialogue better than military in solving Niger Delta, others militancy problems
Okon Bassey in Uyo
The Prelate Emeritus of the Methodist Church Nigeria, Dr. Sunday Mbang, has identified lack of continuity in ideas and execution of government projects and programmes by successive administrations as part of the problems facing the country.
In an interview with journalists at his country home in Eket Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State at the weekend, Mbang also advised President Muhammadu Buhari not to completely ignore the resolutions of the National Conference in solving numerous problems of the nation.
Mbang who clocked 80 years on September 10, 2016, warned the current government against trying to run down its predecessor for the sake of change and advocated the use of dialogue in settling issues with some of the militant groups across the country.
“Part of the problems in the country is that everybody comes and wants to do his own thing. There is little of continuity. A government comes and run down the former one and if you look at the change from the former, you don’t see so much change. But they run down the former one.
“This is worst especially when another party comes to power. If there is that continuity in what the past government did we would not have this kind of problems we are experiencing now,” he stressed.
Mbang who opened up after years of being silent on national issues, recalled how one Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor told the government that “you have been talking too much about the past government, do your own and leave the past government alone.
“I hope they will now do their own. I think they have finished one year, they should have finished about talking about former President Goodluck Jonathan.”
On the recession facing the nation, the former President of World Methodist Council Nigeria observed that the country has enough brains to tacking the economy problems of the nation but regretted that those brains are being ignored.
To put the country in progressive length, the octogenarian called on the federal government not to consider political party affiliation in appointing competent people into specialised fields or sectors of the economic.
“Don’t look at anybody as your enemy, take everybody along without considering party affiliation. Nigeria has enough brains to manage the economy, use those brains. Put all the economists, experts together they will and other find the solution to the Nigeria problems.
“Believe me, I don’t know of any African country that has the kind of brains we have; but we are not using them because most of them don’t want to be politician. Use them and this country will be okay.
“As a spiritual leader, that is my advice that Nigerians have the brains that can solve the country’s problems. Let them forget about party and invite all the people. Look round for all the best brains who may not be party people but bring them together to solve the Nigeria problems.”
On Niger Delta issue, he said he was really disappointed with the use of military as a way of quelling the grievances in the region.
“The truth is that you cannot use both military and dialogue to resolve the crisis in the Niger Delta. I would have preferred dialogue. When you are talking about dialogue then you use military, you defeat the purpose of dialogue.
“I must be sincere; the trouble in Niger Delta is not today’s trouble. It is a problem that has gone on for very long time and I am sure people know the solution but they decide to be dancing around what they know,” Mbang said.
He insisted that the grievances of Boko Haram is not the same thing with that of the Niger Delta militants and the Biafra, saying while the Niger Delta militants and Biafra have reasons for their actions, the reasons for Boko Haram are not known to Nigerians.