Anglican Church Wants FG to End Recruitment of ‘Repentant’ Insurgents into Security Agencies

Emmanuel Ugwu-Nwogo in Umuahia

The federal government has been called upon to put an end to the policy of recruiting “repentant” members of the dreaded Boko Haram terrorist group into Nigeria’s security agencies.
The Umuahia Diocese of the Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion made the call weekend at its first session of the 11th Synod held at All Saints Church World Bank Housing Estate, Umuahia.

Delivering his presidential address at the Synod, the Bishop of Umuahia Diocese, Geoffrey Ibeabuchi, denounced the recruitment of terrorists into Nigeria’s security agencies, saying that it was a disservice to the war on terrorism.
“The recruitment of ‘repentant Boko Haram members’ into the Nigeria military, police and other state forces is not acceptable at all,” he said.
Ibeabuchi warned that it would end up exacerbating terrorist activities “when you recruit enemies of the state and blood thirsty men and women, to protect the (same) state”.

While commending the federal government for its efforts in tackling insecurity across the nation, Ibeabuchi noted that Nigerians were yet to start experiencing real sense of security as kidnappings, banditry and other forms of criminalities still persist.
“We expect them(government and its agencies) to do more to ensure that lives and properties of Nigerians are adequately protected,” he said.
The Synod commended the ongoing efforts towards creation of state police but expressed fears that it might become an instrument for grassroots politics for the government in power and a medium to silence opposing voices and political opponents.

To make state police achieve the intended purpose, the Church requested that “if finally approved, adequate laws must be put in place to guide their operations and also ensure that they are not partisan in their operations”.
The Anglican Bishop lamented the reality of the present harsh economic situation in Nigeria and the apparent inability of those in power to find effective solution.

He said: “Our leaders seem to be interested only in themselves and in how to make more money that they will share at the detriment of the poor masses. So many families cannot afford meals to eat, let alone paying their children’s school fees.
“Today, there is scarcity of money, scarcity of food and scarcity of intellectuals (as) our best brains have left the country, especially health workers, economists, lecturers, businessmen and businesses”.

Ibeabuchi advised the Bola Tinubu administration to avoid knee-jerk policy implementation, citing the removal of fuel subsidy without first considering the resultant effects on the masses.

He also knocked the current hike in electricity tariff, describing it as “a very sad” development, adding that it was abnormal to be increasing price without first increasing electricity output.

According to the cleric, the hike in electricity tariffs was akin to “marketing a product that we have not produced” because for so may years now we have not generated up to 6,000 megawatts of electricity as a country”.

“At the last African Nation’s Cup we were mocked as ‘a generator nation’ and felt offended and insulted,” he said, adding that nothing had been done differently in addressing the problem.

The Bishop noted that what government had done or seen to be doing was to punish the masses the more by increasing their burden with electricity tariff hike.
On the travails of the Biafra self determination activist, Nnamdi Kanu, the Anglican Bishop of Umuahia urged  Tinubu to free him and not to allow him die in prison.

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