CATHOLIC Bishops in Ecclesiastical Provinces of Onitsha and Owerri have called for new ways in the fight against insecurity in Nigeria, particularly the South East Geopolitical Zone.
The prelates gave the recommendation in a communiqué issued by Archbishops Anthony Obinna of Owerri and Valerian Okeke of Onitsha, online after an extraordinary in Onitsha, on Tuesday.
Raising concerns over recent spate of insecurity in Igbo land in particular and Nigeria in general, the bishops also frowned at politicisation of the issue for selfish gains.
According to them, these attacks by unknown gun men and bandits as well as kidnappers not only raises Nigeria’s barometer but also places the country’s survival and stability in great danger.
“The state of Nigeria in different parts of our country with so much violence, insecurity and anxiety is a source of major concern to us bishops. We are speaking to you, our people at various levels of government and across the nation, to see that this nation is in great danger unless we bring a new spirit, a new approach.
The injustice, the insecurity that is very noticeable at various levels of government and high handedness with which government and security personnel approach various segments of this nation has led to public outcry, public dismay and disappointment.
There are reactions from the people because they would like the government to respond,” the bishops said in the five-minute video.
Describing government’s application of justice on the situation as “lopsided and worrisome,” they advised governments to borrow new leaf by exploring other ways of tackling insecurity.
“The government has found it necessary to disarm those who are struggling for self-defense while leaving those herdsmen, bandits and others who are killing many and destroying people instead of addressing the source of the problems, addressing the cries of the people.
As a way forward, we bishops call on the government of all West African nations to apply fairness when dealing with people. We also call on President Muhammad Buhari to look into security matters and restrain those who are using weapons of various sorts to intimidate the people and to create this unrest. We expect a stoppage of the carnage that is taking place in farmlands and in various locations,” they continued.