Anglican Bishop Tasks Politicians, Govts On Security of Lives

Most Rev. Israel Afolabi Amoo

The Most Rev. Israel Afolabi Amoo has called on the political leaders to remember that the primary duty of every responsible government is to ensure security of lives and property.

The Bishop of the Church of Nigeria
(Anglican Communion) Diocese of New Bussa made the call at the ongoing 5th Synod of the Church held at St John Church, New Bussa, Kwara State Province.

The bishop in his charge pointed out that our security forces must equally review their strategies and seek help from advance nations to complement their efforts.

The cleric stressed the need for the government at all levels to finance and give adequate priority to security of lives and property

According to him, if the situation in Nigeria were to be half of what it is today, violence, intolerance and fearful in 1914, the various nationalities that constituted Nigeria would have not have come together as done by Lord Lugard and his wife.

“Efforts in the past to have a credible national census were bedeviled by warped nations of what the census is all about. Thus fake and unrealistic figures were released.

“Our duty as a Diocese is to appeal to all ethnic groups, regions and religions to assist Nigeria to break the jinx of failed census exercise. We should not allow the competition between religions and tribes to deny us of social progress.

“Before the advent of the civilian regimes of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, this country has been fighting the monster called corruption. Every administration with a promise to fight this monster.

“While one will give kudos to Chief Olusegun Obasanjo who set up the institution that can be reported to such as EFCC, ICPC, code of conduct Burean and code of conduct Tribunal.

“The regimes after him had so much at hand that sometimes we wonder whether they are truly fighting corruption or is the corruption that is fighting them.

“Many Nigerians had given up hope that something would ever be done again as corruption is generally assumed to be of national proportion, connecting all power blocks at the national, state, local and Traditional levels.

“The Government of Major General Muhammed Buhari needs to vindicate the sit down – wait. Cynics if truly he is doing anything to fight corruption because situation on the ground does not show that the government is fighting but rather encouraging corruption.

“Many of the government projects and programmes are nothing but corruption. Such projects and programmes as feeding the public of primary schools whom the government claimed to be feeding even when during Covid -19 all schools closed down.

“The cash support for Traders who were given cash without any of them signing for such payment and many more.

He criticised the depreciating value of Naira, recalling with pride and amazement that in the 1970s – 1980s, the Nigeria Naira was one of the strongest currencies in the world.

According to Bishop Amoo, one Naira is almost stronger than British pound and almost double the United States of America dollar. However and gradually, the value of the Naira began a downward slide.

“Unfortunately, successive government did not bother about this negative trend because some of the government officials are benefitting from the situation.

He expressed concern at the rate at which the Naira has been taking a plunge within the last two years is, however, alarming and embarrassment.

“Before the present government took it used to be over one United States dollars and two hundred and seventy naira to one British pound.

“Today, the situation has change as 1785 naira the one USD. This is an indication that the Naira has been over devalued to make matters worse, the government officials have told us that the Naira is in fact overvalued.

Bishop Amoo listed some of the factors responsible for these self-infliction of pain and poverty on Nigerians as reported by some analysts:

“We were far more productive in 1970 – 1980 than we are today. In the 1970 – 1980, we were a net exporter of refined petroleum products. Today, we import all our refined petroleum products.

Nigerians were riding the locally assembled cars, buses and trucks. Peugeot cars in Kaduna and Volkswagen cars in Lagos. Leyland in Ibadan and ANAM Co in Enugu produced buses and trucks. Steyr at Bauchi producing agricultural tractors.

“We were also producing almost all the components. Vono produced the seats in Lagos, Exile in Ibadan produced the batteries for the whole of West Africa.

“Isoglass and TSG in Ibadan producing the windshield. Ferodo in Ibadan produce the brake pads and disc.

“Tyres were produced by Dunlop in Lagos and Mitchelin in port – Harcourt. These types were produced from the rubber plantations located in Ogun, Cross River, Rivers State, Edo and Delta States.

“We were using refrigerators, freezers and Air – conditions produced by Thermo cool and Debo. The cloths we were putting on were produced from UNTL Textile mills in Kaduna and Chellarams in Lagos.

“The pipes for our running water were produced by kwalipipe in Kano and Duraplast in Lagos. Our cooking was done through LPG gas stored inside gas cylinders Produced at the NGC factory, Ibadan.

“The Cables for the electrification were produced by the Nigeria wire and Cable, Ibadan, NOCACO in Kaduna and Kable metal in Lagos and Port – Harcourt.

“The Bata and Lennards produced our shoes. Not from imported leather but from locally tanned leather in Zaria, Kaduna and Kano.

“We were flying the Nigeria Airways to almost every country in the world. The Nigeria Airways was about the biggest in Africa at that time. Most of the food we ate were grown and produced in Nigeria,” he said.

Bishop Amoo pointed out that these were the situation in Nigeria then but today we import almost everything, saying the time to change these trends is now. Nigeria must move forward and regained her lost glory