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ANGLICAN COMMUNION: FORCES IN NORTH MAKE TACKLING INSECURITY DIFFICULT

…says Buhari didn’t meet structures to work with
…says Nigerian train heading for disaster, needs urgent redirection

The Church of Nigerian Anglican Communion has attributed the inability of President Muhammadu Buhari in tackling the many problems bedeviling the country to forces beyond his control, especially those in the North. Speaking to our correspondent in Abuja, the Director Communication, Church of Nigerian Anglican Communion, Hassan John, insisted that contrary to the “Messiah syndrome” widely accepted by Nigerians as solution to its problems, no single man could turn around the issues confronting the nation.

According to him, President Muhammadu Buhari like his predecessors did not meet structures on ground that he could work with to address the issues of insecurity in the country. He said: “As a church, we think religion plays a prominent part in this (rising insecurity) as much as the economy has come in as an underlying factor but the bottom line is there is no sincerity in our political class on accepting the problems that are on the ground and on how we all can come together to solve this problem.

“We have the Messiah syndrome of only one man can do it; we said Buhari will solve the problem but there are no structures on ground on which Buhari can work with. “Every president that has gone into that office loses focus and you have to play to too many pressure groups and mafia groups that are pulling the country to their own direction for achieve their own individual political purposes. Because we have a Messiah syndrome, we think whoever comes in can determine what happens but it doesn’t work like that, not in Nigeria.

“The forces in the north are as big and strong and can make your life miserable and we see them making lives miserable. Buhari said he would stop insurgency, fight corruption and move the country forward but unfortunately we have not seen that happen and people are getting so frustrated.” On the advice from Pastor Adefarasin’s asking his members to have a plan B on leaving the country, the Anglican spokesman noted that the Church and Nigerians should endeavour to seek and proffer solutions to problems, rather than run away from them. “We have seen worse, we’ve gone through a civil war.

It’s not like we are not worried about the state of the nation, but we don’t think it calls for people to abandon ship. “We believe we have a stake in this country, we will continue to build it. Regimes will come and go and we have seen the worst of them from 1960 till date. We are going through a stage and this stage shall pass away. Nigerians must begin to have a stake in the nation; they should try to be problem solvers irrespective of what is happening now.” Also, John further noted that the Anglican Communion aligns with calls from various quarters demanding restructuring, as one major means of addressing the rising insecurity in the country.

“Unless we begin to stop the train from the path it is taking, we are going to have more complicated issues in our hands. This current situation is not working; we need to come back to the drawing board and look at Nigeria as a nation not parties. “A lot of people have talked about restructuring, there is no way the current constitution can continue to work the way it is. We believe there must be restructuring, an understanding of the different regions and their uniqueness in all we are doing.

“There is a lot of work to be done but the issue is are there people willing to make the sacrifice to make it work or are they people who are trying to grab what they can grab now and abandon the ship when it sinks. “We had a season of military dictatorship before coming back to a democratic dispensation when people have a voice but the issues have not been solved; respect for one another, understanding our uniqueness and differences and appreciating and working with it.

“We work in a political system where it is a unitary system rather than a demo-cratic republic so whoever gets into power grabs for his own region or for his own people and no matter how educated we are, we never sit down dispassionately to look at the problems and how to fix things so we can move ahead.

“By 2000 when ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo was challenged for not talking to the North about instituting sharia law, a deeper sense of divide was created at that time and it continued to grow. The radical Islamic sect popped up, Boko Haram, cattle herdsmen. “It’s not like it happened overnight, there was a gradual degeneration that was not paid attention to by the political class because the politicians especially the National Assembly, were busy worried about so many other things like allowances, money and who gets what and how to get the chunk of the national cake and that is why we are where we are today.”

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