Bishop Sunday Onuoha of Method Church Nigeria has expressed displeasure over manifest double standard and sectionalism by those in various positions of authority which he blamed for the growing agitation and restiveness in parts of the country.
The cleric who delivered a keynote speech at the ‘National Security Sensitisation Campaign Against Political Thuggery, Kidnapping, Drug Addiction, Radicalism and Violent Extremism’ held in Umuahia, also accused the federal government of double standard in the fight against insecurity.
Speaking on the theme “Building a People of Peace for a Secure and Safer Nigeria”, Bishop Onuoha cautioned against sectionalism and ethnic bias by those in positions of authority.
The outspoken Bishop who is a member of the World Methodist Council declared that “there will be no peace where there is injustice”.
He did not spare the judiciary as he took the third tier of Government to the cleaners over alleged biased order by a judge in Abuja recently.
“It is unfortunate for a judge to make an order based on a people’s cultural attire.
“could a judge, a torchbearer of our justice system, flippantly address over 50 million people that make up a region in such a way that perpetuates the injustice the people agitate against?
” We all, as Nigerians know that our identities and cultural leanings can be known by what we wear or how we wear them. Aso oke in the south/west, Babariga or dashiki in the north, and Ishiagu in the east are peoples’ identities. How does that affect a man that is presumed innocent before the law until otherwise proven, beats me?
“We must stop with the disregard of others’ emotions and sensitivities!”
He told Government to stop giving excuses and dispassionately tackle insecurity posing a grave threat to the country.
“We struggle to fully comprehend how bandits have taken over some parts of the country and non-state actors are still collecting security money/dues from citizens.
“How do you justify the spending on security when insecurity still thrives? Government must face the real issues rather than use IPOB and ESN, bandits, Boko haram etc. as leverage for escapism.
The leadership of this country must know there is fire on the mountain.
” What are the intelligent reports before the powers that be? Having accessed our security capacity, can we actually deal with our problems or we would need help from other allies? What is the direction from this crossroad?
“At this point, there are no sacred places or institutions; our women, children, the clergy
and Imams are kidnapped right in their places of worship and schools and taken captive.
“Our Prisons are broken and criminals set free. In some parts of this country, the bandit’s levy tax and fines on community dwellers, and this must be paid else they pay the ultimate price – in a free country!
Bishop Onuoha bluntly told the federal government to stop treating bandits with levity while cracking down on agitators of self-determination.
“There is so much relativism in dealing with moral issues amongst us. Why be quick to tag and punish an individual, and then turn around and hide the whip when another does something similar or even worse?
“Again, our youths are taught that they can do no wrong because the recompense for misbehaviour depends on what name you bear or where you stand on the map called Nigeria.
No individual should be bigger than the society. We should have a homogenous system that regulates everything and
everybody – no sacred cows or preferences. Respect for the Rule of law must be for all and not just a few.”
Bishop Onuoha also decried what he called a “trust deficit” among Nigerians while blaming the ruling elite for taking undue advantage of the poor masses.
“It is a case of the ‘fat-bellied politician’ fed full from the collective proceeds from which the malnourished poor are not allowed edible crumbs.
“There is a lack of trust for leaders due to years of bad governance, corruption and nepotism.
Government must, therefore, address the yawning gap between the rich and the poor, and resuscitate our gradually disappearing middle class.”
Bishop Onuoha further cautioned against the penchant for fraud and money rituals among youths, warning that Nigeria is subtly breeding ” a young generation of the high-tech crew of fraudsters”.
He said that “a country is presumed corrupt in their ratings if there is evidence of abuse of
entrusted power for private gain”.
“Sadly, we have unwittingly bred a young generation of scammers, deceptive students, and a high-tech crew of fraudsters”, Bishop Onuoha lamented.