DIOCESE OF OSUN NORTH
SYNOD 2021 BISHOP’S CHARGE MESSAGE TO THE NATION, OSUN STATE THE THEME OF THE SYNOD
STATE OF THE NATION:
There are relevant topical issues of National importance that must be mentioned and referred to for our opinion and call for prayers. The present administration of General Muhammadu Buhari that came to power on the mantra of “Change” in year 2015, claimed to be celebrating its Six (6) years in office on 29th May, 2021 with its usual rhetoric that it has performed creditably in office by fulfilling most of its electioneering campaign and promises. However, to every Nigerian of good conscience, the question as to whether the present President administration of Muhammadu Buhari has met the aspirations and yearnings of the populace for the past six years – I will say the “ANSWER IS BLOWING IN THE WIND” for everyone to see.
Let us examine some of the prevailing challenges and or topical issues of national concern to wit:
INSECURITY OF LIVES AND PROPERTIES
It is no gainsaying to say that the Country is presently drifting fast to a state of anomie – where everyone seems to be doing what pleases him or her. Nigeria as a country has gotten to a stage where the government cannot safeguard the security of lives and properties of its citizens in every part of the Nation. The truth must be said, to wit, that the present Federal Government that has control over all the Security Agencies in Nigeria is not doing enough to tackle the various security challenges facing the Nation. Attacks, invasions, abductions, kidnapping, and killings of innocent citizens are occurring nearly every day. The Government seems to be unable to curtail these acts of criminality ravaging the whole Country. It is no longer news to hear the Government and its security agencies warning Nigerians to be security conscious and to take responsibility for their respective safety – meaning that the Government can no longer guarantee the security of lives and property of its citizens. The most Common thing that can be seen boldly written on the faces of most of the people in every parts of the country is fear of insecurity. The principal responsibility of the government is to protect lives and property. The government should arise and do the needful.
EMERGENCE OF REGIONAL SECURITY OUTFITS
The emergence of Regional Security Outfits such as Amotekun, Ebubeagu and Isbah is a welcome idea that must be fully supported by the Federal Government. The same should be seen as self-help meant to complement the works of the conventional security Agencies in the Country. The Regional Security Outfits must not be seen as rival and or threat to usual Federal government security apparatus.
TERRORISM, BANDITRY, KIDNAPPING AND INSURGENCY
When General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) was campaigning for votes in year 2015 general election he promised heaven and earth to fight and tackle incidence of Boko Haram-Terrorist group (which was ravaging some parts of the Northern States of the Country -particularly in the North – East region of Nigeria) to a standstill. However, the said act of terrorism of Boko Haram has metamorphosed to various acts of criminalities such as banditry, kidnapping and abduction of people and insurgency of different magnitudes. In the same way, the body language of the present government towards incidences of herdsmen attacks on farmers and villagers in different parts of the Country called for serious attention.
What is most baffling and annoying is the fact that reports have it that the police are releasing Fulani criminals caught by the people and handed over to the police for prosecution. The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi complained about this. Governor Emmauel Udom of Akwa Ibom State cried foul over police releasing arrested Fulani militias on ‘orders from above’. Can we then say that these Fulani militias are sponsored by the Government? But if not, why is the double standard? IPOB fighting for self-determination were proscribed, but Fulani herdsmen under the umbrella of Miyetti Allah, killing innocent and unharmed people in their farms and homes are not proscibed. Instead of arresting and prosecuting them, the Government of President Buhari said we should accommodate them. But should criminals be accommodated? Then, why are some criminals in the prison? Justice must be done without distinction.
Furthermore, the government is pretending that they do not know where these bandits are, yet they are negotiating with them and paying them huge amount as ransom. The earlier the government rose up and do justice on all sides, the better and earlier we would have peace in this country.
FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION
The Fight against corruption of the President Buhari’s administration is fundamentally flawed. This administration promised Nigerian to fight the menace of corruption to a standstill. Recently, the fight against the menace of Terrorism, Banditry, Insurgency in the Country have attracted hue and cry for urgent and increase funding for the Nigerian Military Security agencies (by way of extra-budgetary allocations and special funds to fight the ongoing wars), but to the greatest dismay of Nigerians, rather than Government winning the war the same gets escalating to the various parts of the country with the attendance destruction of lives and displacement of people from their villages and towns into IDP centers (Internal Displace Person). It is disheartening to note that despite the increase in the funding allocations of Nigerian Military, there has not been any commensurate improvement in the ongoing fight against the various acts of criminality ravaging the Country. I want to state that if the Buhari led administration would be said to be truly waging war against corruption, the National Assembly must be given the necessary support to carry out a thorough probe of the spending of the previous budgetary allocations of fund made available to the Nigerian Military in the recent time.
REVIEW OF 1999 CONSTITUTION
In the absence of sincerity of purpose and political will of the Government the ongoing exercise of the review of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria being undertaken by the National Assembly will likely amounts to a jamboree and exercise in futility. This is because:
The foundation of the present 1999 Constitution was built on a faulty foundation of “FRAUD” as contained in the said document, when the said Constitution in its preamble provides inter-alia that “We the People of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; having solemnly firmly resolved… and to provide a Constitution… when in actual fact the document was a production of the past General Abusalam Abubakar military government.
There is a serious issue of trust deficit from the populace towards most of the present Composition of the members of National Assembly (who are seen as self-serving and opportunists), who may not likely represents the yearnings of their various Constituents in the aftermath of constitutional reviewing exercise.
Another area of the great concern is that, “Will the present crop of the National Assembly be courageous and bold enough to vote in favour of certain issues that affect their pecuniary interest (such as call for the legislative work /duties to be on part-time basis)? No.
With the present body language and lack of political will on the of the part of the Government, the President may not likely assent to the proposed amended Constitution if its contents are not satisfactory to personal interest of some cabals in government.
What we really need is a totally new Constitution, not an amendment of the 1999 constitution. The Government should quickly take appropriate steps for the country to have a new Constitution before 2023. This is because there should be no election in this Country without Nigeria having a new Constitution. No new Constitution, no election in 2023.
BAN ON OPEN GRAZING OF LIVESTOCK AND NEED RANCHING.
The relevant provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria confer on the Governor of the various States of the federation to act as the Chief Security Officers of their respective States to provide welfare and security for their citizens which the Constitution says are the primary purpose of government. The Southern Governors as well as most of the Governors in the middle belt part of the Country have spoken loud and well enough on this issue. They have unequivocally stated their stance against open grazing. The prevailing situation where innocent Nigerians are being brutally mauled down in cold blood in their homes, farms or on the road by these rampaging herders is no longer acceptable.
The States should go ahead and enforce the anti-grazing laws in their respective States using their Neighbourhood and security outfits.
The Federal Government decision to build Ranches for the Fulani Herders is out of place. Fulani herders do not deserve any special attention or any preferential treatment from the Federal Government because they are running their private businesses. The federal government has no business building ranches for Fulani herders.
RESTIVENESS AND ATTACKS ON POLICE FORMATIONS AND INEC OFFICES IN THE SOUTH -EAST AND SOUTH-SOUTH.
The restiveness and attacks on Police Formations and INEC offices in the South -East and South-South Zones of Nigeria is condemnable and the same calls for a great concern. The Federal Government needs to identify the immediate and remote causes behind the restiveness going on in those parts of the Country and must quickly address the problem before it gets out of hands. The situation must be handled with extreme care and sensitivity, rather than Government using brutal force as a means of quelling the agitations of the people from that part of the Country. The perceived issues of marginalization and lack of inclusiveness of the people (of that part of the Country) in governance must be investigated with a view to douse the tension of insecurity and attacks on government institutions currently being experienced in that Zone of the Country. The Federal Government must not be seen as waging war against its Citizens. The lawful agitations of the Region must be carefully looked into.
ALLEGED ARREST OF HELICOPTER SUPPLYING ARMS AND FOOD TO BANDITS
One of the helicopters supplying arms and food to bandits in some North-West States crashed in ‘Pangu Gari’, a town on the outskirts of Kagara town, in Rafi Local Government area between Niger and Kaduna States, according to many residents in the area. A former Head of State has been alleged to be the owner of the helicopter. But he has denied it. However, this is a very serious issue considering the level of insecurity in this country. This should not be trivially treated if the government does not have a hand in it and if they seriously and truly want to tackle insecurity in this country. An open, thorough and transparent investigation must swiftly be carried out on this report by the Government of President Buhari to assure Nigerians that it is truly making all efforts to put an end to insecurity in this Country.
THE AGITATION FOR YORUBA AND BIAFRA NATIONS
Those agitating for their ethnic groups to be separated from Nigeria are doing so because of what all of us can clearly see – the suppression, oppression and domination of the Fulanis in all areas of governance in this nation at almost total exclusion of other tribes and the injustice being perpetrated by this government. This has fuelled the suspicion of Fulanisation agenda of this government under the leadership of Buhari, a Fulani and Patron of Miyetti Allah Fulani Cattle Breeders Association. The Fulanis see the whole of Nigeria as their father’s estate, and they want to totally possess it for themselves. They seem to be determined and bent on this resolve. That is why they are killing people and taking over their land.
Their plan is to take over, rule and dominate Nigeria for ever, and I want to say, they will not relent until they have it if we are still together. They are very crafty. They know how to cunningly deceive our people and get their plan accomplished. If you knew the extent that they have gone, we will be afraid and sorry for ourselves and our next generations. The balls of Nigeria are totally in their hands now. All apparatus of war of this country are in their hands.
South – West of Nigeria must be very vigilant. Danger seems to be lurking around us. Our Governors should not pretend as if there is nothing, we are already surrounded. We must plan and act before it is too late. We will all see what will happen after the election if the election holds. However, what is wrong in Yoruba being a separate country? Do we have to coexist with them? Can’t we stand alone? Even though my wish is that we Yorubas have our separate nation, I still pray that God’s will be done. He owns the entire world and peoples in it. Nothing happens without His knowledge and permission. May His good thought and best plan for our welfare at this time in this country come to pass.
OUR STATE: OSUN STATE
We commend the efforts of the State Governor of Osun State, Mr. Gboyega Oyetola on the progress being made by the State in spite of the paucity of funds in the State. We commend his financial ingenuity. We appreciate his calm, quiet but astute and effective leadership of the State. We observe that he has a listening ear and acts promptly on matters that can cause problem in the State or that is negative to the welfare of the people in the State.
The Olaiya Flyover is long overdue. Therefore, we commend him and his government in embarking on the project and giving the contractor 9 months for the completion of the project. We also commend the Governor for the prompt payment of wages and salaries of workers and pensioners in the State. Many roads in the State are being rehabilitated. We commend him on these.
We congratulate the Governor on the Awards he has received this year for:
Champion Newspaper as Man and Governor of the year 2020,
Business Day Newspaper Best Governor of the Year.
Blueprint Newspaper as the Governor of the Year
We perceive that the Governor has a good plan and purpose for the enhancement of the quality of life of the people of this state. We pray for divine wisdom and help for him in his governance of the state.