*Says “We are tired of excuses”
The Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Rev Fr Mathew Hassan Kukah, has told President Bola Ahmed Tinubu that the legitimacy of his government depends on his ability to end mindless killings in the country.
In his new year message titled, ‘Blood and Crucifixion On The Plateau,’ the bishop stated that, “Tinubu must know that the legitimacy of his government hangs on resolving this and giving us our country back.”
He said, “We are tired of the confusing, inexcusable monosyllabic excuses saying, this is an asymmetrical war, we are on top of the situation, you cannot kill an idea, it is not about religion or ethnicity, we will bring them to justice.
“This culture of investigation as excuses must end. The media and we the people must continue to remind the government of its obligations to be accountable.
“If investigations are made public and rewards or punishment are carried out, then it builds confidence. It will enable people to become involved in their own security.
“We, citizens of Nigeria feel collectively humiliated and betrayed by those who are collaborating with these murderers and a government that seems helpless.
“Can we continue to believe that there is no long-term plan to take over the reins of power of the Nigerian state?
“These people want power. They want it on their own terms. They want their own kind of Nigeria according to their ideology.
“These killings are just a preface. These killings are no longer acts by herders and farmers over grazing fields. No, there is more and we as a nation will do well to face this threat before it is sunset.
“No evil lasts forever. The world defeated slavery, apartheid, nazism, racism, and forms of extremism.”
Kukah worried why the North had become the birthplace of bloodletting?
“Why has our North become the incubator of all that is destructive? Boko Haram, banditry and shades of terrorism all live in our region. Why is this so?
“These killers are not ordinary murderers. They are killers for a purpose. It is the task of the Intelligence community to tell us who they are, where they live and what their goals are,” he said.
He however, commended the federal government for its response to the situation.
The bishop added, “So far, I commend the government in its responses to these tragedies. Unlike before when no one bothered to visit the scenes, we are seeing very rapid responses from the top.
“This is necessary but not sufficient as a strategy. Rebuilding these communities requires more than mere physical infrastructure. There is a need for clearer, more imagined strategies for rebuilding community cohesion and resilience.
“Rebuilding hearts is more urgent than rebuilding houses. Merely awarding contracts for building of houses is not as important as building markets, rebuilding roads, providing agricultural inputs for farmers and so on.
“Only by pursuing, apprehending and bringing these evil men to justice can we begin to speak of a genuine reconciliation among our people. Bringing criminals to justice is justice to the criminal and justice to the victim too.
“Fixing our economy is desirable, but it must hang on a rigid security scaffolding to protect citizens and nation. The youth are fleeing their own country. The elites are fleeing their own communities. The poor are becoming refugees outside their own communities. Mr. President, give us back our communities. Give us back our country.”