The Primate of The Church of the Lord Worldwide, His Holiness, The Most Rev (Dr) Rufus Ositelu, has said the security architecture of Nigeria is due for review.
In his new year message delivered at Ogere Remo, Ogun State, on January 1, Primate Ositelu, said the primary function of any government is the protection of lives and property of its citizens.
“Peace is cardinal for development. The pathetic state of the nation’s security is worrisome. Insurgency, shedding of innocent blood, wanton destruction of lives and property, banditry and kidnapping are rampant and should not be allowed to continue in the new year. The time has come for the Federal and State Governments, stakeholders and indeed all Nigerians to combat insecurity in the land aggressively and decisively. Perpetrators should be brought to book and prosecuted,” he said.
Primate Ositelu said the recent #ENDSARS protest that ended in violence, loss of lives and property is very indicative, saying:”It is a sad and unfortunate event that will go down in the history of this country as tragic; and should never be allowed to repeat itself.”
He stated that corruption in Nigeria has become endemic, noting that the hydra headed monster has continued to ravage and eat deep into the socio-economic and political life of the society.
” It cuts across and include Federal and State Governments’ agencies and parastatals of government.The EFCC and the ICPC should be strengthened and empowered in order to fight corruption more aggressively; with more stringent measures and policies put in place in 2021,” he said.
The Primate added that restructuring is a prerequisite for ensuring good governance, fairness, equity, justice peaceful coexistence as well as economic development, stressing that the time to restructure the country is now.
According to him, restructuring is the panacea for the myriad of challenges confronting the country, noting “the Federal Government and the National Assembly should give it due consideration in order to enhance and fast track the development of the country.”
He described the economic diversification policy of the Buhari government as a step in the right direction, which should be implemented more vigorously, especially in the areas of agriculture and mineral resources.
He said: “This will create avenues for wealth creation and massive employment. The construction of railway lines, road networks, the N-power, palliatives for the vulnerable, economic and fiscal measures for industries aimed at cushioning the effects of inflation and COVID-19 pandemic are commendable. There is however the need to increase the spread, monitor for effectiveness and feedback in order to ensure maximum impact. Government should embark on people-oriented projects, put in place structures in the areas of health, housing, education and power. It is important to stem the tide of the rising cost of living (foodstuffs, fuel, electricity etc) and inflation.”
The Primate continued: “I wish to reiterate that the time is ripe for the government to dialogue with the youth for a better tomorrow and a new Nigeria. The events of 2020 have brought to fore the need to actively involve the youth in governance.The need to engage and empower them cannot be over-emphasised.
“The rate of Gender Based Violence(GBV) against these categories of the citizenry is on the increase, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic. Domestic violence, child abuse and rape are rampant. Stiffer penalties backed by legislation for rapists are highly similarly necessary. I hereby urge all states who are yet to domesticate the Child’s Rights Act 2003 and Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act (VAPP) 2015 to do so with utmost urgency.”
On the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the world, Primate Ositelu said the current increase in the number of confirmed cases and the second wave of the pandemic is a source of concern. He urged all and sundry to cooperate with the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 by adhering strictly to all the non-pharmaceutical protocols such as wearing of face masks, maintaining social distancing and washing of hands with running water frequently.
“I wish to commend all frontline workers for their selfless service. I commiserate with all those who have lost loved ones and may the souls of the departed rest in peace. May God keep you all safe under the shadow of His wings.
“I enjoin my Prelate colleagues and indeed all Nigerians to have the fear of God and continue to intercede for Nigeria so that peace, security and prosperity will reign in our land,” he added.