Insecurity: African Church Primate Calls for Creation of Community Security

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Insecurity: African Church Primate Calls for Creation of Community Security

…Lauds Governor Emmanuel’s Leadership Strides

…Says African Church is now crisis-free

Priscilla Christopher

Primate of the African Church, His Eminence, Dr. Emmanuel Udofia has suggested the creation of community security as a panacea for the insecurity challenge facing various States across Nigeria.

Udofia said this while speaking on the state of the nation, at a briefing held at St Stephen’s Cathedral; 25, Wellington Bassey Way, Uyo on Thursday, May 6, 2021, during the biennial Conference of the Church.

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The Primate who noted that the formation of local security groups would engender trust and confidence in them, stressed that such move would curtail the invasion of vulnerable communities by gunmen disguised as Policemen and men of the Nigerian Army.

“I strongly recommend the establishment of remedial security agencies and vigilante groups in each community/state, as exemplified by the Western and Eastern States of Nigeria. This is to prevent the daily invasion of our communities by “unknown” assailants and gunmen some of whom are disguised as men of the Police Force or the Nigerian Army. It’s high time we stopped leaving our security in the hands of strangers rather, the people protecting our communities and borders should be those we know and can trust”, he said.

The clergyman also lamented the present sorry condition of Nigeria and prayed that the sacrifices of past heroes would not go down the drain.

“…Nigeria has retrogressed perhaps to an irredeemable extent where prayer and a total change of attitude and action in the positive, seems to be the only viable panacea. It is no longer news that we have been noted globally and rated as the country with the worse case of insurgency, kidnap and victimization in the history of West Africa and our school children abduction story makes our matter even worse than has been recorded in recent times. Even more, the spate of military killings, farmer-herdsmen clashes resulting in the gruesome deaths of our productive population; religious intolerance leading to unending cold murder of Christian leaders in the northeast have all risen to the roof of our necks with unbearable painful distaste especially as our leaders continue to keep a deafening silence”.

“It was this silence which led to the staging of the #EndSARS protest last year against the brutality of the Police which sadly led to the death of innocent Nigerians whose only crime was the demand for a fair Nigeria. We recall painfully that the agitation which was later hijacked by hoodlums led to the death of one of our beloved members from Uyo Central Diocese who was returning from a meeting of the Church, Hon. Iniobong Lyons whom we’re still grieving yet, we have not moved even an inch from where we were; our graduates are still littering the streets in search of menial jobs, men of the force are still victimizing those they are supposed to protect and governance has only turned worse. Recently, the tables seem to have turned; Police Stations are now being burnt down, officers murdered without a care while vandalism takes the centre stage. We now live in perpetual fear of the unknown as no one knows what would happen next. Our government must be awake to ensure that the labours of our heroes past are not in vain”, he pleaded.

“Nigeria is currently in dire need of security so our school, community, churches and borders should be fortified. It is high time government laid its feet firm against our antagonists and those who steal our joy and peace by raiding our communities, killing our men of valour and displacing us. Nigeria should be made to be a safe heaven for peaceful coexistence, development and harmony”.

“Our lives should be made to matter as enshrined in our constitution. Our youths must be listened to, aided and guided to shine their lights beyond boundaries. Our leaders must come to that point where they can also see that there is more to governance than politics and power. Things must be made to work and not faked to work else, we will remain in this gloom God forbid, forever”, the man of God charged.

While observing a similar decline in the education, health and agricultural sectors, Dr. Emmanuel Udofia commended the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel for being proactive to the present economic pressure on farmers and consumers alike, and called for more concerted efforts at food sufficiency. He also applauded Governor Emmanuel’s youth empowerment drives, noting that testimonies of such programmes are everywhere but questioned the Federal Government empowerment schemes and sued for a even, fair and transparent process subsequently.

With a saddened tone, Primate Udofia condemned the gruesome murder of Iniubong Umoren, the young graduate who was allegedly molested, killed and buried in a shallow grave in her quest for a job in Akwa Ibom State recently.

“It is disheartening that a promising girl-child with so much life, energy and the will to contribute to the state and national workforce for a more productive economy had her life sniffed out for nothing but evil, penchant and ungodly deeds. I condemn this totally and join the voice of thousands of women and men to ask that full justice prevails without any form of cover-up. Our women should be protected, loved and cared for; and not victimized”, he stated, adding that the State Government should ensure that the full wrath of the Law is implemented on the perpetrators of the inhuman act.

As a final charge, the clergyman urged Nigerians to take security personal, refrain from social vices and be on the lookout for odd moves, while advocating for more prayers for Nigeria.

“The times are apparently unfriendly. As such, I urge you all to take security as your personal business. We must be vigilant and conscious of happenings around us, while ensuring to stay away from vices, ungodly deeds and unnecessary arguments even on social media with those we think we know. This is because the heart of man has become more sinister than ever. We must not forget that heaven only helps those who help themselves so, we must take time to avoid certain “mistakes”. Inasmuch as we have been praying before now, we must never relent in interceding for our State and Nation; our leaders across levels and our youths”, he admonished.  

Meanwhile, Primate Udofia informed newsmen during the briefing that the African Church is now devoid of the crisis which threatened to tear it apart in 2019. “We recall that God never promised that the race would be problem-free, but He did promise to be with us even till the end of time…Obviously, His words have not failed hence, the Conference theme: ‘For with God, all things are possible’. We are expanding and still running a full-fledged administration although without the congregants of the West who have realized the truth and are coming for reconciliation. In no time, the Church will be physically united again. This we know, is going to be possible with God”, he said. He again stressed that the incumbent Primate (himself) will retire at the age of 65 years as provided in the current Constitution and warned against divisive tendencies in the Church.