We Must Change Nigerian Constitution And The Name Nigeria Now Says Bishop Umunna
Bishop Leonard Umunna, the Presiding Bishop of Bible Life Church Cathedral Worldwide and father of church drama in Nigeria, is one notable Ajegunle clergy that has added his religious voice to political, social and economic solutions to Nigeria’s leadership problems for the past 52 years without any fear of political intimidation and ready to speak the truth to the public.
He has never spoken out of context in his life or intended to gain any political favour from one leadership or the other since he founded Bible Life Church Cathedral Worldwide. He recently called on a press conference to address some salient issues affecting present President Muhammadu Buhari’s leadership and the way out. Hear him out.
What is your own view on the recent political developments in Nigeria?
Well, there has been one political agitation or the other in Nigeria since President Muhammadu Buhari came to power. From Biafra to Kogi elections to Obasanjo to Boko Haram and to other aggravated political activities. Some parts of Nigeria felt they are being politically marginalized when it comes to recent ministerial portfolios by President Buhari.PDP came to power with great achievements but never ended well while APC came to power with many promises to Nigerians but unable to take a stand to ameliorate the sufferings now. If Nigeria must move forward, there is need to change the Nigerian constitution and the name Nigeria. The issue of age limit, educational background and tribe must be reviewed. As far you are a Nigerian you can become a President not until you come from a certain tribe in this country. You can see that Boko Haram has been hijacked by certain world-class terrorists. We have taken many political solutions for granted in our leadership system. The name Nigeria was given by a foreign woman (Mrs Flora Lugard) and nobody is ready to look at the name for change. Sectional leadership has eaten deep into Nigeria’s leadership system over the years.
What is your reaction on the renew agitation for Biafra nation?
There is no part of Nigeria that is not marginalized. People are pushed to the world to fight for their political rights. The recent ministerial appointments of President Buhari which certain tribes represent the majority also causing this tribal hullabaloo in the Eastern part of Nigeria. You don’t take private decision for public decision. I have been a Bishop of Bible Life Church Cathedral for over 30 years and I have able to carry everybody along and never saw defeat in my life. Leadership must embrace everybody. I don’t support violence but we must abide with federal character principle in the leadership system than shifting the goal post on merit only.
Sir how do we resolve these multiple leadership problems in Nigeria?
In the advanced world, there is an institution that groomed leaders but in Nigeria here, it is a different ball game. We should not apply consolidate leadership system in Nigeria. Give leadership to the right hands not because I am from APC or PDP.Kogi people need a quality leader that would take them to the next level and they should also look into their party constitution too. Leadership consolidation must be removed from our system if effective leadership must be put in place.
Bishop sir, there is general lamentation of poverty in Nigeria, what is the way out now?
Is Nigeria really poor? Today, Nigerians are being ranked in the world as wealthy people with landed property and aircrafts everywhere. The issue here is that our wealth are in the hands of few. Every gift is founded in Nigeria. Nigeria is not poor.
With the present President Buhari’s ministers, do you see any better performance?
Well, the issue here was President Buhari really selected these ministers by his own or party decision or political compensation.APC came to power with loud propaganda with few achievements now.PDP started well and ended badly while APC started badly after the election and with no direction. Fuel scarcity has since returned to Nigeria in APC government.
Can you see President Buhari’s deadline on Boko Haram attainable?
Deadline helps to achieve result but in the case of Boko Haram deadline, there is no political mechanism to curtain the situation. You cannot give deadline when such leadership is not fully equipped to fight Boko Haram.Terrorism is worldwide and if Boko Haram is dismantled other terrorist groups will emerge. Our Nigeria military are fully trained to the core. The only way to save Nigeria as a country for all to repent and serve God faithfully. Corruption is yet to be tackled objectively if good leadership must be put in place.
I am not talking about church here, but there is need to let our leaders know that the masses are not happy with them. President Buhari does not need any more time to change Nigeria’s leadership system now. Prior proper preparation prevent poor performance (PPPPPP). If Nigeria must move its economy forward,corruption,education,military,power and infrastructure must be tackled objectively. We should prepare young leaders to take over from us than dying in power forever.