Clergy blames increase in armed-banditry on appointment of security chiefs.

By Mbam Ogodo, Abakaliki

The Bishop, Methodist Church of Nigeria, Abakaliki Diocesse, Rt. Rev. Lawson Elom has blamed the increase in armed-banditry in Nigeria to the alleged lopsided appointments of security chiefs by President Mohammadu Buhari lead administration.

Elom made this known in a 12 points communiqué issued and made available to newsmen at the end of the 25th annual synod of the diocese of Abakaliki held at Wesley Methodist Church, No. 19 Onwe Road, Abakaliki.

The synod with the theme “Obedience to God; better than sacrifice” urged Christians in Nigeria, especially those in the corridor of power to practice holiness, obedience to God both in words and actions.

Bishop Elom also expressed worry over the increasing cases of kidnap, armed-banditry and other social vices in Nigeria, and called on the federal government to sit-up to ensure that the lives and properties of citizens are protected.

“The near-collapse of the security apparatus in the society in which lives and property of citizens are no longer guaranteed as no week passes without record of incidents of kidnapping, armed-banditry and other social vices; has predisposed the country to ridicule.

“The synod observed with dismay that this ugly trend may not be unconnected to the lopsided nature of appointments of security chiefs in the country by the federal government. We therefore charge the present federal government to take urgent action to address this ugly scenario in the interest of the national unity.

“The synod observed that the government in power most recently practiced ‘militocracy’ to the extent of undue interference in the operations of the other arms of government by the executives and therefore, called for the defense of true democratic principles as enunciated in the law of the land for national cohesion.

“It is worrisome that up till now the rate at which the Fulani herdsmen are killing the hapless citizens of this country still remain unabated. We therefore, call on government at all levels to take proactive measures to end these attacks, so that there will be no outbreak of famine and further clashes between herders and farmers.

The clergy also condemned in totality the wanton killings and destruction of properties resulting from the boundary disputes between Agila and Ngbo, Ikwo and Adadama in Cross River states.

He regretted that the clashes have resulted to the displacement of thousands of innocent Ebonyians from their homes.

“We condemn the unwarranted communal clashes going on between the people of Adadama in Cross River state and Izzi/Ikwo communities, Ngbo and Agila communities, Ikwo and Abakaliki communities which has resulted to killings and rendering many homeless. We therefore, call on the National Boundary Commission to expedite the process of peace in the affected areas” the statement added.