CAN SEEKS CONSTITUTION AMENDMENT TO CURB VIOLENCE
Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has called for a constitutional provision that would make host governments where ethnic and religious violence occur accountable for the mayhem. The National President of the association, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, said such states should be compelled by the provision of the law to pay huge damages to victims of the violence from their monthly statutory allocation.
Oritsejafor who stated this yesterday while addressing journalists on the state of the nation in Lagos said the nation would no longer tolerate the culture of impunity that result in wanton destruction of lives and property. He condemned the recent post-election violence in some states in the North, where hundreds of lives, including ten members of the National Youth Service Corps, were lost.
'I will suggest that governors of states where such violence occur in the future, must be held accountable for the colossal loss of lives, property and business premises. The National assembly should enact a constitutional provision making it mandatory for the Federal Government to assess the extent of damage and deduct monetary compensation from the statutory allocations of such governments. Such deductions from the states and the host local government's monthly allocation should be given to the affected churches and persons directly,' he said.
The CAN President said an interim measure should be taken by President Goodluck Jonathan by summoning all the 36 state governors and the security agencies to make a commitment to peace and security of lives in their respective states.
'Since, the Federal Government has no constitutional authority to sanction the respective governors for security breaches in their states, the governors should make a public declaration to ensure the safety of lives in their domain. I consider this very crucial because the socio-political progress of this country depends largely on how we all, without any pretence, can stand in brotherhood, despite all our religious, ethic, tribe, political, economic, social and other various differences,' he said.
He reaffirmed the support of the association to President Goodluck Jonathan's declaration that all criminals and their sponsors would have no hiding place. To reduce crime, the CAN President called for the creation of more jobs to engage the country's teeming youth. He charged the incoming government to tackle corruption with renewed vigour in order to attract foreign investment.
The association also called on President Jonathan to address the protracted crisis in the power sector, for the realisation of the lofty dream of making the country an economic giant by the year 2020. Part of the agenda it set for the incoming government was the need to revamp the health sector and improve the life expectancy of poor Nigerians.
'We will therefore implore the federal government, not just to establish Federal Universities in all the geo-political zones of the country, but it shouldmove a step further to declare a state of emergency in that sector. Government must be able to adequately fund every aspect of education in accordance with the recommendations of the United Nations', he said.