Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Mathew Hassan Kukah on Sunday queried the rationale behind rehabilitating terrorists, bandits and kidnappers with billions of naira, while their victims are left helpless by government.
Kukah also said that Nigerians have lost faith in their country and are now more divided than ever before.
In his Easter message with the theme: “Nigeria: Before Our Glory Departs” the Catholic Bishop regretted that those at the helm of affairs in the country are more empathizing to terrorists than the victims.
He said: “Sadly, human life is hemorrhaging so badly in Nigeria, but the greatest tragedy is the death of empathy from those in power.
“Mysteriously, the government is investing billions of naira in rehabilitating so-called Boko Haram repentant members and their other partners in crime in the belief that they want to turn a new leaf. These criminals have waged war against their country, murdered thousands of citizens, destroyed infrastructure and rendered entire families permanently displaced and dislocated. “Why should rehabilitating the perpetrator be more important than bringing succour to the victims?
“When kidnapped or killed, victims and their families are left to their wits. They cry alone, bury their loved ones alone. And our government expects us to be patriotic? The victims of violence need empathy, which the dictionary defines as the ability to understand and share the feelings of the other.
“A critical deficit of empathy on the side of the government makes healing almost impossible for the victims. We have not heard anything about a rehabilitation programme for the thousands of schoolchildren who have been victims of abduction.
“We seem to assume that their return to their schools is sufficient. Left unaddressed, the traumatic effect of their horrors will haunt them for a long time.
“Tomorrow’s parents, military generals, top security men and women, governors, senators, and ministers will come from today’s pool of traumatised children. The security quandary is the greatest indictment of this government.
According to him, there is pervading fear and gloom across the country as terrosists, bandits, kidnappers, armed robbers and other merchants of death roam the land.
“The nation has since become a massive killing field, as both government and the governed look on helplessly. A thick and suffocating cloud of desperation, despondency, desolation, gloom, and misery hangs in the hot air.
“We have no message and have no idea how long this will last. Our people seek solace and protection, but frustration and darkness threaten to drown them. Is their government on AWOL?” he asked.
According to him, under the watch of government, Nigerians are no longer united and have lost faith in their country.
He said: “Is Nigeria united today? Do citizens still have faith in the country? Where are the signs of peace or progress? Today, before our very eyes, these words have been emptied of their flavour and have lost their resonance and capacity to summon our citizens to patriotism.
“St Augustine once said: Remove justice and what are kingdoms but gangs of criminals on a large scale? He further said that: A gang is a group of men (and women) under the command of a leader, bound by a compact of association, in which the plunder is divided according to an agreed convention.
“This is the fate of our nation today. Day by day, Nigeria drifts irreversibly into a dark tunnel. Things are falling apart with unnerving rapidity because those who govern have only a pact to protect their interests. Politics is merely its conveyor belt of ambition. Nigeria has a date with destiny.
“If we do not turn around, the axe is already laid to the roots of the tree.”