The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Most Rev. Alfred Adewale Martins has urged the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency on insecurity in the country.
Martins who made the call in an e-mail statement on Saturday said the call became necessary so as to save the country from the looming anarchy staring it in the face.
According to him, incessant cases of kidnapping , murder of innocent people, including policemen, burning down of police stations, correctional facilities, and INEC offices nationwide among others have made the declaration of a state of emergency on insecurity inevitable.
“It is obvious that insecurity, apart from corruption, has become the single most serious problem that is facing our country today.
“Many innocent persons are being kidnapped for ransom; many are being attacked in their homes and displaced with their properties destroyed and normal life disrupted daily.
“Even Policemen and their stations are being deliberately attacked with impunity. What this means is that the country is gradually drifting into a state of anarchy. This, no doubt, portends a grave danger for our collective wellbeing,” he said.
In the statement, signed by the Director of Social Communications, Rev. Fr. Anthony Godonu, the prelate who would clock 62 years on Tuesday June 1, 2021, bemoaned the failure of government at all levels to decisively address the root causes of insecurity and bring their perpetrators and sponsors to book.
“Efforts to rid the country of kidnappers and bandits, should include constant dialogue between representatives of the security agencies and major stakeholders such as religious leaders, traditional rulers, leaders of ethnic groups, the civil society, and political parties,” the Archbishop said.
He also called on the National Assembly to fast track the ongoing process of the amendment of the 1999 Constitution so as to pave the way for such needs as the creation of state police and revalidation of the federal character of the republic.
“These would certainly help in restoring peace and security all over the country.
“This is no time to play the blame game or to play politics through sectoral efforts. There must be a collective effort through a robust consultation with all stakeholders.
“We all must come together to fight this hydra-headed monster of insecurity that is making life difficult for our people,” he added.
In addition to declaring a state of emergency, the Prelate called on the Federal Government to roll out practical action plans with time frames within which insecurity will be brought under control.
However, Martins admitted that the problem of insecurity being experienced all over was part of an age-long systemic problem with governance at the national level.
The Archbishop commiserated with the Federal Government and families of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru and other military officers that lost their lives in the recent air mishap, saying the only way to honour them was to overcome insecurity and make the country a better place for all Nigerians.
The prelate then appealed to the various ethnic groups agitating for self-determination to shun violence and embrace dialogue so as not to exacerbate the insecurity in the country.
He reminded the political leaders that Nigerians are going through a lot of hardship occasioned by the economic downturn, calling for various forms of interventions to help cushion the hardship.
The Archbishop also called on well-meaning Nigerians to be their brother’s keepers by extending hands of charity to the less privileged and the downtrodden in the society.