The United States’ Ambassasor to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard has decried that the security situation in Nigeria is very disturbing.
The US Envoy, who spoke when she visited the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Most. Rev. Dr. Matthew Hassan Kukah, however, admitted that Nigeria has a very young energetic hard-working people that are determined to make things work.
According to Mary Beth, everybody in Nigeria should be concerned about the security situation no matter where they stay.
Mary Beth while saying Nigerians should begin to ask themselves the very petinent question about were are they heading from this point, also advocated for transparency and accountability in governance.
She also expressed worry that Nigerians should be concerned about the massive turn out of youths in the recent #EndSARS protest, hence, seeing same as a manifestation of dissatisfaction with so many things not working right.
The US envoy, further, admonished Nigerian youths to take advantage of the American Corner in Sokoto State to normalize the idea of people coming together.
On his part, Bishop Kukah said the time has come for Nigerians with rational mindset to begin to ask questions about “how we as a country have gotten to this point where there is lost of love, trust and confidence on each othe”.
While insisting that insecurity in Nigeria is not about the economy, despite bandits are said to be taking advantage of the economy to draw recruits from the less privileged, Bishop Kukah averred that what is actually driving the insurgency is the mentality that has been on ground.
Bishop Kukah, while decrying that most Nigerians do not have that sense of common citizenship, added that there must be a deliberate and concerted effort towards ensuring genuine unity.
The Bishop who insisted that bandits and insurgents in Nigeria have a mission, narrated how one of the Catholic Priest that was kidnapped was asked to denounce his Christian faith and become a Muslim to avoid been killed.
“One of our Priest that was kidnapped recently told me that his abductors demanded that he must become a Muslim to avoid been killed. So why must we continue to pretent not to know who are these bandits and what their mission is?
“The fact that Muslims are also being killed doesn’t justify the fact that these criminals don’t have a mission”.
“Very recently, Sheikh Abubakar Mahmud Gumi of Kaduna State was in the news for going to meet these bandits in their respective enclaves. And ofcourse, you do not expect him to go with any Pastor because he knows that these bandits aren’t Christians”.
“I do not see how Nigeria will move forward without addressing some of these concrete facts”.
“It’s impossible to pull ourselves out of these mess. We need a constant touch with the leadership to ensure that they are reminded of their views. We still have time but not much time”. Kukah observed
Talking on the role of the civil society organizations towards ensuring good governance, Bishop Kukah said the civil society now assumed that they didn’t need to have a role in the governance of their country after ensuring that the military regimes goes and civilian government restored.
Towards finding a lasting solution to the nation’s challenges, Bishop Kukah suggested that, “we must get our youths out of this pigeon hole of north and south, Christian versus Muslims divide mentality that has griped many”.
He further noted that any sane Nigerian would read meaning to the recent #EndSARS protest as a manifestation of bottled anger and frustration about so many ills in the society.
Bishop Kukah who stressed that rather than becoming an avenue for unity, the social media has further compounded the issue by helping to erode the social and moral fabric of the society, hence creating more rooms for disunity than unity of purpose.