Nigerian Archbishop Warns of ‘Burning’ Insecurity After Bishop’s Abduction

(L)Coffins are carried during a funeral service for 17 worshippers and two priests, who were allegedly killed by Fulani herdsmen, at Ayati-Ikpayongo in Gwer East district of Benue State, north-central Nigeria on May 22, 2018. - Two Nigerian priests and 17 worshippers have been buried, nearly a month after an …
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Nigerian Archbishop Alfred Adewale Martins has urged the Nigerian government to address the “burning” issue of insecurity in the land following the recent abduction of Bishop Moses Chikwe of Owerri.

“The issue of insecurity in the land is a burning one and we hope that the government of President Buhari would change its approach to the issue in 2021,” wrote Archbishop Martins, of the Archdiocese of Lagos, in his New Year message for 2021, while referring to the recent kidnapping of Bishop Chikwe as “an act of sacrilege.”

“Many people have consistently cried out on the need for a fresh approach to solving the situation of insecurity in the country while the President has always declared that he is doing his best,” the archbishop said. “Perhaps replacing the heads of the Security Agencies in the nation would help to convince people that he is truly trying his best.”

“We believe that fresh hands along with the provision of an enabling situation for the agencies to work would show that the best is actually being done,” he said.

As Breitbart News reported, Bishop Chikwe and his driver, who were abducted by gunmen on December 27, were released by their kidnappers late New Year’s Day.

Bishop Chikwe was returned unharmed after five days of captivity, but his driver, Mr. Ndubuisi Robert, had to be rushed to the hospital for treatment to a deep cut in his hand. Their kidnappers have yet to be identified.

In his message, Archbishop Martins said that despite enormous difficulties, Nigerians should not “allow fear to rob them of the joy” that comes with the New Year 2021.

“I urge you not to be afraid,” he said. “Rather than succumb to fear and its corresponding apprehension, people should be optimistic and place their hope and trust in the Almighty God who is able to turn around all things for good.”

Along with the issue of security, the archbishop touched on Nigeria’s economic challenges, urging the government to be more judicious in addressing the problem of the coronavirus to avoid “another round of total economic lockdown in view of the colossal losses it would cost the entire nation,” the message stated.

“Government must make objective appraisals of the situation and take necessary steps to reassure the people that they have a government that cares,” he said. “The onus is now on the Federal and states governments to listen to the people and save them from the agonies they have to face daily.”

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