A Catholic Bishop in northeastern Nigeria has warned that the nation is in a state of collapse, principally because of the incompetence and inaction of its government leaders.
Bishop Hilary Dachelem of the diocese of Bauchi told journalists this week that the country is in a state of rapid decline and is now hardly recognizable.
“There were pockets of issues but they were not too overwhelming,” Bishop Dachelem said in reference to ongoing killings and kidnappings. “Those who were into crime and criminality were very insignificant compared to the entire number but now, I don’t know if majority of us are criminals.”
“This is certainly not the Nigeria we used to know when we were growing up, we are facing a different Nigeria,” Dachelem said. “The Nigeria we used to know was free country and it was not as if there was no crime then but it was minimal and not at the alarming rate as it is now.”
The bishop told reporters that the majority of the nation’s current problems stem from the “incompetence, laissez-faire attitude, neglect and levity” of those in power.
“Nigeria is collapsing! It is almost a nation that is moribund with the way it is going,” he said, noting recent abductions of students at the Greenland University and the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation.
The parents of those kidnapped students do not need to ask whether Nigeria is collapsing, he added, since they know it is.
The bishop also called on Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari by name, urging him to address rampant youth unemployment as well as separatist uprisings around the country.
Last February, the Nigerian Bishops Conference released a statement condemning the ongoing situation of insecurity and widespread crime in the country, while also reproaching President Buhari for his failure to effectively address the crisis.
“We are really on the brink of a looming collapse, from which we must do all we can to pull back before the worst overcomes the nation,” the bishops declared.
“The very survival of the nation is at stake,” they said. “The nation is falling apart.”
“Serious insecurity, clearly evident in widespread loss of lives and property, for long unaddressed, has left the sad and dangerous impression that those who have assumed the duty and authority to secure the nation are either unable – or worse still, unwilling – to take up the responsibilities of their office,” the bishops added.