By our Reporter
Rev. Blessed Amalambu, Secretary, Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, (PFN), Abia State chapter in this exclusive interview with our Reporter, talks about PFN position on various national issues such as insecurity, corruption, alleged Islamisation etc. Excerpt…
Q: Insecurity In Nigeria And Where We Got It Wrong?
A: Insecurity has become a national headache. Of a truth, everyday has become another issue. Every day brings another high tension of heartbreaking stories of killings, wanton destruction of property, attempted ethnic cleansing from the North to the Southeast and South-south. There is no security in Nigeria. Life is more secured. That is why everybody is disturbed. It has become a national headache. I always say that we know where our problem stems from but the truth is that most of us have willfully decided to shy away from the truth.
Insecurity in Nigeria started somehow. I know there has been batches of protest, demonstrations, agitations from different groups in the time past, whereby either one or two persons lost his or her life or property even if in a very small scale.
Q: The Presidency, Declaration Of Visa Free Entry And Activities Of Boko Haram?
A: Declaring Nigeria as a visa free entry country by the Presidency for all Africans was done in order to precipitate a massive influx of Fulanis into the country. Also, remember that this issue of Boko Haram actually came in with the aim of wiping out certain part of the Northern States through their agenda, that they don’t want Western education; therefore certain part of the North should be allowed to run their own school, educate their own, using their Koran and produce their own leader. Actually, during the tenure of President Goodluck Jonathan, he was almost subdued. The agitations heightened then, until the coming of President Muhammadu Buhari, who in his tenure now, everything has gone to unbearable dimension. I carefully observed that one of the things that heightened this insecurity is that our President opened our borders to other countries in Africa to come in freely without visa.
This is the first time I am seeing a country open her borders for everyone to come in without proper screening. I know that the President probably knew what he wanted to achieve with this but Nigerians didn’t know the ulterior motive behind Mr President’s agenda. I am not afraid to say it because everything is pointing towards his mindset now. He opened the borders, Fulanis, strangers and foreigners came in, in millions and during that period, we had some speculations and rumours of importation of dangerous weapons, military hard wares, which the Immigration and Customs officers will say, well they confirmed in certain areas but nothing serious was done. My question is where were our Senators and Representatives at the Red and Green chambers and major stakeholders when the borders were opened? Did they ask our President the reason for opening the borders?
It was after this action that we began to hear about killings here and there. Nigeria has been surrounded by Fulani jihadists. The Boko Haram itself, when some of them were captured, they said they were detained, before we could know it, they brought them out and say that they have repented; that they want to rehabilitate them. None of them was sentenced, imprisoned, or killed. These were the people that killed millions of souls and displaced people. Some of them were sent abroad in order to avert justice, because these people are Fulanis. They told us that some of them have repented. Our President is a Fulani, top security Chiefs in the country are Fulanis, the Chief Justice of the Federation is a Fulani. All the people that would have tried them are Fulanis.
Q: Rising Cases Of Banditry?
A: I want to say it without any ambiguity; these herdsmen are also part of the banditry, because this name was the nomenclature the Federal Government designed to give herdsmen in order to avert judgment and justice, because if they say bandits, there is no specification and no particular being shall be held responsible. These are herdsmen who sprang up with the advent of this our leader. They invade farmlands, kill farmers from the Middlebelt, Benue and Plateau States and now they have crisscrossed all spheres of the country. They will kill, come out openly to tell the Nigerian Government that they are responsible because one or two cows were killed by the villagers. Hundreds of souls would be destroyed and the Federal Government will do nothing.
In Nigeria, we have some IDP camps where people in their own land have been displaced by the people we don’t know yet the Government knows them.
Before we know it, kidnapping came in, some people will go and abduct secondary school students and the Federal Government will go into negotiations, pay huge sum of ransom to them, while they pretend they don’t know their whereabouts.
Q: Military Intelligence, Can We Bank On It?
A: In Nigeria presently, everybody is helpless. Where are our military intelligence, people who can dictate things and areas in Nigeria? We have shown the world our weakness in the military system and formation. Everybody is helpless.
Q: Agitations In Nigeria?
A: The reason we have agitations from groups in the country is because of high level of nepotism. A leader will appoint his people of the same faith, tribe and ethnic group only as people who are qualified to hold sensitive positions in the country. If these offices are manned by the Fulanis and the Fulanis are causing troubles in the country, it will warrant the other dejected ethnic groups to form their security outfit at least to safeguard themselves.
We hear about Oduduwa group, MOSSOP, MASSOB among others. I can vividly remember that they were not aggressive, they were not killing people. They only hold their meetings. But, because the Federal Government protected and shielded people who have been killing others and without any punishment, no legal action against them, then these groups said, we are also human being with blood flowing in our vein.
They proscribed IPOB and nicknamed it terrorist group but at that time, they were branded terrorists, they had not caused any mayhem. They have not killed anyone. They only carry placards and flags demonstrating. They killed nobody but they were massacred even in Umuahia, Abia state capital.
Tell me, if you were such people, what will you do?
Q: PFN And Its Assessment Of Our Legislators In The Face Of Insecurity?
A: I am so amazed that at the heat of loss of lives and property, some of our legislators are busy debating, deliberating and supporting Bills on how to create database for goats, cows, hijab and water resources. These are irrelevant Bills for now because it has nothing to do with the protection of lives and property of those that elected them. Our legislators are busy spending money on nonessential issues, while lots of Nigerians are being slaughtered like fowls every day. I believe that the core function of the legislative arm of government is to make laws that will protect lives and property of Nigerians irrespective of tribe, religion and ethnic group; make laws that will help to streamline things, bring decorum and peace in the society. But I think, the ulterior motive of the presidency, which is the Fulanization of Nigeria, the move to displace the indigenous people of Nigeria and allow foreigners to occupy, is also affecting some of them. That’s why they fall deaf ears when the borders were opened.
Q: The View of PFN on the Developments in the Southeast and Actions of the Governors
A: I love our governors but they are not are not doing well. Imagine a Correctional Centre and Police stations were invaded particularly in Imo State. When the news broke out in the morning, the governor of Imo State opened his mouth publicly and indicted the ESN and the IPOB without proper investigation and allowed the Federal Government to take what people might term as rash action on the people of Imo State.
He quickly forgot that any statement you made as a leader has weight. It is an official statement. I want to advise that before any leadership should make sensitive utterances, let there be holistic investigation, so that we can know who did what and who is who.
It is not out of place for these same herdsmen to come under cover, cause all these things to distabilize our own area, the Southeast. And then, our governors, our leaders will not be so proactive and intelligent enough to carry out exhaustive investigation to know. Where are the intelligence security officers who get information? Where are they in the Southeast? Where are they in Nigeria? It is now obvious that all of us who claimed to be intelligence officers are no more intelligent.
It is of the opinion of PFN Abia state chater that let there be holistic investigation before any public statement. We shouldn’t sin ourselves. We should not fight ourselves.
Q: Year 2023 General Elections and What Nigerians Should Do?
A: A nation that cannot learn her lessons on time will continue to suffer the same problem. Let us critically look at those (candidates) that have a broad mind. We should learn to tolerate people from other ethnic groups and give them sense of belonging.
We will make a grave mistake if we are going for 2023 elections whereby money speaks and political party is considered even when it is fielding an incompetent candidate. Let Nigerians of voting age, vote out anyone that is not competent, who will not represent the interest of Nigeria. This is the opinion of PFN Abia state chapter.
Q: The Present State of Nigeria and Words To Muslims And Christians
A: Nigeria is at the verge of collapsing. We should avoid the total collapse. We need urgent remedy to rebuild all the collapsed areas. It is possible with God and prayers. The Christians and Muslims should not be partisan in the year 2023 general elections. We should collectively find a credible person and vote in, so that Nigeria will be preserved and our children will have a place to stay and breed their young ones. Our fathers kept Nigeria one and preserved it. All the mineral resources were there during their time and it did not divide them. All these political positions were there. Obafemi Awolowo, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Tafawa Balewa and others were there and they forged ahead. So, let us toe their steps and forge ahead as one nation.
Q: Way Out of Insecurity and Agitations
A: If insincerity, nepotism and tribalism are allowed to thrive and flourish as we see it today, then there will be no remedy. If we must address the security situation in Nigeria, there must be a holistic approach without fear or favour.
I am one of those that have been preaching and pleading to our youth to be decent and disciplined because two wrongs can’t make a right but how long will they continue to intimidate them because they are in power. If we want to get peace restored in Nigeria, let there be fairness, let there be restructuring that everybody is agitating for. Let our president, let our legislators help in this case. Things will work well, agitations will minimize when everyone is carried along. We are all stakeholders in Nigeria.
If the corrupt people regardless of their political party or ethnic group is tried and punished accordingly, nobody will complain, but if you shield your own and want to kill my brother, there will be an agitation. That’s why insecurity spread like wildfire. There is injustice, intimidation, marginalization and suppression. Everything is lopsided.
The carelessness of our leaders brought woes to Nigeria, but there’s still hope through cooperation with God, sincerity of purpose and oneness of heart. Abia State PFN is appealing to stakeholders in security and ethnic groups in Nigeria to lay down their arms. If we destroy every Nigerian and you’re agitating for one position or the other, who will you lead? Let there be round table discussion from the Presidency, Senate, other legislators, religious circle, traditional institution among others to proffer solutions to Nigeria’s problem.
Finally, if Nigeria must be reviewed and there’s fairness, justice and equity, I will subscribe for one Nigeria, because unity is strength.
Uche Nwosu is a two time Shell Petroleum PLC award winner in the year 2000;
He won the Shell Award on Investigative Journalism and Environmental Cleanliness.