The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Most Rev. Matthew Kukah, yesterday in Nsukka, Enugu State reviewed the present state of insecurity in the country occasioned by the activities of Boko Haram sect and urged the federal government to design a security architecture that would stabilise the nation against internal and external threats.
Kukah noted that the present situation where Nigerians have embarked on blame game would not resolve the security issues, insisting that the nation must develop a robust intellectual content to get a proper grasp of the history and culture of the people as that would go a long way to checking the Boko Haram menace.
The fiery cleric who delivered the 43rd pre-convocation lecture of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) titled: â€œAfter the Insurgency: Some Thoughts on National Cohesion,â€ noted that “securing is science not voodoo as the stories of Maitatsine or Alice Lakwena and others have shown us.”
“It is a measure of the poor quality of our intelligence gathering tactics and perhaps poor funding, bureaucratic bottle necks, inter-agency competition for resources or influence, government obsession with other non-scientific methods of gathering (listening to medicine men, wearing charms, burying live animals to ward off misfortunes), un-coordinated reporting mechanisms, infighting at the top, are among the difficulties that must be dealt with,” he said.
He further attributed the growth of insurgency in Nigeria to conspiracy of silence and break down of societal surveillance.
Kukah said any society that shows lack of sensitivity to social and security threats in their environment was bound to experience manifestations of insurgency such Boko Haram terrorism in parts of the North.
He said if Nigerians were sensitive to their environment, such dangerous group would have been detected early before they become terrorists.
He said if the immediate community where the Boko Haram started had detected it early, the insecurity plaguing the nation today could have been averted.
â€œThe first mistake that people made was to see them as illiterate people and over looked them.
â€œNigerians should be sensitive to their environment, we must stop this idea of it does not concern me, whereas when that evil grow fully everybody will suffer from it,â€œ he said.
The bishop said intention of insurgency in any part of the world was to weaken and subvert any nation where they operate in order to take absolute control.
â€œSecurity operatives should use more of intelligence in finding the solution of Boko Haram.
â€œEvery Nigerian must assist the security operatives by providing them with useful information that wild help in finding lasting solution to the menace.
“Security agencies should perform their duties in a way to earn trust from Nigerians so that citizens will feel free to provide security information to them,” he counselled.
Kukah expressed concern over the ongoing National Conference, wondering if anything good would come out of it.
He said that the vision of the conference appeared not to go beyond 2015.
He said the present leaders appears to be replacing democracy with gerontocracy.
The cleric said delegates to the conference seem more interested on issues concerning themselves than addressing issues that concern the country.
â€œFrom my own view, it appears that delegates are more interested in themselves.
â€œThey should put national interest first if the outcome of the conference will move the country forward.
â€œThey should shun religious, political and tribal affiliation to achieve the objective of the conference,â€œ he said.
In a remark the vice chancellor of the university Prof. Bartho Okolo, said as he was about to step aside, he was very proud of achievements of his administration.
â€œUNN under my watch has regained lost ground as it can compete with other universities in the globe.
Okolo said that pre-convention lecturers were chosen from those who distinguished themselves in their field of endeavours.
Earlier, former Senate President, Senator Ken Nnmani, who was the chairman of the occasion, said he was satisfied with level of transformation UNN had recorded in the recent past.
â€œUNN has witnessed a big transformation, I urge Okolo’s successor to consolidate on the transformation as there is still room for more achievements by the next vice-chancellor,â€ he said.