Disarm herdsmen, Anglican primate tells FG

Samuel Awoyinfa, Abeokuta

The Primate of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), the Most Reverend Nicholas Okoh, has called on the Federal Government to disarm herdsmen across the country.

Okoh maintained that it was high time the Federal Government came up with a policy to check the killings by herdsmen in various parts of the country.

The cleric made this call on Wednesday in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, during his opening address at the church’s Standing Committee meeting.

He said it was unconstitutional and discriminatory for some individuals in the same country to bear arms and ammunition freely, while others could not.

He said, “It is unconstitutional and discriminatory for some individuals to bear arms freely, while others cannot. Such a situation will perpetuate crimes and it is a threat to peace.

“The Standing Committee wishes, therefore, to call on the Federal Government to come up with a policy to deliberately disarm herdsmen.”

The Standing Committee comprises the primate, archbishops, bishops and the Home of Clergy and Laity of the Church.

Okoh warned that if killer herdsmen were not checked, they would continue to perpetuate crimes and threaten the peace of the nation.

While he decried the incessant killings by the herdsmen in southern Kaduna, he advised that herdsmen should be disarmed as quickly as possible to curtail the loss of lives and wanton destruction of property.

Okoh also urged the Federal Government to use all the forces at its disposal to fight the menace of kidnapping, noting that the rising spate of kidnapping all over the country was alarming and worrisome.

He said, “The rising spate of kidnapping all over the country is alarming and worrisome. The Standing Committee wishes to call on the Federal Government to use all the forces available to her to fight the menace.

“The apparent boom of kidnapping business is neither good for our security nor for the country’s economy.”

He, however, commended the FG for her concerted efforts against terrorism, which had ensured that peace returned to the North-East even as he called for the sustenance of peace in the region.

On the anti-corruption war, Okoh commended the Muhammadu Buhari administration for making it a duty to rid the country of corruption.

Okoh said, “We identify with the government in this fight against corruption, recognising it as a noble cause. The Standing Committee, however, wishes to urge the government to ensure that its scope is widespread across all tiers — federal, state and local government levels — and across all boards and groups. If deemed necessary, an independent body can be created and charged with the task.”

The Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, identified religious intolerance as one of the hindrances of development.

He urged Nigerians to be more accommodating of one another’s religious beliefs.

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