By Abujah Racheal
The Nigerian Baptist Convention (NBC) has tasked the Federal Government and security agencies to develop new operational tactics to end the country’s security challenges.
In a communiqué at the end of its 106th Annual Session, President of NBC, Rev. Samson Ayokunle, also urged the judiciary and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to be truly independent in the ongoing political transition.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the communique was issued on Sunday in Abuja by the Chairman of the Resolution and Communique Committee, Prof. S. Akinlolu Fagbemi.
Ayokunle, who is also President of the Christians Association of Nigeria (CAN) said it would be an understatement to say that there were security challenges in Nigeria today.
He observed with disappointment the unchecked attack of both Nigerians and foreigners due to terrorist and various criminal activities in the country.
“It is unfortunate that despite various promises by government on the release of Leah Sharibu and other people in the custody of Islamic terrorists, those promises are yet to be fulfilled.
“Premised on the foregoing, we implore the Federal Government to uphold the sanctity of lives and protection of properties of Nigerians,” the NBC President said.
Ayokunle also advised the government to be proactive in responding to security challenges and bringing the perpetrators and their sponsors to book.
He said that no effort must be spared in the fight against Boko Haram insurgency and their sponsors at all levels.
He further urged the government to equip and empower law enforcement agencies to enable them tackle Nigeria’s security challenges.
“Provide enough security in various areas under constant threat of terrorist groups attacks in Nigeria,” Ayokunle stated.
The Baptist Church, the president said, was displeased with the militarisation of the just concluded elections and condemned the involvement of soldiers in strong terms.
“We observed with dismay the heavy deployment of armed Military personnel during the just concluded elections.
“We recall that the duty of the military, among others, is to monitor country’s external boundaries to ward off aggression; and definitely not to interfere in the civic duty of police and other para-military personnel during elections.
“We make bold to say that this is what is obtainable in civilised climes the world over.
“There is no doubt that the presence of the military at polling units during the just concluded elections created fear in the minds of the electorates and made some voters to stay at home to avoid harassment and embarrassment.
“In view of the dangers in using military personnel during the conduct of elections, government is strongly advised to stop deploying the military during elections.
“It should rather create conducive environment during elections and allow the military to concentrate on its primary duty of defending the territorial boundaries of Nigeria against external aggression,” he said.
The cleric also appealed to the government to address unemployment and its consequences as the Nigerian youth and other victims of unemployment constituted nuisance and menace to the country.
“There is need therefore for government to totally overhaul our school curricular with a view to focusing on entrepreneurial training of our youths and create incentives such as soft loans to young graduates to start businesses and curb reliance on white collar jobs after graduation,” Ayokunle said.