Vanguard (Lagos)

27 August 2012

Nigeria: Insecurity - Catholic Archbishop Calls for Overhaul of Political System

Lagos — CATHOLIC Archbishop of Lagos, Most Rev. Alfred Adewale Martins, yesterday, advocated an overhaul of the nation's political system as a means of addressing the current security challenges just as the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha assured Nigerians that the National Assembly won't disappoint them.

The archbishop argued that a constitutional review that will give bite to the nation's dreams of a true federalism was long overdue, adding that activities of Boko Haram were not only crippling the economy of the host states, but were also compounding the economic development of the nation.

Giving a lecture at this year's Catholic Young Men Association Annual Lecture at the St. Agnes Catholic Church, Maryland, Lagos and titled: "Sustaining democratic dividends and economic growth in the face of current security challenges," the Lagos archbishop said his visit to the Internet revealed that it was only in Nigeria that politicians talked about dividends of democracy while the basic ingredients of democracy like free judiciary, press and such like were relegated to the background.

According to the Archbishop, "the security threat have been made worse by the fact that government seems to be unable to know what to do about it. The fact that various recommendations of the numerous panels of inquiry that have examined some of the issues in the past have not been released or implemented gives the impression that no one can touch those who disobey the law of the land as they create chaos and anarchy.

"If we address the structural deficiencies in our political system and restructure our economy such that opportunity for self-employment are more abundant we shall have the dividends of democracy in abundance".

Earlier in his remarks, the special guest of honour at the event organised by the Catholic Young Men Association, CYMA, Chief Ihedioha who was represented by Ambassador Timothy Ihenmadu, said the seventh National Assembly will do everything within the books to make sure that Nigeria have sustainable development.

"Unabating sectarian violence in parts of the country as well as kidnapping and other forms of militancy in Nigeria are capable of bringing the nation that our forefathers fought very hard to put in place, to her knees," he stated.

Chairman of the occasion, Mr. Ignatius Adegunle also condemned the spate of insecurity, saying that there cannot be any sustainable development in an atmosphere devoid of peace.

"We must imbibe the biblical injunction of being our brothers' keepers," he said, adding that no one would want to kill his own brother.

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