The former Primate of Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion, Most. Rev. Peter Jasper Akinola, yesterday said the Boko Haram insurgency is a war on Christians.
Rev. Akinola warned President Goodluck Jonathan against dialoguing with a criminal sect carrying out a Jihad against Christians.
In a sermon at this year’s Democracy Day Interdenominational Church Service held at the National Christian Centre, Abuja, entitled ‘know the truth and the truth shall set you free’, Akinola said: “We are still disunited. Leaders are interested in their own, no national identity. We are blood thirty and bloodletting society with no regards for sanctity of life. Nigeria is at war against itself. Selfish politicians are doing all things on basis of political exigency. A word of truth about our past amalgamation, there was no consent from the South and North. It was done for political and economic gains of the colonials. Our leaders failed to gather the authentic representatives of Nigerians to seek the kind of independent Nigeria they want.
“This would have led to a new Nigeria. The euphoria of independence was consequently short-lived. Political atmospheres full of acrimony. There is tribal war. The country has been fragmented with inhibitions to progress. General election of first republic was based on faulty census leading to blood-letting that let to civil war. Unity is not attained by assumption nor military fiat. The 70-80s was characterised by unrest, military rule, coup, armed robbery. In 1999, return of democracy since then rather than dealing with the causes, successive governments have been hiding from the truth putting new wine in old bottle.
“Insecurity has been with us. About 30 crises so far has occurred in the country leading to religious and ethnic cleansing. In 1980 another religious riot with Christians killing took place. In all cases, we have failed to address the causes.
“We have ignored the truth. Boko Haram must be seen in the right context. It is a continuation of the past. Shun all political claims that Boko Haram is not against Christianity. It is. It has been going on since 1966. They are committed to Jihad. You can’t stop them it is their religious obligations. They have been doing it for 36 years; they have not stopped and they won’t stop.
“Boko Haram means Jews and Christians are abomination. They have been unleashing terror since 1966 and they have a mandate. This problem is not peculiar to Nigeria, many other stakeholders are disenchanted but waiting for their time. They want to eliminate infidels which includes you Mr. President.
“You open yourself to ridicule if you open dialogue to a group that has made the country ungovernable. Don’t treat them with kid gloves. You don’t. Dialogue with crime. The problem is not Jonathan; it is because we started in the wrong way and continue same way.”
On corruption, he said: “Corruption, the hydra-headed monster, has taken over the soul of Nigeria. Officials are stealing us blind. They want remains of Nigeria in carcass. Anti-corruption is selective. Their days are numbered. Police and judiciary have no clean hands. Our universities have joined traditional rulers to give questionable titles. It will continue because government pays lip service to fight corruption.
Jonathan assured that the country will not disintegrate, despite the challenges of security.
Jonathan said: “We shall overcome by your prayer and commitment. We are doing all we can do. We were caught unawares by terrorism. They came like a thief in d night. One thing I can say is that even though some people have predicted disintegration, Nigeria shall never disintegrate. Our forefathers worked hard to unite us. People are interested in us and reckon with us not because of oil but because of the potentials, population, resources and size.
“Ministers have briefed Nigerians. I will address the nation on Tuesday and give a bird’s eye view of how far we have come this one year. I believe we will succeed. Nigeria will move forward. My request is for you to stand by me.”