The Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria has urged the federal government to stop paying ransom to bandits but rather should step up its efforts in providing security for Nigerians.
The body made the plea at a well-attended press conference on Thursday addressed by her president, Bishop Francis Wale Oke.
The conference which held at the National Secretariat of the fellowship in Lagos had in attendance PFN national executive members including her National Deputy President, Archbishop John Praise, National Secretary Dr. Cosmos Ilechukwu, National Financial Director, Rev Samuel Aboyeji, Bishop Mom Igbinosa, and Bishop Emma Gospel Isong, the National Publicity Secretary. So many other top church leaders from across the country were also present at the meeting.
Negotiate with youths, not bandits
Bishop Oke said in his address that, rather than negotiate with bandits, the government should negotiate with the youths of the country and find a way of meeting their needs and solving their challenges.
He said, ‘I want to charge the newly appointed security chiefs to walk the talk. Bring your skill and training to bear. Negotiating with bandits is an admission of failure.
“They are to be made to face the full force of the law. Negotiating with them is not acceptable. It is an admission of failure. The government can rise up to the occasion and bring the full weight of justice to bear on them.
‘Government should negotiate with the youths and not bandits. We have insecurity all over the place. Young people that are productive deserve government attention, not bandits. Nigerians already paid ransom by voting president Mohamadu Buhari. His job is to provide security for the nation.’ he stressed.
While congratulating Muslims on the Ramadan fast, Bishop Oke urged leaders of the Islamic faith to pray for the peace and security of Nigeria.
Read also: CAN curious over Sheik Gumi’s interface with bandits, slams FG over silence: https://churchtimesnigeria.net/sheik-gumi-bandits-can/
He stated, ‘we want to congratulate the Muslim family on the Ramadan fast. We believe in prayers and we want them to pray for our nation. They have told us Islam is a religion of peace. We do not dispute that. We want the leaders to prove this not only in words but in action. Boko haram is using Islam to perpetrate wickedness. They should be called to order.’
The PFN leader expressed the willingness of the body to partner with Muslims in building a peaceful nation. ‘Let us cooperate to end banditry and also end Boko haram menace.’ he pleaded.
He added, ‘They should join us in praying for peace. Everybody should be concerned about the security situation of the nation. It was confined to the northeast now it is all over the country.’
He also expressed. concern about the nation’s economy noting that the naira is in a free fall.
‘We are also concerned about the economy. The value of the naira has fallen drastically. The economy is battered.
‘We heard the government is attempting to print more money to shore the economy. That is unfortunate if it is true. The government should rather create jobs. It should limit importation.
‘Let’s produce the food we eat. The government should strengthen local manufacturers so they could produce what we consume. That is the way we can grow the economy.’
Earlier at the conference, he thanked the media for their role in nation-building saying ‘ we see the press as partners in nation-building. We acknowledge the role of the press in exposing corruption and evil in our society. We pray that the Lord will continue to prosper you’