Chancellor Covenant University (CU), Otta, Ogun State, Dr. David Oyedepo, has called for a complete overhaul of the nation’s security system against those he called ‘religious bigots’ scheming to Islamise Nigeria through repeated attacks on churches.
Oyedepo also urged the Federal Government to be more committed to the insecurity problem, failure of which he noted, may lead to disintegration.
“I want to believe that what we have on our hands today is an islamisiation agenda being propagated and sponsored by some religious bigots who are poised for war, and if government does not decisively stem down this tide, Nigeria may cease to be a nation.”
In his address themed: Towards the rescue of a nation on the brink of collapse: Necessity for a new generation of thinkers, delivered at the seventh convocation of CU at the university premises yesterday, Oyedepo said consistent attacks by the dreaded Islamic sect, Boko Haram (Western education is forbidden) leaves much suspicion in its trail. He noted that if Boko Haram members are agitating for their rights as they claim, government institutions rather that churches should have been their targets.
“Now let us think: If Boko Haram, as claimed by some of their symphatisers, is fighting the government for its rights, the question is, is it the church that is depriving them of such rights? If the bombs in the north are just reactions to class oppression or poverty in the nation, why are mosques exempted from bombs?
He continued: “Did the militants in the South South, during their struggle, ever attacked worshippers in the mosque on Fridays? A lot of political hypocrisy must be going on here.
“Are there no Muslins in the West, South and East of Nigeria? Why are they not shooting at people in churches who gather for worship? Why are they not throwing bombs at Christians? I believe some individuals are simply without any other mission other than breaking Nigeria.”
He said insecurity today remains the nation’s greatest albatross, dwarfing other national malaise like poverty, corruption, unemployment, among others.
Oyedepol lamented that the Boko Haram phenomenon has cost the nation huge human, economic and financial loss, which the World Investment Report put at N1.33 trillion in foreign direct investment (FDI). He said despite huge unemployment in the country, the few existing institutions and organisations are relocating to neigbouring countries like Ghana because such companies consider security as key to their continued existence.
Oyedepo further cited the case of wars in some African countries such as Sudan, Rwanda, Somalia, Sierra-Leone, Liberia, Congo, Ethiopia and the ongoing Malian uprising, juxtaposing the causes and durations of such wars with the level of human loss and victims displaced.
The above examples, the cleric stressed, are enough to provoke Africa, nay Nigeria, to a new realm of thinking, noting that the black continent is yet to learn the fact that war does no one any good.
Oyedepo described those perpetrating the atrocities as selfish, self-centered with low self-esteem who fail to think about the consequences of their action.
‘The question now is, when would Africa start to learn her lessons? In spite of the gruesome data captured in this speech, Malians are still killing themselves today. It is not what we hear through lessons but thinking through what we hear. It is no what we see that equals lesson learnt but thinking through what we see. This is what I believe is the problem of Africa-inability to draw lessons from the things we see, hear and observe and even experience.”
Advocating a ‘stop and think’ approach to the nation’s malaise, Oyedepo further added: “The greatest challenge to Africa’s development is the underdeveloped minds of Africans. He (African) therefore becomes cheap as pawns in the chessboard of their benefactors. The mind of the Nigerian should be transformed into new mind that can dream new Nigeria into existence; minds that can resist indoctrination of evil.”
Dr Oyedepo called on well-meaning Nigerians, the academia to join in the clarion call for an end to violence and also help the perverted towards a new re-orientation.
“Until we solve the security problems, we may not solve the economic problems. If you kill for the sake of conversion, can that dead man be convertible? Rather, you have lost a God-like asset for your nation and lost an opportunity to live a better life.