Popular Nigerian clergyman, Bishop David Oyedepo, has advised the Federal Government on the wave of terrism being perpetrated by the Boko Haram insurgents across Nigeria.
Punch reports that the founder and Chancellor, Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State, told President Jonathan to find means of resolving the crisis rocking some states in the North so as to prevent the country from turning into a war zone during a workshop organised by the African Leadership Development Centre on the university campus early in the week.
Speaking on the theme: “The Leadership Imperative: Conflict Management and Conflict Resolution Demands for Inspiring Transformation and Driving Change”, Oyedepo stated that though conflict was unavoidable in any part of the world, it was important that the leadership of the country dealt with such in order to avoid a state of war.
“War is a sucker. It sucks the resources of a nation. Only those who don’t know its cost propagate it. We must not have war in Nigeria. We should not even think of it. Its consequences are unimaginable. War is a crime against humanity. It erodes human dignity, destroys and devastates. It is staring at us in the face but we must avoid it.
“I once saw a family in Iraq who were feeding on leaves from graveyard. That is what war can do. It destroys the humanity in us. There is no life in war,” he added.
Commenting further, the religious leader said: “Nigeria must not see war again. This is not a prayer but a clarion call for a new way of thinking. Let us have real value for human lives. We are human beings. We need to start placing the appropriate value on human lives again.
“That is why we have to start to engage in a new way of thinking. Nigerians need to start building character, courage and capacity if we want to avoid war breakout.”
The Boko Haram insurgents have been reported to have claimed at least 4,000 lives since 2009.
The terror group are currently holding no fewer than 276 schoolgirls they abducted at the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State on 14 April, 2014.
In spite of calls for the militants to release the girls, the leader of the group, Abubakar Shekau, said they would only free the girls in exchange for some of their members captured by the Nigerian military.
The Nigerian government has since stated that its not going to negotiate with the terrorists on the release of the schoolgirls, promising to do whatever it takes to rescue them.
With seven weeks elapsed since the girls’ abduction, Nigerians and the international communities are hoping that the girls would regain their freedom at the earliest possible time.