Lagos lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, Mr. Femi Falana, has berated political leaders in the country for the loss of thousands of lives to insurgency.
Falana specifically blamed them for promoting religion at the detriment of the unity of the people.
He made these views known on Wednesday at the 7th edition of Emeritus Professor, David Ijalaiye (SAN) and celebration of his 50th year anniversary call to bar and academics.
The event was put together by Equity Chambers of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile –Ife, with Justice Amina Augie chairing the occasion.
Falana cited the building of a mosque and church at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa by former military president Ibrahim Babangida and Chief Olusegun Obasanjo respectively and sponsorship of pilgrims to holy lands by governments at all levels as the root cause of religious strife in the country.
He said, “Boko Haram is fighting and Nigeria is not responding. If we were still under military rule, I would have suspected a sabotage. The problem of Boko Haram is the cause of both Muslims and Christians. We have allowed religion to outshine our reasoning and we now base our fairness on religious ground. There is no law that states that government shall sponsor anybody for religious purposes.
“Nigeria is a secular state, which allows the right to religion. You are allowed to worship the way you like and go to heaven the way you want without force. But in our case, while (ex-dictator, Gen. Ibrahim) Babangida built a mosque, (former President Olusegun) Obasanjo built a church in the Aso Rock Villa and they are sponsoring them with government fund, they appointed Imams and chaplains respectively.
“Every region in Nigeria is currently faced with its own insurgent groups, most of which are allegedly sponsored by government officials; and the challenge is usually that when you sponsor thugs, it will get to a stage when you lose control and that was what happened with the Boko Haram sect”.
The eminent lawyer also described as embarrassing, the constant ill-advise President Goodluck Jonathan has been receiving coupled with the undue accolades he gets for his failure to successfully stop the Boko Haram insurgency.