The General Superintendent of the Deeper Christian Life Ministry, Pastor William Kumuyi, has called for a national conference to address thorny issues facing the nation in the wake of series of bomb attacks in the country.
Kumuyi said the problems confronting the nation are beyond prayers alone and that the leadership of the nation needs to work towards achieving utmost peace in the country.
The cleric, who spoke in Ogun State, southwest Nigeria during the December Retreat of the church, said he is bothered by the series of crises rocking the nation in recent times.
“When one looks at the scores of persons who have lost their lives in various attacks, and the hundreds of properties which were demolished in the process and a further look at everything, there is passion, anger from different quarters reacting to the killing.
“Why is this happening? What are the demands of different people in the society? Why have they resolved into taking this illicit act? They have done this because they wanted someone to listen to them.
“There is need for us; all – Christians, Muslims and the government – to sit down together and check the root of the increasing crime rate in the country. This is because this crisis started a few years ago.
“And at the forum, we will listen to one another’s claim on where it all went wrong. I believe that this will help solve the problem. This is not the first time we are experiencing this in the country,” he said.
According to him, “previously, it was the Niger Delta issue and in the 60s when we had civil war, how did we solve them? As we sit down together without any passion and anger, we will be able to proffer the solution to the issues affecting us as a nation.”
The cleric added that “Nigerians like prayers but prayers alone will not move the country to the preferred destination. All we need to do is work and pray. In this coming year, our mission should be to learn from our mistakes of the past, put our heads and mind together and resolve that we (Nigerians) will solve our problems ourselves because foreign countries cannot do it for us.
“Prayers alone will not solve our challenges. We should begin to turn things around and promise that we want to build a better country and we are going to contribute to that. I believe that we will have a better year in 2012.”
Kumuyi also decried the falling standard of education in the country, saying that pragmatic steps must be taken to address the issue in order to reposition the nation for a better future.
He said: “I think that it is unfortunate to allow the standard of education to have fallen to the point where some foreign countries do not recognise trainings done at any university in the country. I think that we can retrace our footstep and check where we have got it wrong.
“I could remember that in the 60s, the level of education in this country was very high. I believe that when we examine how we went from the top to the bottom, then we can discover our winning idea and get back to the top again. And to achieve this, it will require Nigerians to reason together.
“There will be need for a forum where all our educationist and decision makers in the country can brainstorm and map our way back to where we truly belong. It cannot happen overnight but I believe that with time, we can do it again.”
Meanwhile, members of the Lagos State House of Assembly have declared that President Goodluck Jonathan has not only lost control, but has failed the nation and the people who came out en-masse to vote for him during the last April elections.
The lawmakers are also wondering why the President could tell Nigerians that Boko Haram and terrorism are a burden Nigerians would have to live with.
The lawmakers further said that the President has failed the Nigerian minority, who saw him as a rallying point for the presidency, while lamenting his inadequate response to critical challenges like insecurity facing the country.
They said it has become important that the country look into the issue of state and community policing as a way of bringing back the much-desired peace.
Speaking with P.M.NEWS on the series of explosions which marred the Christmas celebration in Nigeria, the House Committee Chairman on Information, Olusegun Olulade, said Nigerians do not need to be told that the President has lost control and is now living in confusion.
According to him, “If the President and Commander-In-Chief of this country could say that terrorism is a burden we have to live with, it shows that he has lost control. It shows President Jonathan has no reason to be there as the president of this country. It shows he lacks direction.
“I could imagine one of the casualties saying ‘merry Christmas’ to his colleague or friend and the next thing he heard was ‘I wish you the same’ in heaven. It is a sad thing and that statement should not have come from the President at all. I feel so bad about it.”
Judging from the actions and words of the President so far, Olulade said it would not be out of place to say Nigeria does not have a federal government yet and that “the PDP has lost every good thing that it could have stood for. What do we expect when it was actually ‘good luck to you, good luck to me’ that we voted for? That is one of the problems we are facing today.
“In the days of the NRC and SDP, we saw a Bashir Tofa confronting Kashimawo Abiola in a debate that was classified as world class, discussing real issues that had to do with the masses of the country. That was not what we saw this time, because Jonathan contested on the platform of a party that does not have a manifesto or policy.”
He said until the country resorts to community policing, the crisis may not abate.
The Chairman, House Committee on Education, Science and Technology, Wahab Alawiye-King, said though terrorism has become a global challenge, the statement credited to the President at this critical period in the country is lamentable.
“I am still at a loss as to why the President made such a statement at a period when every Nigerian is troubled and disturbed. Terrorism is never a burden we have to live with like the President has said,” he said.
The lawmaker added that the American government had forewarned Nigeria about the incident which occurred on Christmas day and warned that people should avoid crowded places that period.
“Then it happened, showing us that intelligence gathering in Nigeria is nothing to write home about. If we could not prevent it, we needed to be more vigilant. This is also the right time to convene a stakeholders’ meeting,” he said.
According Mufutau Egberongbe, Chairman of the House Committee on Physical Planning and Urban Development, the President has failed everybody especially those who voted for him.
“He has shown the citizens that he is not prepared for leadership, he is not prepared as a president of this nation. For emphasis too, as an academic, he has failed his colleagues and those he taught in higher institution then.”
“I was so positive about him while he was coming on board because of his level of education and knowing that his colleagues would ask questions. With all sense of sincerity, his major problem is that he has a dearth of ideas. Look at the myriad of problems facing country: bomb explosions, subsidy removal, ASUU industrial action. He has always followed a one-way approach as if there are no other options,” he said
He said rather than concentrate on the issues at hand, the President has continued to dabble into areas of less importance.
He questioned the reason for the depleting of the excess crude account for no reason rather than channel same into the building of new refineries and resuscitation of existing ones.
“It is not too late for him to go back to the drawing table. He should for once listen to the voice of the people and even the opposition parties. He should listen to critics,” he said.
Another lawmaker, Bolaji Yusuf Ayinla, said he is sure President Jonathan would be regretting his statement that the country should live with the burden of terrorism.
“I believe he should be sober now because that was not the right statement to be made by one who claims to be the arrow-head of the country.
“He is supposed to end his statement, sympathising with the victims of the series of blasts and assuring Nigerians that the right measures would be implemented to beef-up security in the security,” he added.
According to him, the security of a country is paramount to the existence and development of the country and Nigeria has no choice than to beef up security if it must continue to exist.