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Nigeria sick, democracy dead, says Bishop Adeleye

Nigeria sick, democracy dead, says Bishop Adeleye - nigeria, democracy

By Joseph Kingston, Calabar

The Bishop of Cala­bar Diocese of the Anglican Commu­nion, Bishop Tunde Adeleye, has declared that Nigeria “is deeply sick,” adding that democracy, which the founding fathers fought for was dead.

The clergy spoke during a press conference at the Ca­thedral Church of the Holy Trinity in Calabar to signal the commencement of the 2018 Synod of the Commu­nion.

He said: “We do not need to tell a man who is just coming in from a heavy rain that he is wet. Nigeria is sick, deeply sick. Nige­ria has derailed. Nigeria is failing as a nation, if not al­ready failed already.

“The rail on which the foundation of Nigeria was laid is rusted under our feet. We left the path our fa­thers laid for us. We cannot now say that what we have is what Sir Ahmadu Bello, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, etc fought for. I said in a meeting re­cently that if any of these people should wake up from their graves today and see what is going on in Nige­ria, they might prefer to die again.”

The bishop enumerated hydra-headed challenges confronting the country to include “corruption, kid­napping, nepotism, inse­curity, wicked negligence, marginalisation of ethnic groups adjudged minority, thoroughly failed govern­ment institutions, non-func­tional economy, tribalism, bad leadership, demise of democracy and menace of herdsmen,” amongst others.

On what could be done to remedy the situation, Adel­eye identified true feder­alism and prayers as solu­tions, saying the system of government being practiced in the country was not fed­eralism but “pure unitary system.”

According to him, “Pow­er must devolve to the fed­erating states. The centre in Nigeria is too powerful. The power has to be divided between the national gov­ernment and other units … between federal, states and local governments.”

On insecurity bedevil­ling the nation, he opined that the menace could be addressed if each state or even local government have their respective police, add­ing “this is done all over the world where true federal­ism is practiced.”

He explained that ingre­dients of true federalism in­clude state police, resource control, financial autonomy of states, survival and prev­alence of fundamental hu­man rights, and education system based on states’ plan.

“Besides the federal con­stitution, the States should have their own constitu­tions running side by side, without interference with the federal government or national constitution.

“Separation of power should be respected and ob­served more than what we have now. There is a major claim that the police do not have respect for the legisla­ture. This is not democrat­ic. There should be no state religion, not even a resem­blance or allusion of such. Criminal justice should be a combined responsibility of the state and federal gov­ernment. States should own resources in their areas.

“Until and unless we be­gin a federal system of government in Nigeria, we may, unfortunately, con­tinue to suffer in the ways we are suffering now. Nige­ria should pray more than ever before. Prayer changes things. Prayer can deliver us from this grip of suffer­ing,” he stated.

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