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Catholic archbishop says Nigeria is drifting into anarchy, canvasses state of emergency on insecurity

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CATHOLIC Archbishop of Lagos Archdiocese Adewale Martins has asked the Nigerian government to declare a state of emergency on insecurity across the country.

Martins, in a statement signed by the diocesan director of social communications Anthony Godonu, warned that Nigeria was drifting into a state of anarchy.

He cited continuing attacks on police stations and offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission, as well as rising cases of kidnapping, armed robbery and murder to buttress that the country was on the verge of lawlessness.

The archbishop said a state of emergency on insecurity was the only way to arrest the ugly situation.

Corruption has for long been identified as Nigeria’s major problem, but Martins observed that insecurity was becoming a greater challenge.

“It is obvious that insecurity, apart from corruption, has become the single most serious problem that is facing our country today.

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“Many innocent persons are being kidnapped for ransom, many are being attacked in their homes and displaced with their property destroyed and normal life disrupted daily.

“Even policemen and their stations are being deliberately attacked with impunity. What this means is that the country is gradually drifting into a state of anarchy. This, no doubt, portends a grave danger for our collective wellbeing,” the archbishop said.

To effectively address insecurity, Martins said the security agencies should engage in dialogue with major stakeholders such as religious leaders, traditional rulers, leaders of ethnic groups, the civil society, and political parties.

He also spoke of the need for a practical action plan with clear timeline on ways to address the problem.

The cleric suggested that the introduction of state police in the proposed amendment of the 1999 Constitution would also help to improve security in the country.

“These would certainly help in restoring peace and security all over the country.

“This is no time to play the blame game or to play politics through sectoral efforts. There must be a collective effort through a robust consultation with all stakeholders.

“We all must come together to fight this hydra-headed monster of insecurity that is making life difficult for our people.”

Martins appealed to various groups agitating for self-determination to shun violence and embrace dialogue.

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