Yemi Adedeji, Abuja
Chukwuemeka Uche, Prelate and leader of the Methodist Church in Nigeria, has thrown his weight behind the recent statement credited to Theophilius Danjuma, a former Minister of Defence, that Nigerians should defend themselves following the failure of government to curb the incessant killings perpetrated by herdsmen across the country.
Uche while addressing a press conference on Monday in Abuja at the end of his 7-day apostolic tour of the Arch-Diocese of Abuja, Nyanya and Kubwa respectively, saying that it was clear that the federal government provided the environment by supporting one religion against the other, necessitating the development.
He stated: “If they think they have all the arms and ammunition, they are deceiving themselves. They don’t know what goes on in the creeks, and there are areas that the military doesn’t even go. I am praying that Nigeria does not become Rwanda. Because the way they are going, if what they are planting starts, nobody is safe and nowhere will be safe.
“I want to tell you that there are sympathizers outside. I had phone calls from outside the country asking me to confirm whether on the Dapchi School girls that only Muslim girls were released, and the only Christian girl detained. And I told them yes, but our government is making efforts to release her.
“I want to tell you even the outsiders are working hard to deceive us and after destroying us, they would come back and tap our oil. May be the government does not know. I want you to blow it open, that people want to destroy us as a nation and it is possible. So, I would not want a repeat of what happened in Iraq to happen here. We should be very fair and practice real democracy.
“So, it has come to the level if Boko Haram could come to Dapchi to drop the girls, no challenge and went back, and soldiers were withdrawn, it means that apparently, the government is siding one religion against the other. That is the implication”
“You think we are not watching and seeing? The time has come for Nigerians to defend themselves. We of the Christian Association of Nigeria(CAN) have told Nigerians to prepare to defend themselves, even with Cutlass, but they should start with prayers”,
“Who is deceiving who? Nigeria is a secular country. I would not want Israel, Germany, France, America England, Australia, and other Christian nations to besiege us. But when they come, Iraq will come, Iran will come, and other Muslim nations would come and then the third world war may happen in Nigeria. And that is the way we are going. The Church must pray, genuine Muslims must pray so that we do not have these kinds of problems in this country. It is clear the leadership is turning its eyes the other way, supporting one religion against the other.
“Those herdsmen carrying guns, if they don’t have the backing of those in government, they would not have the audacity, the impetus to do what they are doing, especially the police, the Inspector General of Police(IGP) we have now shows himself as a Muslim, quote me, quote me. He is not for everybody, he is for Muslims, and we don’t want that. He should be for all of us!
“For the soldiers, I don’t want to blame them, because they have tried their best. I know that there are bad eggs among them. Their leaders are not mean, I don’t think so. I have problem with the Inspector General of Police, take note And I have problem with the Directorate of state Security(DSS). They only arrest opposition. What is happening in Nigeria now is that if you belong to APGA, PDP, Labour Party(LP), and others outside APC and you stole money, just join the ruling party and DSS and Police will protect you. Nobody will mention it again”.
“Those that translated like chameleon to the ruling party are the ones committing havoc. Just change your party and become an angel. So, we are analyzing what is going on. But I want to tell you boldly, we religious leaders love Nigeria. I can tell you that I have my respect for the Sultan of Sokoto, because we meet in interreligious circles and he said that anybody carrying gun and attack a fellow Nigeria is not defending Nigeria and should be treated as a criminal.
“What we can do in security on the part of the church is prayer and fasting. And that is what we are doing now. But we may be left to be behaving like the biblical Nehemiah. Nehemiah was having the holy book and at the same time a sword.
“For now, only our brothers at the other side can have the Holy Quran and the Sword and we are daily been slaughtered and decreasing us instalmentally. But we are left with no alternative than to carry the Bible and the Sword now if they allow it. What happened in Turkey can never happen in Nigeria. Turkey was predominantly a Christian state but were annihilated and Islamized, it can never happen in Nigeria.
“I am saying openly for somebody who loves Nigeria that if you live in glass house, don’t throw stones. But now I am calling on Christians to pray, pray and pray. But if the system continues its destruction of Christians, we will surely react, by telling our members to get their swords and fight and I can tell you that people in Aso Rock will run away. No government House will be stable no matter how they fortify themselves. So, we are saying that should not happen ooh!,” he said.