By Abuchi Onwumelu
The Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Anambra State, Rev Paulinus Ezeokafor, has said the trouble with Nigeria is that many of its leaders have expired.
Bishop Ezeokafor, who spoke at St. Patrick’s Catholic Cathedral, Awka, while delivering his New Year Message, wondered why Nigerian leaders would stay glued to their seats even when it had become obvious that they had nothing more to offer.
He said, ‘Some leaders have overstayed their usefulness. Most of our leaders have expired. It’s part of corruption if you refuse to leave office when it’s due for you to do so. Our leaders should learn to hand over power to young people with fresh brains and ideas.
‘Every generation has a special blessing of God. Our leaders should fashion ways to encourage young ones to succeed them, even if it means setting up a junior parliament.
‘The standard of living of our youths should be raised. You don’t empower the youths by giving them keke (tricycles) or okada (motorcycles). It’s rare for any person who started as a keke or okada operator to rise to become a commissioner or a minister. The youths should be empowered with education.
‘If we don’t treat our youths well now and allow them to determine their future, EndSARS is one thing; the next will be EndBigMen. When a revolution starts, it doesn’t end so easily.’
The bishop alleged that certain individuals were feeding fat on the nation’s insecurity situation, insisting that firing the service chiefs would reduce corruption.
He said, ‘I know that the fundamental responsibility of government is security and welfare of the people; where such responsibility is lacking, it is expected that those in charge should resign. When Buhari came in, he promised to tackle insecurity. The same promise he repeated in his second term. Yet we keep witnessing insecurity on a daily basis.
‘First was the kidnap of the Chibok girls, followed by the Dapchi girls. Now, it is the Kankara boys. To travel by road now is near impossible. Unfortunately, travelling by air is expensive. Yet our budget on security is alarming.
‘We’re just making a mockery of ourselves before the international community whose eyes are on us. Besides, when we negotiate with these criminals, we’re reinforcing them because they will use the ransom proceeds to buy more ammunition.
‘I don’t feel comfortable with the Presidency because of the service chiefs. Pampering them is unhealthy, having exhausted their ideas. If these things are not checked, it will keep recycling. If the service chiefs are sincere, they should resign. But since they’re feeding on it, it will be difficult for them.’