THERE was a public outcry on Tuesday against the spate of terrorist attacks in the country, particularly the Monday killings at the Deeper Life Bible Church in Kogi State. Many people who spoke to our correspondents on Tuesday said the country was on the brink of anarchy.
Groups and individuals, including the Church of Nigeria Anglican communion; the northern socio-political group, the Arewa Consultative Forum; and some former police bosses condemned the growing wave of violence in the country.
The Prelate of the Anglican Church, Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, in an interview with one of our correspondents in Abuja, warned that the country was drifting to anarchy.
He said, “At the rate we are going, the country is drifting fast into anarchy and if people now capitalise on that situation, it will degenerate to dog eat dog.
“If dog eats dog, that is the end of the country. So for me, we go back to government whose responsibility it is constitutionally to provide defence for the people.”
The cleric called on the Federal Government to utilise the taxpayers’ money to “provide protection for the people.”
He said, “The attack on the church is a damnable thing; it is evil. Again, it is not something people should feel that the church should be the one responsible to act. The church has no soldiers.
“It is the Federal Government and state governments that collect revenue from people and control the security organisations that can act.”
Also, the ACF, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Anthony Sani, noted that the current attack on Okene was dastardly.
He said, “They (the gunmen) desecrate the holy month of Ramadan meant for sober reflection.
“The attacks and killings of police in both Damaturu and Sokoto as well as of some churches in Kogi State are very disturbing and horrible not because the killings are more dastardly than those of the past but because they desecrate the holy month of Ramadan.
The ACF spokesman urged terrorists who were behind the attacks to embrace peace.
He stated, It (ACF) calls on all those who kill themselves in order to kill other people for whatever reasons to lay down their arms and embrace peaceful approaches to addressing concerns/perceived grievances and attaining their goals.
“This is because in peace, it is very possible to make the most of our diversity, respect them and love them for common good.”
Commenting on the killings, the President of the Campaign for Democracy, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, said that the government had lost the war against terrorism.
“Government has lost the war totally. There are only two options: Jonathan should either get his act right and deal with the situation or step aside and let the country sort itself out,” she added.
Also, the Secretary General of the Trade Union Congress, Chief John Kolawole, described the killings as abhorrent.
He called on the Federal Government and the security agencies to take decisive steps to stop the attacks to prevent the country from serious turmoil.
He said that it would not be right for the government to pretend as though everything was okay, knowing that things were going wrong.
He wondered what would happen in the country if Christians revenged the mindless waste of human lives.
Kolawole stated, “They (terrorists) are getting out of the North-East; they have crossed the Niger. We have had one or two incidents in Kogi in the past and the security agents contained them,
“However, I think trying to eject them from Kogi is not working. The political class must sit up and the security agencies must check their advances, and stop the incessant killings.
“I don’t want to predict anything, if Christians begin to retaliate, you know what will happen, but these people are also killing Muslims.
“ I think some people are trying to create massive unrest in the country and we must move fast to prevent it.”
On his part, a former Commissioner of Police in Lagos, Mr. Abubakar Tsav, noted the insecurity in the country was getting out of hand.
Tsav, in an interview with one of our correspondents, said the police and the Joint Task Force lacked the capacity to tackle terrorism in the country.
The former police commissioner stated, “This thing is getting out of hand. From all indications, it has become clear that both the police and the JTF lack the capacity to provide security for the citizenry.”
Tsav said that security agencies should be on the alert, since the attacks had been consistent.
“The primary objective is to provide security. Government has not done that,” he added.
The former police commissioner advised the government to recruit more policemen because the ratio of one policeman to 400 citizens had not been achieved.
“ I think Jonathan’s administration has failed to provide security and the government has failed,” he said.
A former Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Mike Okiro, described the attack as devastating.
“I am still sad about it that such a thing happened to Nigeria, I don’t know what comment to make about it,” the ex-IG said.
The Senator representing Kogi Central, Nurudeen Abatemi-Usman, in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Michael Jegede, condemned the attack on Deeper Life Church, Okene.
The Senator expressed shock that such a gruesome, barbaric and impious act could take place in the holy month of Ramadan.
“We really need to be security conscious. Furthermore, the security agencies must beef up their efforts to uncover the perpetrators and bring them to book,” he said.
Advising the government, Newstime, a United States of America-based non-governmental organisation, said that there was the need for Nigerian leaders in the three tiers of government to ensure good governance.
Newstime National President, Tony Oyatedor, at a news conference in Kaduna on Tuesday, said that the reason behind the current insecurity in the country was because of the “wickedness and thieving attitudes” of Nigerian leaders.