#HARDFACTS: Archbishop Directly Criticizes Govt. on Insecurity
By Jude Chukwuemeka
- The Catholic Bishops’ Conference organizes a protest march over Government’s handling of security.
- Lagos State Government allegedly plans a 10% levy on e-hailing drivers.
- SSS claims the Presidency ordered them to arrest the man who received Buhari’s daughter’s old SIM.
Sandra Ezekwesili starts by taking a deep analysis into these three issues and invites Nigerians to comment on how these issues affect them since these are stories that everyone is talking about.
Sandra first explains how thousands of Catholics dressed in black marched in Abuja to protest against murder by insurgents and bandits. The protest was organized by the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria. The President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Nigeria, Archbishop Augustine Akubueze has some strong words for the Presidency.
“There have been too many mass burials, too many kidnappings of schoolchildren, travellers, invasion of people’s homes, invasion of sacred places like churches, mosques, seminaries.
“Your silence is sowing and breeding seeds of mistrust and the longer it stays this way, the more you lose those who could have given you the benefit of the doubt. As things stand now, it appears only a few Nigerians can defend you with reasons, only a few Nigerians can argue that your silence is not an endorsement of the barbaric actions of the terrorists and criminals."
Sandra quotes him, “The killing of God’s children is evil; the failure to protect innocent people from the relentless attacks is evil, the lack of prosecution of terrorists is evil, our government’s response to terrorist attack is, for lack of better words, far below average.”
Since we have not seen the Church go this way in recent years, the big question is: Should Catholic bishops or other clergy, criticize the Government over insecurity?
There have been various reactions from Nigerians. Those who support the Church say that the current insecurity situation has gone out of hand. Those who oppose the Church say the Church is playing politics nowadays.
“Where do you stand?” Sandra asks.
Moving on to the second topic on the #TheBig3, Sandra refers to the Guardian newspaper reports on Lagos State Government, that it is planning to put in place a new regulation for e-hailing companies operating in the state. Drivers on e-hailing platforms are required to have LASDRI card and a driver badge issued by the Department of Public Transport and Commuter Services of the Ministry of Transport.
Government in Lagos are demanding 10 percent fee on each trip. Discussions are on-going to finalize the new regulation.
Sandra asks: Would a 10% levy on e-hailing drivers be fair, and how would it affect you? Will these policies work or will the companies be driven away by these policies?
The third story is about the SSS' arrest of Anthony Okolie for having the President daughter’s old phone number as his new phone number. The SSS says they acted on instructions of the Presidency to arrest him. He was detained for 10 weeks as the PremiumTimes website reported.
In an Affidavit presented to the Federal High court in Asaba, the SSS claims that someone was parading ‘themselves’ as Hanan Buhari and using the SIM card to defraud others for money.
Okolie has resorted to suing the President, the SSS, and even MTN for 500 million naira. He claims his constitutional rights to be detained or charged to court within 48 hours was violated.
Responding to the claim the Presidency asked SSS to arrest Okolie, his lawyer said the Nigerian constitution makes no provision of any kind for the ‘First Family’, the involvement of the Presidency is a ‘disgraceful deployment of state apparatus for personal gains.'
The big question is: Is the President’s daughter’s old SIM card a state security concern?
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Listen to the BIG THREE stories Mondays to Fridays #HARDFACTS with Sandra Ezekwesili (@SEzekwesili) & Aghogho Oboh (@aghoghooboh) on 99.3 Nigeria Info FM.