President of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Bishop Francis Wale Oke has urged the Nigerian government not to negotiate with bandits, saying it will be tantamount to treating them with kid gloves.
Oke described the continuous silence of President Muhammadu Buhari on the nation’s security situation as disheartening and disturbing.
The cleric asked the President to urgently address Nigerians on the palpable insecurity situation of the country.
Oke, who is the founder of the Sword of the Spirit Ministries and the Proprietor of the Precious Cornerstone University (PCU) Ibadan, made these assertions on Wednesday at the Cornerstone City, Ibadan when he received separately, the Lagos, Ogun and Osun states’ chapters of the PFN, led by Apostle Enjimaya Okwuonu, Apostle David Otaru and Prophet Isaiah Adelowokan respectively. Their visit was to felicitate with him on his emergence as the PFN president.
“The silence of President Muhammadu Buhari over the degenerating security situation in Nigeria is too loud and this is very disturbing. Seriously, President Buhari’s silence is deafening and it’s giving room for speculations and gossips that suggest the government has a hand in the sickening situation by indulging and pampering the bandits and the killer Fulani herdsmen, among others,” Oke said.
He urged the President to “rise above primordial sentiments and sectional attachment by doing the needful to make the nation more homely for every Nigerian”.
The cleric reminded the President that he was voted into power in 2015 because of his military background with the hope that he would tackle insecurity in the country.
“There is so much pressure and tension in the land due to insurgency being orchestrated by the Boko Haram, kidnapping, banditry, killer Fulani herdsmen’s palaver, raping, among other ills. All these are self-inflicted,” he said.
Continuing, Bishop Oke said, “We don’t want the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo to be the one that will speak; it is President Buhari himself that we want to hear from on the dreary security situation in the country. Our President should use the opportunity to disassociate his government from the lawlessness currently ravaging the country through the activities of Boko Haram insurgents and the killer Fulani herdsmen.
“He should tell his kinsmen, the Fulani, to stop the mindless killings currently going on in the country; arrest and make those culpable to face the wrath of law. Tell the bandits, the killers, the rapists and all those involved in these heinous engagements, the language of law whether they are Fulanis or whatever. Let the nation hear your fatherly voice. People are living in fear, farmers cannot go to their farms anymore.”
He further charged the President to be quick in tackling the mounting challenges, insisting that the nation was on the brink of collapse.
“No doubt, we are at a precarious time because of insecurity and alarmingly, the drums of separation are beating loudly for everyone to hear,” he said.
He continued, “On behalf of over 45 million members of PFN, I want to implore President Buhari to stand up firmly to bring together all Nigerians regardless of their tribes and religions. PFN is praying for you, Mr President, and the nation as well. This is because Nigeria has never been as divided as we are now.”
In the interim, the PFN President said the Federal Government should not negotiate with bandits.
He said, “Kidnappers, bandits, Boko Haram insurgents, killer Fulani herdsmen and rapists are criminals who the government should not negotiate with. Instead, they should be judged while the protection of lives and property of the citizen is given the needed priority.”
He implored all Nigerians to continue to pray and work with sincerity of purpose for the greatness of the country.