Saturday, April 14, 2018 9:53 pm
The Methodist Archbishop of Abuja, the Most Rev. Joseph Oche-Job, has dismissed concerns over the one billion dollars recently approved by the Federal Government to fight insecurity in the country.
Oche-Job bared his mind on the sidelines of the 24th Annual Synod Diocese in Abuja on Saturday.
He said although the concerns were based on experiences with past administrations, President Muhammadu Buhari deserved to be given the benefit of the doubt.
There has been insinuation in some quarters that the approval was a ploy by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to loot the nation’s treasury to fund its 2019 election campaigns.
The main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) amplified the concerns in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, who called on Nigerians to reject the approval.
The cleric said, “Anytime people are afraid of government’s move like this one, just know they are linking it with past experiences.
“I don’t want to link this approval with the past because we have not given President Buhari any money and he diverted it into his pocket.
“So, anybody who is expressing that fear is on his own. The President has been fighting against corruption.
“It is when we see him being corrupt himself that we can say that kind of thing. I want to believe that the money would be used for the security of the nation. I am not entertaining any fear.’’
The archbishop called for a “direct, conceived, proper and determined action’’ from the Federal Government to stop the lingering “senseless killings of innocent persons’’ by suspected herders in Benue and Taraba.
Oche-Job urged the government to replicate the kind of action it had taken to “subdue Boko Haram in the North East’’ in the Middle Belt where Nigerians are being slaughtered.
“We had thought that after over 73 persons were slaughtered and buried in a mass grave in one day in Benu, the killings would come to an end.
“But on Thursday we heard that 62 others had been killed again in Benue.
“So, we want the Federal Government and the security agencies to make sure that the people of Taraba and Benue live in peace,’’ he said.
The Methodist cleric said the theme of the 2018 synod, “Strive for Peace and Holiness’’, was carefully chosen to emphasise the need for holiness among Nigerians and peace in the country.