(Codewit)Most Reverend Samuel Abidoye is the Chairman and Supreme Head of the Cherubim and Seraphim Movement Church Worldwide. In this interview with HASSAN IBRAHIM, he speaks on the problem of insecurity in Nigeria and sundry issues. Excerpts:
How will you comment on the independence anniversary?
Nigeria at 51, there is hardly anything to write home about. The situation in Nigeria today is as bad as in those countries where there are wars. This is a country where a sect called the Boko Haram has been carrying out bombings almost every time.
They constitute a danger and a threat to everybody and to the entire nation because no one knows where and when they can strike. Nigerians should be celebrating because the country is 51 years old but instead of that everybody is full of fears because we donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know what may happen. There is violence, wanton destruction of property and the killing of people by others at will.
The first time a bomb blast happened in Nigeria was in 1986 when Dele Giwa was killed but today bombing has become common placeÃ¢â‚¬â€in churches, mosques and everywhere.
A panel set up by the Federal Government recently submitted its report which many Nigerians think should be implemented for peace to reign in Nigeria. What more do you think the government should take to bring peace?
I want to say that the people making up Boko Haram are Nigerians and everybody believes that Nigeria should be better than what it was last year. They cannot be bombing without a reason. Why canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t we go down and find out the real reasons behind their violent act? I believe the government should find the means to talk directly with these people just like former president Olusegun Obasanjo did. They are human beings and IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m sure they also want Nigeria to be better than what it is now.
The only problem is that the medium they have employed in communicating their grievances is not what we want. Bombing is not what we want. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s so interesting that I think the government should borrow a leaf from him (Obasanjo) so that Nigeria can be at peace.
But unless that is done, Nigeria cannot be at peace. And I pray that Nigeria should be in peace at all times.
Give us one practical means through which the government can tackle the worsening problem of violence in the country?
Unemployment in the country is so high and government must tackle this problem. I want to suggest that the government should encourage the youths to go back to the farm. But not the traditional hoe and cutlass farming but mechanized farming where it will provide land, the machines and other incentives with which to cultivate the land.
Nigeria is rich enough to be able to afford the practice of mechanized farming. Farming is the easiest way through which one can get rich quickly.
My appeal to the president is that he should send young Nigerians abroad to learn mechanized farming and when they get back, he should encourage them to practice. Then Nigeria will be self-sufficient in food production and the country will be one of the best in the world. If Nigeria continues like this, we are not likely to make any progress.
Having spent about 40 years in the United Kingdom before you were made the CSMC spiritual father and had to return home, how do you see the state of infrastructure in Nigeria?
If we have every other thing and the roads remain bad, we wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t still get anywhere. The roads in this country are very terrible. I travel on these roads on daily basis to different parts of the country and infact, you sometimes wonder whether people are paying taxes at all. The roads are not even accessible in so many other places. By the time you travel a couple of times on many of our roads, youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll have to take your car to the mechanic for some repairs.
We definitely need good roads and if we have them, this will greatly improve the economy of this country.