Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, Primate, Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, says people are living under a perpetual sense of insecurity and uncertainty in all parts of Nigeria because of different forms of fear. Okoh made this remark at the Sixth Edition of the Divine Common Wealth Conference (DIVCCON), with the theme, ” Fear Not” on Monday in Abuja. Okoh said the fears might be dismissed as wrong perceptions of reality. But he added that the fact of events available had left the ordinary man with no option than to be afraid. He explained that the people’s perception of the inclination of the present administration was on its own a cause of mistrust and fear.
The primate added that the direction of the government was not clear on the issue of national unity giving the actions of the government that seemed to sideline some and favour some. He also disclosed that there was also the fear of Islamisation of the country, alleging that the selective governance style of the government, in which Muslims and Islamic issues are given priority exacerbates the fear the more. He wondered how anyone could explain the call for full implementation of the Sharia criminal code on Nigeria’s legal system, in a country where you have Christians and people of other faith?
Okoh also called on government to urgently address the menace of herdsmen attacks on farmers and communities by disarming them to allow people engage in agriculture effectively. He added that the fear of economic recession, Niger Delta militancy and unemployment were among other fears that Nigerians were currently grappling with, considering their attendant effects on the society. “Fear is a very bad thing and it would appear as if the government is not taking adequate knowledge of what these fears are. “That the actions and activities of government or lack of actions in certain areas are generating fear in the heart of people and when there is fear, people act irrationally because they don’t have adequate information. “It is important for government through actions and explanations to take away fear from the people.
“So for a child of God, faith in God will lay fear to rest but we live in society where we don’t have that type of religious belief. “It is therefore important for government to recognise that this is a problem and take adequate steps to remedy them. It will not be right to say ‘don’t mind them’ because after all said and done, government is about people,” he said. On the release of suspected killers of 84 year old business woman in Kano, Okoh said the decision was part of the activities that inspired fear, adding that Christians that lived in such environment would be subjected to fear.
He said that if every government began to act like that, the country would become unsafe for people to live in, urging the government to explain what led to the release of the suspects. According to him, Government should not give impression that people can take laws into their hands and go free, because that is not a good signal. “Nigerians deserve explanation from Kano state government that the court had tried them and found them not guilty or that wrong people were arrested,” he said. The primate said the objective of the conference was to coalesce Nigerian Christians into a body to understand the teaching of the Christian Church, practice it and relate with other people in a more acceptable way.