General Overseer, Evangelical Bible Outreach Ministry International (EBOMI), based in Jos, Plateau State, Prophet Isa El-Buba, in an interaction with ISAAC SHOBAYO, speaks on religious and national issues. Excerpts:
What ways would you suggest to improve Nigeria’s security situation?
We must go back to the drawing board. There are certain basic things we need to put in place. It is not possible to secure this country from the centre; if you want to secure this country, then the Police must be decentralised and Police Chief in each state must have the power and authority to deal with crime as they should with no interference from the centre, just as it is being done in the United Kingdom.
What is your take on the current calls for restructuring and ethnic agitations?
We need a ethnic country that is a federating unit; we need to come together and review certain things as a people, in order to move the nation forward. Presently, Nigeria is in the process of rebirth into a true Nigeria, forget the agitations in certain quarters, Nigeria is not going to divide. The rebirth means there are things that would shake the foundation of this country to set Nigeria on the right path.
Are you saying restructuring is inevitable?
You can’t be doing the same thing the same way all the time and expect different results. If you are the leader of a house and you discover that the policies are not working as expected, you will have to sit down and re-examine the whole thing and change the game plan. We need to restructure Nigeria’s Constitution. Let me give an example: I designed a blueprint to bring Nigeria out of where it is presently into what God plans it to be. Nigeria can experience turnaround in two years; we don’t need to borrow a dime from anywhere. You don’t run a country with grammar; you do it by simplifying things. The only way Nigeria can come out of the state it is in now is to sell public utilities to Nigerians, not a certain group of people. For instance, in the Niger Delta, you find pockets of refineries. This shows that these people have some knowledge of technology to refine products. What you need to do is not just go there and begin to dismantle whatever they are doing, you harness their skills, provide training for quality control for some months, and involve them actively in the refining of petroleum products. I can assure you militancy will come to an end one day. Another thing is that we don’t need to import petrol with the pockets of refineries across the country. It would bring about development in diverse forms; the sensible things is to make things simple.
In spite of the efforts of the military in the North-East to curb insurgency, the hostility of Boko Haram rages, especially in Borno State. As an indigene of the state, why is it difficult for the military to arrest the situation?
This is where you have to separate facts from fiction; we have to come to a point where we need to be truthful to ourselves and honest as a people. I am from Borno State and I can tell you how much of Boko Haram has been dealt with. First of all, you have to talk to the locals because Boko Haram terrorists are being shielded; it is not that they have not been dealt with, they have to a certain extent but the war has not been won. There is vital information that has to be kept under wraps for security reasons. It is not true that Boko Haram has been defeated but much has been achieved; things are getting better. However, the whole place has not been totally secured. What is happening is beyond the physical, these people are equally using spiritual backing. There is also the issue of international conspiracy; some foreign countries want Nigeria to collapse because this is the only country in Africa that is a threat to the international community. How do the Boko Haram terrorists get weapons, if the international community is not involved? The only way to stop this is to cry to God. The Church in Maiduguri is praying. We are also praying it would end one day because nothing is permanent.
Should Christians partake in politics?
The word ‘politics’ means a display of power, and power can be displayed negatively or positively. Religion is supposed to build the people to fear God, and raise the people that would build the nation; people that would establish justice in the nature of God. America was built by religious people; America was established based on the scripture. So, religion cannot be separated from politics. If you look at India, China and others, you would discover that their faith is at the centre of governance. We are a people that believe in the existence of God; the only thing is that there is a pervasion of tenets of our religions. People do things that are contrary to what the scripture says. As a nation, we need truthful people in politics.
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