Nigeria Had Not Got Its Leadership System Right Since Independence Says Bishop Umunna

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With the spate of insecurity threats, unemployment, poverty, leadership somersault, economic crisis and other burning issues in Nigeria at present, Bishop Leonard Umunna,presiding bishop of Bible Life Church Cathedral,Ajegunle Apapa,Lagos and one of the Nigerian most leading firebrand preachers who recently lent his voice out to curb the growing insecurity threats among farmers and herdsmen in the country and what the federal government must do to create enabling leadership environment for the citizens before 2019 elections. In this exclusive interview with some selected media personalities in Nigeria, Bishop Umunna voiced out his mind on the need to stop this ferocious killings of innocent people and destruction of property worth billions of naira across the country on regular basis.

Excerpts:

As one of the renowned clergies in Nigeria proffering solutions to Nigeria’s leadership since 36years ago, what is your own view on the state of insecurity threats in the country at present?

First, Nigeria had not got its leadership system right since independence. Our present and past leaders have been presented to Nigerians by some highly placed leaders to vote for not the choice of Nigerians. If Nigerians to vote their choice leaders that means the leaders will be accountable to the people but the reverse is now the case that leaders voted into power are accountable to the oligarchies (mafias) that brought them to power. Don’t get me wrong, we had good leaders who had brought leadership values to the people but my stand here is that, Nigerians had not be given opportunity to make their choice leaders. The issue of insecurity threats across the country is something people in high authority must address objectively not to inflict more pains on Nigerians again. The local farmers value their farmlands while the herdsmen value their cows.”If this issue of killings must stop, genuine stakeholders meeting must be organized to address this critical issue by the state and federal governments. The root cause of incessant killings of innocent people must be critically death with than throwing blames on one group or the other in the country”.

 

How can this killings and destructions of property stop in Nigeria?

Climate change has also affected the herdsmen making them to migrate from one part of the country or to another for their cattle ranching. On the local farmers in Benue state or other states of Nigeria, do not want their farmlands to be destroyed by cows. Cattle rustling have devastated many farmlands in Nigeria and while the herdsmen want to defend their cows by doing so, innocent people are the victims of the onslaught.

 

With the present political situation in the country now, would you like your church members to join any political party in Nigeria?

To me, every citizen has the right to exercise his or her political franchise in any given elections in Nigeria. You must get your voters’ card to exercise your franchise. My members are free to join any political party of their choice. Nigeria as a country belongs to us all. To get the right leaders in power means people must vote through their voters’ cards. As a minister of God, I’ m to advice my members to do the right thing in life. The office of a minister of God is greater than any political position in the world.

 

You said Nigeria must jettison the 1999 constitution and alternate the restructuring mechanism to a new arrangement that would be favourable to both citizens and leaders of the country why?

This so-called Nigeria constitution had been producing bad leaders in the country since Independence. The way out now, to throw away this constitution and look for a new arrangement to fix Nigeria’s leadership problem and restructure our various institutions. The constitution has not given us the kind of leadership the citizens expected over the years. Every tribe must be called into a round table to discuss the way out of Nigeria’s problems and fix its leadership right away. No doubt, several national conferences had been held, yet the problem of leadership still remains the same over the years. We need a new arrangement that will address every critical issue affecting Nigeria’s leadership now.

 

With some fellow pastors instigating their members to defend themselves against the herdsmen attacks, are you in support of such move?

God has not called me to speak against my fellow pastors in Nigeria or abroad. The church is the voice of God. I have never seen defeat in my life since I was called into God’s kingdom for the past 54 years. I worked with government institution and retired meritoriously without be alleged of any corrupt practices. The spate of killings could have angered those ministers of God to make such pronouncement but to me,geninue stakeholders meeting should be the alternative means to stop these wanton killings across the country not weaponry retaliation from Christians.

Recently, Pastor Tunde Bakare said God has told him that he would be the next president comes 2019, that those they entrusted leadership with have abysmally failed the citizenry, what is your stake on this?

I cannot dispel what God told him. God can speak to any minister of God or anyone, it all depends on each individual interpretation to it. Nigerians are not really interested with who ruled them but only interested with who provide the basic amenities for them. He is not new to the present government and he can speak boldly to them without fear of favour or intimidation. Pastor Chris Okotie once said that God called him to rule Nigeria but during his presidential declaration he said his government will focus on the youth only, which was why God did not approve his political leadership aspiration because he jettisoned the elders. Okotie has the educational requirements and leadership capacity to lead the country but failed to include elders in his leadership if assumed power then.

Nigerians believe so much in prayers, yet nothing are changing why?

Well, China people are not praying like Nigerians, but good things are happening in their country because they put faith and corresponding work to it. We love praying but right things are not put in place to make the prayers work for us. It is good to pray always, right leadership indices must be put together to fix Nigeria’s leadership problem now.

 

 

What is the way out of this recurring leadership quagmire in Nigeria?

Nigeria can only get it right when right leaders are elected into power. Every problem has a solution to it. There is no problem that is bigger than God. With God all things are possible!

 

 

 

 

    


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