Thursday, 18 December 2014
Boko Haram recruit Christians Prophetess Nonnie
However, in this interview, the President of the Nigerian Women in Clergy has expressed serious fear over the 2015 general election, saying that the election may turn violent if current security issues are not addressed and the election is not suspended. Excerpts:
What has your group, Women in Clergy been up to lately?
The period has been very busy for us locally and globally. When you look at the things that have been happening in the country, especially the killings and splitting of blood by the Boko Haram insurgents and the non-release of the Chibok girls, you will discover that the country is going through a herculean time.
We are in crisis as a nation; whether you like it or not and as a Christian organization, we have come to recognize that this is not just about prayers as we have earnestly done, so we decided to travel up north to access the situation ourselves. With what we saw and heard, we discovered that those of us in Abuja and those in the southern part of the country don’t even know what is really going on.
Nigeria is in a state of war and the girl child and the womenfolk are the most affected. I believe it is high time Nigerians really understood what is going on. Most times, if it’s not happening in your backyard, you feel it is nothing. But the reality is that it is gradually coming down home. If something is not urgently done, these insurgents will infiltrate every part of the country.
We need to stop playing politics with this insurgency and face what the real issues are. I wish those who are in leadership positions and top politicians in the two main political parties can bury the hatchet of politics and for once have the interest of Nigerians at heart. Let us see how we can fight this insurgency.
I am tired of seeing children hacked to death or watching their parents being beheaded and killed in cold blood. For how long are we going to have these killings go on. The irony is that most of these big men and big time politicians don’t have their children here. They also go around with armoured vehicles with a retinue of security details. So these things don’t affect them. It is the everyday man on the street, who is struggling to make a living that is affected.
The issue of unemployment is also there. I keep reading on a daily basis that jobs are being created, but where are the jobs they created? I have loads of youths around me and the biggest problem they have is unemployment. And as we know, an idle mind is the devils workshop. These young people are easily lured into crimes because they believe they have to survive.
It will interest you to know that even Christians are being recruited by Boko Haram because they have nothing to do. If they are given money, they are ready to go. It is just so sad.
Are you saying that government has not been handling the Boko Haram insurgency right?
They may think they are handling it right, but the result they are getting should tell them if they are handling it right or not. In everything, the result tells. And in certain things, you need to keep changing strategy. You cannot continue to do things the same way over and over and expect a different result. It is actually the mark of a good leader to retreat and say we have handled it this way, let’s handle it the other way.
Also, the insurgency issue is not only a government issue. Nigerians need to know what is going on and figure out what can be done.
You said earlier that we should for once leave politics aside; does that mean that the problem is politically motivated?
My candid opinion is that it is both politically and religiously motivated. But whatever it is, it is a wicked motivation; fight whoever you want to fight and leave the innocent masses out of it. Why kill the innocent? Why kill these little ones? What have they done? What is going on? It really does not make any sense.
The 2015 general elections is around the corner and one constant slogan we have been hearing lately is change, especially coming from the All Progressives Congress, APC; is it change from PDP to APC the country need at this point?
Almost all these people talking about change were once in the PDP, almost all of them; so for me, it is no longer a party thing. My prayer is that the right candidate who will do the will of God should emerge. My prayer is that none of the parties should field a Muslim-Muslim ticket. I will publicly oppose that.
I believe every Nigerian should by now understand the tilting point the country is at the moment. If you are in the spirit, you will understand that this is not about PDP or APC when it comes to the presidential election. We need to be a bit sensitive to understand what is going on.
In have taken my time and researched and discovered that the president has done a lot but he has a lot of weak links around him. The president has not been projected well As well as the things he has done. In my own personal opinion, I believe if President Jonathan is given another four years, he will be able to wrap it up.
You said the president and his achievements have not been well projected; whose fault is that? He hired them and he can fire them.
Except you assume leadership position, you won’t understand that leadership is not plainly in black and white and that you are dealing with human beings with their interesting behaviours. He hired them but then he has a party through which he got in there. There is what is called federal character also; whether he wants it or not, he has to carry everybody along.
Also when you are in leadership, you only hear what they want you to hear. In his own opinion, he may think he has some strong people round him, but to the public, he does not.
Politics, as I know it, is very crazy. I do not envy the president and that’s why I believe we all need to keep praying for our political leaders.
What are your fears for the 2015 general elections?
My fears? I know the president is going to win the presidential election because I prayed and a lot others have prayed too. The sceptre has not been taken away from him, but it is going to be very close and intense.
I don’t want to use the word fears but concerns; most of the top politicians have moved their children abroad. Their children are no longer here. I wish parents can talk to their children so that they are not used as political thugs because there will be bloodshed whether we like it or not from now till after the election.
Whoever wins will not have it easy! This is the time we need a very strong sensitisation programme that will educate the youths. They don’t have to be the scapegoats. It is the youths they are going to use to cause mayhem because these jobless youths do not have a choice. Offer them any little money and they will do their biddings. My fear is that there will be a lot of bloodshed.
There are people who think the elections should be cancelled for now because of the current wave of insecurity in the country; do you subscribe to this?
I wish they can heed that call and cancel the elections because more people will die if we go ahead to conduct the election as scheduled. Even in the course of the electioneering campaigns, people will die. There was a National Conference that held sometime; we need to implement the outcome of their deliberations.
The problem with this country is that we do not have a clear cut vision of where we are going or what we need. If we are able to sit down and have a clear cut vision of where we are headed, then things will be better. But all these 7 point agenda, 21 point agenda that each new person brings along all the time will not take us anywhere.
What role is your organisation playing in all these?
We have been praying and fasting but as you know, faith without work is dead. We are getting involved. We are working with a lot of female aspirants, trying to encourage and push them. The next thing is to embark on a mass sensitisation project to tell Nigerians what is expected of them. Votes will count this time around; so we will encourage people to vote based on their individual conviction. We will tell them to collect their money and rice if they bring them, but vote your conscience.
We have also been able to set up our zonal bodies with strong women of God taking charge of the zones. They are organising and talking and very soon, the state and local government chapters will be up and running. We will not fold our arms and watch things go the same way it has always gone. It is no longer business as usual.
Different groups have been endorsing the president lately; is your group thinking of doing the same thing?
We do not endorse publicly; we endorse with our knees in prayer. We cannot be moved by the flesh, we will not be moved by majority, we will be we will not be moved by majority, we will be moved by what God says.