The Edo State Acting Governor, Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu, on Friday, led other top government functionaries to pay last respects to late Rev. Fr. Christopher Odia, who was gruesomely murdered by suspected kidnappers, with clerics at the event decrying the worsening spate of insecurity in the country.
Odia, a catholic priest, was allegedly murdered by his kidnappers in Ikabigbo, Etsako West Local Government Area (LGA) of Edo State.
At the funeral mass and interment held for the clergy at the Priests’ Cemetery, Immaculate Conception Seminary, Ivianokpodi-Agenebode in Etsako East LGA, the National President of the Nigeria Catholic Diocesan Priest Association (NCDPA), Very Rev. Fr. Johnbosco Ezehi, charged President Muhammadu Buhari to take urgent steps to guarantee the safety and security of Nigerians.
He noted that the Federal Government has failed in its primary duty of protecting the lives and property of Nigerians, adding that the President should step down or proffer a solution to the increasing spate of killings and kidnappings across the country.
Ezehi said, “We condemn the increasing attacks by suspected herdsmen who have turned the country into a massive graveyard. If the President cannot keep our country safe, then he automatically loses the trust of the citizens. He should no longer continue to preside over the killing field and mass graveyard that our country has become.
“Nigerians call on the President to take drastic and urgent steps to reverse the ugly tragedy that threatens the foundation of our collective existence and unity as a nation. It’s clear to the nation that the president has failed in his primary duty of protecting the lives of Nigerians.”
On his part, Shaibu noted, “I must agree with our cleric that the government has failed in its responsibilities of securing lives and properties. If the issue of security was tackled earlier enough, we would not get to where we are today. We must turn to God to help us now as our land is troubled and only God will heal our land.”
Reassuring improved security in the state, the acting governor added, “As a state government, we have decided to take our destiny into our own hands and not push the blame. We are collaborating with security agencies and stakeholders in securing our state.
“We have involved religious leaders and vigilante groups, among others and have adequately equipped them to strengthen our security architecture. We want to secure the property and lives of our people.”
Shaibu noted that the state is localizing security and working with all security stakeholders in the state to ensure a peaceful, safe and secured environment, adding, “We can’t isolate ourselves from the federal security and calling on everyone to be security officers collaborating with the government to secure our land.”
Also, the Catholic Bishop of Auchi Diocese, Most. Rev. Dr. Gabriel Dunia stated, “I appeal to both the federal, state and local governments, as the Lord has entrusted the leadership and security of Nigeria into their hands, to do the needful by protecting the lives and property of the people which is their primary responsibility.”