The Primate of The Church of the Lord (Prayer Fellowship), Archbishop Rufus Ositelu, has called on the Federal Government to decentralise the Nigeria Police Force and embrace community policing.
The respected cleric stated this in his message at the eighty-fifth edition of the church’s annual Tabieorrar convention, which took place at the organisation’s headquarters in Ogere Remo, Ogun State, on August 22, 2021.
While calling on the Federal Government to stem the tide of insecurity in the country, Ositelu said, “The pathetic state of the nation’s security is worrisome. Insurgency, shedding of innocent blood, wanton destruction of lives and property, banditry, insurgency and kidnapping of people, including innocent schoolchildren, have become very rampant but should not be allowed to continue.
“The time has come for the federal and state governments, stakeholders and indeed all Nigerians to aggressively and decisively combat insecurity in the land. The security architecture of the country is due for review. The current agitation by some sections of the country to break away is an indication of loss of confidence and lack of trust in the government.
“I hereby urge the Federal Government to consider the decentralisation system of policing, by introducing regional and community police to deliver more effective and efficient service. Life is precious and sacred, and no one has the right to terminate it with impunity.”
The computer scientist also maintained that the church had a duty to constantly speak truth to power.
He added, “The church does not exist in a vacuum. It is an integral part of society and therefore has the duty to speak truth to power, especially at times like this. Nigeria is currently facing quite a number of socio-economic and political challenges that need to be addressed with utmost importance and urgency.”
Describing the level of corruption in the country as ‘endemic’, the cleric stated that the government had to put in place more stringent measures and policies to fight it.
Ositelu also decried the rising cost of living and its attendant inflationary effect on the country’s economy.
He added that the government ought to diversify the economy in order to create more job opportunities for the youth.
“The high rate of unemployment, especially among the youth, remains a source of concern. I hereby urge the government to vigorously diversify the economy and use the agricultural, mining, manufacturing and Information Technology sectors to reverse the trend of mass unemployment,” he said.
In a similar vein, Ositelu advocated stiffer punishment for rapists. He said, “The rate of gender-based violence against women and girls is on the increase, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic. Domestic violence, child abuse and rape are rampant. Stiffer penalties, backed by legislation, is highly recommended for rapists. Similarly, I urge all the states that have yet to domesticate the Child’s Rights Act 2003 and Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act to do so with utmost urgency.”
Reiterating his stance on restructuring, the respected cleric said, “Regional (system of) government is the prerequisite for ensuring good governance, fairness, equity, justice and peaceful coexistence, as well as economic development for Nigeria. It is the panacea for the myriad of challenges confronting the country. I, therefore, urge the Federal Government and the National Assembly to give it due consideration in order to enhance and fast-track the development of the country.
“Fiscal federalism is the major antidote for many of the woes confronting Nigeria. If it is in place, all the violent regional groups will cease to exist. I hereby urge the Federal Government and the National Assembly to promote fiscal federalism and regional integration, and healthy competition among the component units of the federation.”
Guests at the convention included Dr Doyin Okupe, a former Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan; Ladi, a former House of Representatives member representing the Remo, Sagamu and Ikenne federal constituency and a son to business magnate, Kessington Adebutu; as well as representatives from the Lagos and Ondo state governments.
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