He is among the few men of God in the country who have the courage to speak the truth to those in power whenever the need arises. The Archbishop-Elect, Niger Delta Province of the Anglican Communion, the Rev. Tunde
Adeleye, does not mince words when he opens up on the state of the nation.
But any time he speaks truth to power, the solution he proffers are ignored and the ills he spoke about get worse. His patriotism and desire to see Nigeria work always drive him to speak about the ills of the country and goes further to proffer solutions to the problems.
He spoke out again on Monday at the 2018 Synod press briefing at the Cathedral Church of the Holy Trinity Anglican Communion, Calabar, Cross River state where he listed 34 problems bedevilling the nation.
Among them are terrorism, kidnapping, assassination, menace of herdsmen, violence, poverty, election rigging, corruption, non-functional economy, thoroughly failed government institutions, non- ideological and directionless political parties, nepotism, among others.
Adeleye particularly decried the menace of herdsmen and called for the establishment of state police to curb the widespread killings across the country.
According to him, “human beings are now being killed to celebrate the burial of cows. That is where we are now in Nigeria. In the past, it was the other way round. But the blood of those being killed will fight back. To stop the killings, each state or even local government should have its own police. This is done all over the world where we have true federalism. What we have in Nigeria is pure unitary government police system.”
He said state police would bring about effective policing at the grassroots, adding that policemen from a particular locality will find it easy to know where criminals are and fish them out, unlike now that everything emanates from the federal level even though the governor of a state is deemed to be the chief security officer of his state.
He said there was a high level of insecurity that no place was safe any longer in the country, adding that he has completely lost confidence in the ability of the security agencies to protect Nigerians.
“The agencies are not united. Government is helping to support their disunity,” he alleged.
He also said President Muhammadu Buhari had no answers to these problems, adding “I believe, like Danjuma said, that we should defend ourselves. The constitution allows it. But we are not trained to defend ourselves. We are handicapped in Nigeria. We are oppressed and killed. God will fight back. The Bible says we should watch and pray.
“Nigeria is sick, deeply sick. Nigeria has derailed. Nigeria is failing as a nation, if not failed already. The rail on which the foundation of Nigeria was laid is rusted under our feet. We left the path our founders laid for us. We cannot now say that what we have now is what Sir Ahmadu Bello, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, etc. fought for.”
He said “the wicked negligence and abandonment of youths has placed the nation on a keg of gunpowder and the youths could explode someday. There is bad leadership in the country and deceitful followers.”
He called for true federalism as a panacea to the nation's problems, saying for the president to say there will be no restructuring was the most wicked affliction on the people.
According to him, true federalism would ensure “financial autonomy based on different states and local governments' capabilities. Each federating state should take responsibility over her finances.
“States should own the resources in their areas and educational system must be based on state's plan. Each state should be free to design its own system. The states should be free to establish and maintain their own school. They should determine what type of education suits them without interference from the federal government. This should be from primary to university levels. The federal government is free to have its own schools. The removal of History from school curriculum is a deliberate plan of government to prevent the citizens from knowing where they are coming from. They will fail.
“There should be no state religion; not even a resemblance or allusion to it in a federal system. But that is not the case. As it is today, Nigeria is not a secular state. We have violated the constitution,” he said.
Adeleye said the church could not be blamed for the involvement of its members in corruption because such members spend more time in the society than inside the church.
“The church will continue to do its best to teach, instruct and counsel. The church in Nigeria has a big problem. It is not united. For the other religions, if the leaders say go, they will obey without looking back but in the church, if the leaders say go, they will go back and examine the command before they obey,” he said.
He also lamented that “private schools are suffering. In Cross River state, there are 27 items for which private schools must pay levies. Some have closed down because of levies. That is very sad. There should be a conducive atmosphere for private schools to thrive.”