Bishop Bank Jefferson, Presiding Bishop of Mercy Tabernacle, Ogba, Lagos, has appealed for the release of the detained leader of the banned Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu in order to avoid plunging Nigeria into a sectarian crisis that he feared may be worse than the Boko Haram terrorism going on in some parts of the country. Kanu, the IPOB leader was recently denied bail by the court.
In an interview with Christian Benefits on the detention and trial of Nnamdi Kanu for treasonable offences over his agitation for Biafra independence from Nigeria, Jefferson said there was nothing wrong with that agitation and therefore called for the release of the IPOB leader in order to prevent the country from falling into worse crises.
“I want to use this medium to appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari to release the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu. I’m not in support of IPOB using weapons in its agitation. But the question is, what sin has Nnamdi Kanu committed that former governor of Plateau state, Joshua Dariye, did not commit and was recently released by the government? Dariye stole money from the coffer of the people. He was picked up, convicted and jailed. Now, he has been offered state pardon. What has Kanu done? Has he stolen anybody’s money?
Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, IPOB Leader
Kanu (m) with his lawyers at the court during his trials for treasonable offences
“Nnamdi Kanu is only asking for the liberation of his people. And that is because of the oppression and the injustice that his people are suffering in Nigeria. It is his constitutional right to demand justice for his people. It is his constitutional right to ask, excuse me these things are injustice can we go? So, he should be released, if not what is coming upon Nigeria will be worse than Boko Haram,” Jefferson feared.
Speaking further on the state of the nation, the bishop said Nigeria has completely collapsed and it would take several years to rebuild the country. “Nigeria has collapsed. It is just that we are not seeing the scattering yet. The way things are going now in Nigeria, there is going to be serious ethnic or sectarian upheavals in the country. That is one of the reasons why I said the government should release Kanu.
“The major challenge that the in-coming government that will take over in 2023 will face is how to tackle insecurity in the country, especially the Fulani banditry across the country, which the present government has failed to tackle. So, the new government will face that serious challenge of cleansing the ground. In the first four years of the new government it is going to be cleansing. It is not going to be rosy. It’s going to be a big task for the in-coming government to cleanse the polity.”
On the Nigerian church participation in the forthcoming 2023 general elections in Nigeria, Bishop Jefferson commended the Nigerian church for its awakening from political apathy towards the elections, saying the Church is now positioning itself to become the biggest influence on the Nigerian political landscape. The cleric dismissed as unfounded the long held view in some quarters that politics is too dirty for the Church to get involved.
“Of course, the Nigeria’s political terrain is not clean now but it will be clean later with the Church coming now into politics. With the Church now actively involving in politics, the Nigeria’s politics will move to perfection. The Church is a perfecting body. Though it (politics) is not clean now, the Church will take it to perfection. Awakening and enlightenment are coming. You will see many Christians coming out now; I want to be president. I want to be governor, e.t.c. This is a very good and commendable development in the Nigerian Church. It will get to a point that the Nigerian Church will become the biggest influence in the Nigeria’s politics,” the preacher envisaged.