Clergy in Nigeria Capable of “coming up with intelligence systems”: Retired Army Officer

A poster announcing the Thursday, July 2 webinar organized by Kukah Center (TKC)/ Credit: The Kukah Center (TKC)/Facebook

Members of the Clergy in Nigeria are capable of taking part in the addressing the challenge of insecurity in the West African nation by initiating “intelligence systems” and participating in “security awareness”, a retired army office has said.

Captain Aliyu Umari Babangida who was the keynote speaker in a webinar organized by The Kukah Center (TKC) said members of the Clergy in Nigeria are among “qualified personnel”.

“The Clergy today is wealthy with a lot of qualified personnel. We have Priests and other members of the religious community who can be army generals, lawyers, doctors, judges, inspectors of police who can help form formidable security awareness by coming up with intelligence systems,” the retired army officer said.

Many members of the Clergy have lately been falling into the hands of bandits, he said, because they lack basic security awareness, which they need to practice while ministering in “volatile” areas.

The Nigerian Captain who runs a security consultancy firm in Lagos further said, “The Catholic Church in particular has been very instrumental in security matters across the world since the time of the two World Wars. It is high time the same be actualized in Nigeria.”


“We need to come together and think how we will boost awareness in religious communities,” Captain Babangida said during his keynote speech Friday, July 2.

He went on the caution members of the Clergy against naivety in their pastoral ministry saying, “Because of your virtue of being welcoming to everyone and trusting people who come to you crying for help, many members of the Clergy have fallen into the hands of abductors or killers. I am not telling you not to trust but after trusting them, first verify if they are genuine.”

During the virtual session, the retired army officer took the members of Clergy in attendance through basic security awareness skills.

“We cannot have Priests and members of the Clergy armed. We can therefore use our intelligence to outmaneuver the attackers. By learning our environments and getting to see how we will act in cases where there are attack threats, we can avoid the attacks,” he said.

The retired Captain added in reference to those involves in targeted attacks, “If we walk around our religious communities and look at them with the eyes and minds of attackers, we might be able to note weaknesses and rectify them in time.”

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Speaking at the July 2 event, the founder of the Kukah Center, an Abuja and Kaduna based public policy think tank, said that plans are underway to have resources to enable more members of the Clergy to sharpen their professional skills.

“Every year we have many of our Priests returning from overseas with master degrees and PhDs. When they find no platform to practice and sharpen their skills they just relax and do the normal pastoral duties,” Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah of Nigeria’s Catholic Diocese of Sokoto said.

The Bishop added in reference to Catholic Priest who return from overseas, “The Kukah Center is working towards getting space like libraries and research centers for them to work on,” said the Bishop.

The July 2 virtual session, the Nigerian Bishop said, aimed to spread awareness among members of the Clergy in the West African country following recent targeted attacks and killings.