Nigerian Prelate Faults Government for Disunity, Insecurity in Independence Message

Ahead of Nigeria’s 60th Independence Day celebrations, an Archbishop in the country has faulted the government for failing to address insecurity and for the disunity in the west African country

“It was shameful that 60 years after gaining independence from the British, the country was yet to get its acts together; we still lack the quality leadership needed to guide the country in the path of peaceful coexistence, economic prosperity and security of life and property,” Archbishop Alfred Adewale Martins has been quoted as saying in a Saturday, September 26 report.

In the statement issued by the Director of Social Communications in the Archdiocese of Lagos, Fr. Anthony Godonu, Archbishop Adewale reflects on what still lies ahead as Africa’s most populous nation prepared for the October 1 event.

“We are an independent country still searching for how to become a nation where no one is oppressed and everyone feels a sense of belonging,” Archbishop Martins says and adds, “We were still battling with the effects of insecurities in the land when COVID-19 struck and made life impossible for those who lost their jobs and sources of livelihood.”

He highlights some of the economic challenges his country is facing saying, “There was an increase in the rate of VAT only to be followed by the imposition of stamp duty on house rent and Certificates of Occupancy. The dust raised by that had hardly settled when we were slapped with an increase in electricity tariffs, which was followed a couple of weeks later by an increase in the pump price of petrol.”


“Life is becoming harder and harder for the majority of Nigerians,” the 61-year-old Nigerian Prelate says and calls on the government to work toward easing the burdens of the citizens.

As a starting point, the government needs to revise downwards its expenditures, Archbishop Adewale says, explaining, “If people must bear the burdens of the day, government must also show good faith by cutting down on the cost of governance.”

He also calls on all Nigerians, the leadership of Civil Society Organizations and NGOs as well as Labor movements to “do something in their areas of competences in order to bring the suffering of people home to government.”

In his message, Archbishop Martins further notes that

The Federal system of governance in the West African country is failing, the Archbishop observes, noting that the current structure “has given too much power to the centre that the states and local governments have been reduced to appendages that go cap in hand to Abuja to seek for their survival from the Federal Government.” 

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“It would seem that the structure of our country that was distorted with the advent of the military into governance has remained the obstacle to our growth.” the Local Ordinary of Abuja says and adds, “Selfishness and lack of regard for common good that covers all the different nationalities that make up our country has made it impossible for us to be the Federal Republic that we were meant to be at independence.”

He urges the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government to adhere to what is envisaged in federalism as a mode of governance.

“It is necessary to continue to harp on the need to return to the original concept of Nigeria as a Federation that recognizes the uniqueness of the federating units and gives each its right to govern aspects of its life while we remain one country, united in our diversities,” Archbishop Adewale says.

He underscores the need to “return to true federalism in order to become the nation that we want to be.”

In spite of the challenges, the Prelate lauded Nigerians for their resilience and thanked God that “we have survived for 60 years.” 


“Pray for our country and her rulers that we may overcome the present challenges and remain a united country where no person is oppressed and all are proud to serve our sovereign Motherland,” implores Archbishop Adewale.

Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.