By Charles Igwe
Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama of Abuja, the national capital, has voiced deep concern over the escalating insecurity in Nigeria, particularly for Christians, stating that the country’s security apparatus is being “put to shame.” Kaigama attributed the ongoing insecurity to various groups, including Boko Haram insurgents, herdsmen militia, bandits, kidnappers, and “unknown gunmen,” who continue to wreak havoc across the nation.
Kaigama criticized the federal government for failing to protect its citizens, noting a systemic failure to rein in perpetrators of violence. The recent kidnapping of two Catholic priests, Father Kenneth Kanwa and Father Jude Nwachukwu, from Plateau State highlights the ongoing threat faced by religious figures and the broader populace.
Father Dominic Ukpong, Provincial Secretary of the Claretian order to which the abducted priests belonged, appealed for prayers for their safe release, emphasizing the need for divine intervention during these challenging times.
Experts have labeled the surge in kidnappings across Nigeria as an “epidemic,” with staggering figures revealing over 17,000 abductions since 2019. The Civil Society Joint Action Group disclosed that 2,423 individuals have been killed and 1,872 others abducted since President Bola Tinubu’s inauguration in May 2023 alone.
Archbishop Kaigama, in exclusive comments to Crux, stressed the failure of the Nigerian security apparatus to combat kidnappings effectively, noting the audacity of perpetrators who demand ransoms openly. He warned of the dire consequences of continued insecurity, highlighting its detrimental impact on investment, agriculture, and public safety.
Despite the challenges, Archbishop Kaigama expressed optimism that Nigeria can overcome its current crisis through concerted efforts to address the root causes of insecurity. He emphasized the government’s constitutional duty to protect human rights and ensure justice for all, urging President Tinubu to prioritize the establishment of a robust security apparatus to confront terrorists and criminals.
While acknowledging the complexities of the situation, Archbishop Kaigama called for patience and support for the government’s initiatives, emphasizing the need for collective action to restore peace and stability in Nigeria. He urged Nigerians to remain vigilant and resilient in the face of adversity, emphasizing the importance of unity and cooperation in overcoming the nation’s security challenges.