Catholic Archbishop of Kaduna Diocese, Mathew Ndago-Manoso, has reaffirmed the claims that the terrorist Boko Haram group, is in total control of some communities in Borno State; North East Nigeria.
The bishop spoke during the annual general meeting of the Nigeria Catholic Diocese Priests’ Association in Kaduna State on Tuesday.
According to him, a splinter group of Boko Haram are not just present in some communities, but are in total control, providing services and collecting taxes from the people.
Ndago-Manoso blamed the development on lack of government presence in the alleged terrorists-controlled communities.
“Insecurity starts from where there is absence of government. The absence of government in certain parts of the country has brought us to where we are today.
“Our problem has always been the management of resources of the land. Something is happening right now whether the government knows or not. The splinter group of the Boko Haram is providing services to some communities in Borno. They are collecting taxes because of the absence of government. This is dangerous,” he said.
A recent report by UNICEF had claimed that four local government areas in Borno State remain under the control of Boko Haram.
However, the Nigerian Army and federal government have consistently maintained that no area in Nigeria is under the control of the terrorists group.
The Catholic bishop further lamented the level of poverty in Nigeria, which he said have left many in a position they are no longer able to take care of their primary duties to themselves, families and the society.
Regretting how Nigeria could overtake India as the “world capital of poverty”, the bishop said people have been trooping to his office to beg for money and food.
He added, “You see, in governance or democratic government, if you know you don’t have the capacity to even rule a local government, don’t put yourself forward.
“The very fact that you put yourself forward you are telling the people that you have the capacity and the know-how. Even if you don’t have the know-how, I think in leadership, you don’t need to have the know-how. I think you should have the intelligence to get people who know to be able to do the job. No matter how intelligent you are, you cannot do it alone.
“Now talking about the present government, I think the simple question that every Nigerian should ask is– my life today and my life before this government came in, what is the difference?
“Go on the streets and ask Nigerians, four years on, how is your life compared to before.
“I can tell you I am 33 years in priesthood, I have never seen Nigerians come to my office in tears looking for ordinary food. You see them dressed up in Agbada, but if they tell you what they are going through, they are not able to feed their families. It has never been this bad in our country.
“We have the resources, I think our leaders should get off their back and do what they need to do, using our resources. We are not poor, we have no business overtaking India as the poorest country in the world.
“Officially our population has hit 200 million, and India has over 1.2 billion people, but the resources we have, India does not have, yet we have overtaken them in terms of poverty. I think it is shameful.”