Presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Prince Adewole Adebayo, has vowed that he would ensure that the full weight of the law is brought against the incessant attacks people and facilities in the country if elected the next president of Nigeria.
This is even as Adebayo equally reaffirmed his party’s commitment to religious freedom in the country.
The SDP presidential flag bearer for the next year’s general election in the country, made these remarks as a guest of the United States Commission for International Religious Freedom at the weekend.
The meeting, presided over by the acting Chairman, Commissioner Fred Davie, representing Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, was attended by fellow commissioners representing US President Joe Biden, Commissioner representing Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Rabbi Abraham Cooper representing Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and other commissioners.
Adebayo reiterated his belief that it is the responsibility of the government to guarantee the safety of liives and property in a functioning State.
He stressed that a denominational or sectarian interpretation of the causative factors for killings and attacks in Nigeria was not a necessary analysis for putting an end to the crises because it is the duty of a functioning government to protect lives and property and guarantee safety and freedoms of all citizens without discrimination and regardless of the motive of the violator.
According to him, “I will employ the full weight of government powers to contain the incessant attacks on Nigerian communities to stave off the perception that the country is drifting towards a failed state scenario.”
In response to questions posed by the Commissioners on what the position of the United States government should be on the issue of allegations of genocide and religious persecution in Nigeria, Adebayo advised the United States government to approach Nigeria as a diverse country in which Christians, Moslems and other faiths will continue to live together and intermingle increasingly.
His words, “What is required is effective governance and rule of law to ensure that everyone in Nigeria feels equally safe and protected without any cause to fear discrimination or persecution based on religious and other identity”.
He emphasised that a government that fails to protect all citizens has no basis on which to assuage the subjective or objective fears of any group who feels unsafe and persecuted.
He added, “It is only by effective governance and fair administration of justice that a government assures all citizens of safety and security”.
Adebayo promised that his administration would enforce the Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2011 which enables the government to prevent and punish perpetrators of religious persecution, hate crimes and other abuses.
The Commission on behalf of the United States Government commended the visiting presidential candidate and his delegation and wished him safe travels and success in his quests.