The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Most Rev. (Dr.) Alfred Adewale Martins has tasked the Federal Government on the need to stop impunity, which he claimed as one of the major steps to end banditry and insurgency in Nigeria. Martins gave this charge recently, while dedicating the Mission House at Catholic Church of the Resurrection, Magodo, Lagos. The Archbishop stressed on the need for the government to contain the activities of criminals, by apprehending them, adding that failure of government to bring criminals to book gives them (criminal) power to operate with impunity. He said: “There are people who commit crimes, whoever they may be, they should be apprehended and brought to book. The fact that the government has not done this is why these people operate with impunity. It is almost like ‘nobody can do anything to us’. “When these rogue herdsmen occupy the forest areas, they just do whatever they like because nobody seems to care.
The impression that is left in the minds of people is that the criminals are being protected. For what reason they are being protected, it is difficult to know, but when you see people, as it were, occupying other peoples’ land and ensuring that those people cannot use their land in peace; killing, raping and destroying properties, naturally the impression is that they are being protected.” He also tasked the new Service Chiefs to take seriously their primary task of securing the country. He said: “There is no part of the country that is free at this point at this time as we are all on tenterhooks and so we hope that the new Security Chiefs will do their work and justify the position they have been given.” Speaking on the role of the Mission House in pushing kingdom agenda, Archbishop Martins said: “When people have opportunities and conducive environment; places to meet, it gives a chance for ideas to flow on what needs to be done and how it should be done.
This building is going to play a big role in that. Apart from that when people are able to gather to share ideas, it creates opportunity to bond, and therefore, be the kind of Christian Community that will witness to the values of unity, peace, love and all that Christ stands for.” On people holding church services in shops, event centers, motels and the like, the Archbishop said: “God is everywhere and can be worshiped anywhere. However, if it is done in such a way as to give an impression that buildings dedicated to God is of no value, then obviously, there is a problem.
If it is done for the sake of almost a commercial enterprise; you rent a hall, pay for the hall and continue that way; it’s like making the whole thing an enterprise. But if it is a temporal thing that people do; our God is capable to be worshipped anywhere. When asked if a structure should be ideally put for worship and regarded as sacred, Archbishop Martins said: “Of course. The people of Israel built a temple where God is to be worshiped, that is the way it should be; a place set aside for the worship of God. It is only when there are difficult situations that what you talked about can be, but the worship of God should be done in a place that is consecrated.”