The Catholic Bishop of Gboko Diocese, Most Reverent William Avenya, has suggested the restructuring of mindset of citizens as a panacea to the myriad of problems plaguing the country.

Avenya told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Gboko that agitations for the geographical restructuring being canvassed by many were simply a misplaced priority.

He said it was important for Nigerians to begin to get their priorities right through a restructuring process that involved the mindset instead of the geo-political restructuring.

According him, such a mindset restructuring will enable people learn to emphasise many things that keep Nigerians together rather than those that separate them.

Avenya said restructuring of the mindset would enable people to view issues from the correct perspective.

“We have more things that hold us together than those that separate us as a people; so, why don’t we emphasise those ones rather than the ones that seek to tear us apart.

“In this country, we spend time on symptoms rather than their causes.”

The bishop condemned agitations for the breakup of the country and suggested an elaborate national debate on restructuring.

He said such a debate would highlight the shared values of Nigerians.

He bemoaned the current state of the nation, blaming the spate of killings in most parts of the country on “a failed state apparatus”.

“We have all failed either as religious, political, intelligentsia or even as a business class. In other climes, all those vested with the responsibility of providing security of lives and property would have resigned for their failure in this regard.”

He expressed regret that rather than review the failure of security in the country, people in authority were adamant and refused to tackle the problems.

“Members of the National Assembly representing the affected communities prefer political correctness in the face of such barbaric acts against their people.”

He accused them of greed, alleging that their actions were motivated by personal aggrandisement.

“Those ineffectual political leaders with a dysfunctional mentality should give way for others,” he advised.

The bishop said it was the responsibility of the Federal Government to ensure the security of lives and property.

He said states were handicapped in this regard and appealed to the Federal Government to take full responsibility of the security in the affected states.

According to him, if the Federal Government will not take responsibility, then the church should seek support for the affected communities from the international community through awareness creation.

“We will create awareness to the carnage and barbaric killings in the state,” he said.

He said the killings in the middle belt states were worrisome and called for an immediate end to it.

Avenya said the church had already mobilised its trained personnel to the affected places to assist displaced persons.

The cleric said the church would always be in the vanguard for the propagation of peace and harmonious coexistence but would also not condone the killings of innocent people.

He called on the government to stop the killings immediately.