——-says shooting protesters not the best
The Archbishop Ecclesiastical Province of the Niger, Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Most Reverend Alexander Chibuzor Ibezim, PhD, JP yesterday asked President Mohammed Buhari to urgently address the nation on the ongoing EndSARS protests which has turned bloody.
Archbishop Ibezim frowned at the shooting of protesters, insisting it’s not the best option and not at the interest of the country.
Archbishop Ibezim who is also the Anglican Bishop of Awka Diocese pointed out that shooting and killing of youths in peaceful protest would rather worsen the crisis and make dialogue almost impossible.
He as well appealed to the protesting youths to give peace a chance and desist from further destruction of government property as the property were done with tax payers money.
He added that rebuilding them would still be from tax payers money.
He advocated for dialogue rather than brute force currently obtainable even as he condemned the use of force to quell protests of unarmed youths seeking for a better country.
Archbishop Ibezim said it’s time for government to act very fast by not allowing the protests to degenerate even as he called on Nigerians to actively pray for God to take charge of the already deteriorating situation to nip the eminent crisis in the board.
While appealing for calm from all concerned, Archbishop Ibezim asked President Muhammadu Buhari to speak to the nation now and order the military and other paramilitary agencies to stop use of further brute force against the civil protesters as it would not end the crisis.
He decried the mindless murder and injuring of innocent protesters, pointing out that no matter the provocation unarmed protesters should not be shot at as it reinforces anger and frustration. He wondered why there was denials of killings of protesters, despite overwhelming evidence in the contrary.
He appealed that the demands made by the #EndSARS protesters were not unrealistic.
While calling for prayers for the families who lost their beloved family members or the fortitude to bear the irreparable lost , Archbishop Ibezim encouraged all concerned in finding a lasting solution to the EndSARS protest to think humanity first and be sincere in looking for a way to resolve the demands of the protesting youths.
He however appealed to the protesting youths to allow peace reign once government has shown seriousness to engage them, advising that hijacking the peaceful protests and destroying peoples’ hard earned property is not in the interest of all.
He said the shootings of #EndSARS protesters by soldiers at the Lekki toll gate on Tuesday was mindless and unthinkable and called for setting up of investigative panel of inquiry to unravel the immediate and remote causes of the shooting with an aim to punish the trigger happy culprits.
He noted that only thorough investigation of the tragic events at Lekki and other parts of the country and giving justice to all victims can only sooth the nerves of the protesters.
Archbishop Ibezim regretted the crisis even as he called for proper investigation into the crisis, while acknowledging the effort so far made , he wants immediate employment of thousands of youths roaming the street as an emergency approach now.
Comrade Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, PhD
Director Media, Communication, Research and Public Relations