Nigeria: #EndSARS - CAN Appeals for Justice and Calm

22 October 2020

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CACANN) has urged that justice and calm be restored to the country swiftly.

This was disclosed in a statement signed by the president of CAN, Samson Ayokunle, on Thursday.

According to the statement, the group condemned the killing of Nigerians in Lagos as callous.

Thousands of youth had taken to the streets of Nigeria cities to protest against the brutality of police and the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

Premium Times reported that dozens of people including protesters and police officers have been killed in the violence that has resulted from the protests in many states.

The climax of such incidents was the attack on protesters at the Lekki toll gate in Lagos on Tuesday when soldiers shot at peaceful protesters gathered there.

Two people have been confirmed dead from the Lekki incident.

Though the military has denied being responsible, despite the video and eyewitness accounts, their presence at the scene of the incident does not bolster their denial.

"Whoever ordered the shooting of unarmed citizens on legitimate protest in a democracy for whatever reason had crossed the red line and had caused more pains for this nation and many parents of these young, promising Nigerians who would have been Nigeria's future glory," the statement said.

"In very strong terms, CAN condemns the dastardly and callous act. It was a minus for our democracy and a scar to be remembered for ever.

"On the other hand, we appeal to all Nigerians that the arson, wanton destruction of property, infrastructural facilities that have followed the killings, (though one understands that they came out of the provocative killing), should stop because it would further inflict pains on fellow Nigerians who are either working in those facilities or deprive them the benefits which those facilities are providing on daily basis, especially, to mention just but one, the BRT buses which are providing ease of movement to Lagos workers on daily basis."

It said the the group appeals as spiritual fathers, priests and prophets to the nation for calm to allow comprehensive peaceful resolution of this situation.

"An adage says, 'cutting of one's head can never be the right medication for headache.' From the side of the government, let there be humility that the response to the protest by what happened on Tuesday night at Lekki Tollgate was not good at all."

The group also called for effective dialogue among relevant groups to proffer solution to this great threat to the nationhood.

"Wisdom is required and urgently too so that things might not deteriorate further," it added.

"We send our condolences to all the families who had lost their loved ones prematurely in this unfortunate incident. We pray for the comfort of the Holy Spirit for them all."

It advised the government to compile the list of those killed nationwide during this protest and compensate their families as a way of identifying with them and ameliorating the pains of the irreparable loss.

"It is our prayer that our country would rise from this terrible experience to be a better nation where the law enforcement agents are humane and thoroughly professional in the discharge of their duties and our democracy becomes a democracy bringing the dividends of growth and prosperity to all in the nation.

"We shall not cease in praying for our leaders and our beloved nation Nigeria."

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