The Overseer of the Citadel Global Community Church (CGCC), Pastor Tunde Bakare, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to unravel the mystery behind the shooting of unarmed young Nigerian #EndSARS protesters on October 20 at Lekki Tollgate, insisting that this should not be allowed to become a case of another "unknown soldiers" affair.
Bakare made this call yesterday while delivering a state of the nation broadcast titled: 'The Building Blocks of Nationhood: A Blueprint for the New Nigeria', in which he said he was interested in who gave the order to soldiers to shoot protesters, 'because only the commander-in-chief could give such order'.
According to him, "I strongly recommend that President Muhammadu Buhari should ensure that those who ordered armed soldiers to shoot innocent citizens are fished out and made to face the full weight of the law. The officers who carried out such wicked acts should also be prosecuted under international legal standards."
He also blamed the government for failing to control the hoodlums as the protests took a sad turn from the attacks on protesters by thugs to the infiltration of protests by hoodlums who unleashed mayhem in cities and communities.
The cleric said the governments at the federal and state levels have lent credence to the conclusion of the protesters that the government was behind these smokescreen tactics in order to discredit the protests.
He added that by its actions and inactions, the government has burned the bridge of trust between it and the citizenry.
Bakare said Nigeria is admitting to the world and to itself that the country's "laws are no more than a facade that crumbles when the winds of crisis arise" by failing to control the violence that trailed the protest.
He lamented that Nigeria's armed forces have "stained the banner of our nationhood, the Nigerian flag, with the blood of our children, the Nigerian youths, to whom our founding fathers charged us to hand over a banner without stain."
Bakare also tasked the government to go beyond the surface in addressing police brutality "because the spirit of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) is still prowling unchecked as the real meaning of SARS, which is "the State-Aided Robbery Squad," has not been dealt with.
"The SARS is also the symbol of that politician who loots public funds to build a political war chest and spends it during elections buying votes. The SARS is the emblem on the 'Agbada' of the legislator who robs the people through budget padding, outrageous allowances, and unaccounted-for constituency projects. The SARS is the symbol of the corrupt judge who compels Lady Justice to remove her blindfold to check whether the person in the dock is a poor phone thief or a wealthy pension thief so as to sell justice to the highest bidder. They all belong to that group is the true meaning of SARS."
He appealed to the Nigerian youths, whose patriotic spirits have been brutalised and traumatised by 'a repressive Nigerian state' not to lose hope in Nigeria. "I encourage them to keep hope alive because the Nigeria of their dreams, the New Nigeria, is within reach," the clergyman said.