The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Most Rev. Alfred Adewale Martins has called for the collaboration of all stakeholder groups in the country, to prevent Nigeria from sliding into anarchy; as an aftermath of the peaceful demonstration of youths in the country, against police brutality. He made the call in a press statement released in Lagos recently, on the shooting of peaceful, protesting youth demonstrators who have occupied the Lekki Peninsula Tool Gate for about 14 days; by soldiers of the Nigerian Army.
In the statement titled: It shall be Well with Our Country; and primarily addressed to the priests, religious and lay faithful of the Archdiocese, Archbishop Martins noted that the country is presently at a crossroad and “it would seem that we are gradually descending into a state of anarchy, the kind that we had been praying against.”
The Archbishop continued: “We have people who are taking advantage of the situation to burn government properties and vandalize peoples’ homes and properties. We take this opportunity to appeal to those among the youths who are going about wrecking this havoc that as much as their anger and frustration is understandable, 2 acts of violence, vandalism and destruction would only turn an otherwise noble objective into a problem for everyone.”
While calling for an enquiry on the shooting of unarmed youths peacefully protesting against anomalies in the country’ socio-economic situation, Archbishop Martins remarked: “If Nigeria would be better for all, there must be a focus on the objectives of the #EndSars movement and never allowing any action that would undermine its purpose.”
He added: “I urge all the faithful, brothers and sisters, to go down on our knees in prayers for our country. These are really difficult but defining moments for us and so we need to pray the Rosary more fervently than before, say the Prayer for Nigeria in Distress and the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel.”
In a statement issued at the early stage of the protests by the youths in different parts of the country, Archbishop Martins while urging government to dialogue with the aggrieved youths, noted that the issues raised by them “are clearly more fundamental than the replacement of one police unit with another. According to him: The youths, and indeed most well-meaning Nigerians, are calling for justice for the individuals and families affected by the brutality of the policemen attached to the disbanded SARS unit.
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