The Catholic Laity Council of Nigeria (CLCN) has called on government at all levels in the country to investigate the alleged hijack of the recent protests by Nigerian youths, against police brutality, especially the dreaded Special Anti-Robbery Squad known as SARS. The Council made the call in a press statement issued in Abuja and signed by its National President, Thomas Adekoya and National Secretary Sir Henry Yunkwap KSJI.
The council also called on the government to ensure that the Commissions of inquiry instituted to investigate the violence and arson that resulted as a result of infiltration of hoodlums and thugs into the peaceful demonstration of the youths, live up to expectation and adequate compensation given to those who deserve it at the end of the probes.
In the statement titled: The Need to be on the Path to Peace, Healing and National Renaissance; the council while supporting the call of the youths for the thorough reform of the country’s police force; admonished government to persecute police officers who have been insensitive in the discharge of their duties.
The Council also called on the federal government to prosecute those that have been found wanting in their police duties, even as it throws it weight behind the call for thorough Police reforms. It will be recalled that Nigerian youths recently staged a nationwide protest calling for the proscription
The statement noted that while the young people pushed for the proscription of the dreaded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in particular and police brutality in general; the #EndSARS movement was a metaphor for a national rebirth and a renaissance of sorts; “because the truth remains that we are still on a journey to optimum good governance and there is a need to do better in a number of sectors of our National life”.
The Council while aligning with the position of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) on the issue; commiserated with the victims of the violence and their families and called on the government “to rise up and show the committee of democratic countries that we have the capacity to be truly democratic and be the defender of its citizenry.” While noting that there is a need not to water down what these great young people set out to do, the Council urged parents who are the first line of tutelage for the nation’s young people not to relent in this God given duty.
It asserted that Godly homes ultimately guarantee a God fearing Nation, and called on Government to earn the trust of the young generation who are calling for this true change and create an unassailable vehicle for developmental engagement. “This is the time to close ranks and rebuild the edifice of nationhood and regain our pride of place globally”, the Council advised.
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