END of protest: “Do not use force” – Archbishop Alfred Martins calls on the government

Posted by on Oct 18, 2020, Under: News

END of protest: “Do not use force” – Archbishop Alfred Martins calls on the government

Ongoing #EndSARS protests by Nigerian youth continue in many cities across the country, despite the government’s quick response to their initial requests.

Clearly, the disbandment of the dreaded Special Anti-Rogue Squad (SARS) and its subsequent replacement by the Special Armaments and Tactics Team (SWAT) did not satisfy the demands of the young men who are constantly deploying troops on the streets in the rain and sun. even at night, to show their dissatisfaction with the government’s decision to their demands. These questions are clearly more fundamental than replacing one police force with another. Young people, and indeed the most well-meaning Nigerians, demand justice for the people and families affected by police brutality attached to the disbanded SARS unit. They also use protest to expose systemic failures that have led, among other things, to widespread corruption, irresponsibility and mass youth unemployment.

In an October 15 BBC News report, it was hinted that the Nigerian military might be used to crack down on protests. This is very disturbing and we hope that it will not. Such a measure, if adopted, could only lead to injury and possible death, as well as to escalate protests. It tends to turn largely peaceful protests into violent ones.

Therefore, we call on the federal government to maintain a line of dialogue, listening to the demands of young people and other well-meaning Nigerians. We thank the government for fulfilling the demands of young people. Now the whole country is looking forward to concrete steps to implement them. We believe that a sincere and transparent response to young people’s requests will go a long way in breaking the current impasse. For their part, young people should continue to conduct their protests peacefully and not be drawn into any acts of violence, even the smallest. We all need to remember that the whole world is watching us to see how we handle this situation. Therefore, we ask for dialogue and mutual understanding when considering the current situation for the benefit of our youth and the future of our country.