The leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has cautioned against the use of the military and police to disrupt the on-going #EndSARS protest. Commending the nationwide peaceful protest and prayer walks by the youth advocating for reforms in the Police Force, CAN noted that the body was not unaware of the sacrifices of the youth in terms of time, money and other risks in a quest to see a reformed Police and an egalitarian Nigerian society.
In a statement by President of CAN, Rev. Samson Ayokunle, made available to journalists on Monday in Abuja, the religious body expressed its appreciation to the youth in maintaining a peaceful approach in its patriotic agitation despite the pockets of attack either by the Police or some hired thugs to disrupt the protest. CAN, however, called on the Inspector-General of Police to suspend the implementation of the establishment of the Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT), until sanity was restored to the Police and screen the rank and file who were members of Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) to unmask the rotten eggs and sanction them.
Ayokunle said: “We condemn in strong terms every attempt being made to stop or disrupt the peaceful protest, which is lawfully allowed and guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
“We are monitoring the #EndSARS protests nationwide and we are praying that their unprecedented efforts to have a decent society will not be in vain. We call on the military and the Police to resist the temptation to intervene in a civil protest in order to avoid a harvest of deaths. We have had enough of mass burials without fighting a war in the recent past.”
Proffering solutions to address the situation, CAN advised both federal and state governments to restore the lost trust to the governed by inaugurating immediately, a judicial or quasi-judicial panel with representatives of the civil society at all levels to bring all criminals in uniform to book.
“Also, President Muhammadu Buhari should immediately send an Appropriation Bill to the National Assembly for the compensation of all victims of Police brutality and other extra-judicial killings in the last 10 years. “Fresh recruitment into police should take background check of those being recruited,” he said.