The Ibadan Anglican Diocese (The Church of Nigeria), has commended youths in the country for showing interest in the affairs of the nation with their recent action.
The Diocese however, warned the youths against violence and as well disallowed the action to be hijacked by troublemakers.
Reacting to the ongoing protest, tagged #EndSARS, aimed at agitating for dissolution of the outfit as well as a stop to Police brutality in the country, the Diocese in a press release, said it was identifying with the young people across the nation in the struggle.
The release which was signed by the Most Revd. Dr Joseph Akinfenwa, the Bishop of the Ibadan Anglican Diocese, said the ongoing demonstration by the youths provides the opportunity for positive changes in the country
“Even though the current wave of protest started as #EndSARS, we are glad that the whole spectrum of Police brutality and abuse of office is being called to question. We commend the young people of this nation for finally taking interest in the affairs of our nation.
“This is a welcome departure from their erstwhile feeling/attitude of apathy towards Nigeria’s national issues. If the youths of Nigeria can channel their energy, dynamism and collective prowess into addressing myriad vital issues of our nationhood like this, Nigeria shall surely grow in leaps and bounds.
“While commending our youths for speaking up and showing interest, we hereby appeal to them to do the utmost to keep the demonstrations peaceful and orderly.
“We appeal to them to resist all form of provocations, to maintain absolute non-violence and refuse to allow hoodlums hijack what is intended as a peaceful initiative”, said the Diocese in the statement.
The current wave of protest, according to the Diocece, offers the opportunity to rethink the country’s nationhood, and also an opportunity to engage the young people positively, appealing to the government at all levels to respond to the yearnings of the youths in a positive, constructive, and non-judgmental manner.
“This is not a time to use derogatory or abusive language against our youths, or to insinuate sinister motives to their legitimate yearnings.
“Rather, we encourage our political leaders to seize the opportunity to further encourage Nigerian youths to participate in the Nigeria project. A vast majority of our youths had lost faith in the nation, as evidenced by their desperation to check out to other lands.
“Let us seize this opportunity to assure them that all hope is not lost, that their voice can still be heard, and that this nation in fact belongs to them”.
The Diocese however commended all the governors who have shown decorum and mature understanding in their response to the youthful demonstration, with particular mention of the Oyo State Governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, thanking him for coming out in person to respond to the youths, and for showing love to those who were victims of the unfortunate events that accompanied the #EndSars protest.
“No nation can make progress in an atmosphere of chaos or anarchy, let us all join hands to promote peace in our land as we encourage our Government to defend justice and fairplay.
“The #EndSARS protest could very well be a good opportunity to move forward if we do the right things, and if we do so quickly too,” the concluding part of the statement stated.