(Patience Aliyu, NAN)
The Youth Wing of the Christian Association of Nigeria (YOWICAN), says that the recent upheaval in the country which trailed the #EndSARS protests is not religiously motivated, contrary to some opinions.
Fielding questions from journalists at the National Ecumenical Centre on Tuesday in Abuja, Apostle Nyeneime Andy, President of YOWICAN, said: “EndSARS protest is not religious, it’s not ethnicity biased, it doesn’t have any colouration of religion involved.
“We are in touch with our Muslim brothers to speak to their Muslim community, while we speak to our Christian community.
“This is not a religious war, we are working together in partnership with the Muslim community to make sure those who are behind the mayhem are fished out.
Apostle Andy, who stated the association’s position on the #EndSARS saga, called on the public to shun violence and pursue peace “As mankind must always seek peaceful methods of solving its problems,” he said.
He said he believes in a quotation from Martin Luther King, that “Non violence is the answer to the crucial political and moral question of our time”, adding that vengeance, aggression and retaliation cannot guarantee progress, only love will.
Andy, who commended the Federal and State Governments for the swift way they responded to the situation, stated that nation building is a collective task of all Nigerians irrespective of their tribe, religion, or political affiliations.
While reacting to the level of damage done by the violence, Andy sympathised with those who suffered those losses, especially those who lost their lives, praying that their souls will find rest.
He admonished members of the police force not to loose focus during this period as the good cops are more than those who are not.
“We also extend our support to the police force, we appreciate the fact that there are more disciplined and dedicated members of the police force than the bad eggs.
“We understand that they are humans and Nigerians too and the past couple of weeks must have taken a toll on their commitments.
“Nevertheless, we want them to understand that the push for police reform is for their own good too.”
Similarly, Andy called on the Muslim counterpart body, the National Council of Muslim Youth Organisation (NACOMYO), to sit down with their respective state governors and deliberate on steps that will ensure lasting peace in the nation.
“As youth wing of CAN, we want to let government know we are reaching out to our Muslim youth counterpart body the Muslim Association of Nigeria (MAN).
CAN also recommended the following as key factors in ensuring lasting peace – the establishment of a bureau of crises prevention and recovery, community peace handling, round table for youth leaders with key government officials, among others.