Fred Ezeh, Abuja
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has challenged President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately address Nigerians on the ongoing civic unrest across Nigeria that had led to loss of lives and damage to property.
CAN suggested that the President calm the nerves of the restive youths and strongly assure them that government would act with dispatch on their agitations.
CAN President Dr Samson Ayokunle Olasupo, who addressed journalists in Abuja on Thursday, told the protesting youths that their loud voices have been heard and actions are being taken in response to their demands.
He condemned Tuesday night’s shooting by alleged military men which led to at least one confirmed death, an incident which triggered a rampage of looting and destruction across Lagos and other parts of the country.
‘Whoever ordered the shooting of unarmed citizens on legitimate protest crossed the red line and had caused more pains for this nation and many parents,’ Olasupo said.
The Christian leader called for an end to the arson, wanton destruction of property, infrastructure and killings, saying the damage will inflict further pains on Nigerians.
Meanwhile, the Secretary General of the Supreme Council for Shari’ah in Nigeria (SCSN), Nafi’u Baba-Ahmed, told journalists in Abuja that some Christian clerics have fueled the crisis through their unguarded statements.
‘It’s unfortunate and disheartening that some individuals, including notable Christian clerics who are expected to caution their followers and help contain the escalating violence, chose to aggravate it through their unguarded and provocative utterances,’ Baba-Ahmed said.
‘We strongly believe that the utterances which sometimes come from the pulpit helped in turning what was presented as a patriotic undertaking into a religious and regional conflict as we are witnessing across the country.
‘Armed mobs have attacked Muslims and their places of worship and businesses around the country in the name of #EndSARS protest. This was clearly seen in Apo and Dutsen Alhaji in Abuja, Port Harcourt in Rivers state, Sabon Gari in Kano state, Aba in Abia State, and various other locations in Lagos State.
‘We must note that violence does no good nor solve problems at all. Take a look at Libya, Tunisia, Iran, and several other countries at war. The uprising has obviously crippled their economy, social system and even governance system. We should not allow that to happen here in Nigeria.
‘Government must take decisive steps to ensure cessation of these atrocities, and serve justice to all who who have hands in the attacks on innocent citizens. Government must also live up to its responsibility of safe guarding the lives and property of all citizens,’ he said.
Similarly, Christian and Muslims Youth of Nigeria under the umbrella of the Inter-Religious Council (NIREC), appealed to the aggrieved youths to put a stop to the destructions and open a formal opportunity to meet with government to amicably resolve the issues.
A statement jointly signed by the National Presidents, Youth Wing of CAN and Council of Muslim Youth Organizations, Andy Nyeneime and Sani Suleiman, respectively, indicated that the youths, through the protest, have clearly spoken and asserted their powers to direct the narratives.
‘We appealed to the government to be fair and transparent in dealing with the demands made by the youths and hasten up with all that would assuage and calm the nerves of the youths.
‘Government should also investigate all allegations of brutality and injustice in Nigeria and ensure that those found guilty are brought to justice and their victims adequately compensated.’