The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, has on Thursday appealed to Nigerian youths to stop attacking private properties and destroying public infrastructures while expressing their grieve over Tuesday night’s massacre of #EndSARS protesters at Lekki Tollgate, Lagos.
The President of CAN, Rev. Samson Ayokunle, made the call at a press conference in Abuja.
Ayokunle was responding to the arson and wanton vandalization of government facilities in several States in the aftermath of the Lekki killings.
He said, “Though the military has denied being responsible for the bloodshed despite the video and eyewitness accounts, their presence at the scene of the incident did not help their matter.
“Whoever ordered the shooting of unarmed citizens on legitimate protest in a democracy for whatever reason had crossed the red line and had caused more pains for this nation and many parents of these young, promising Nigerians who would have been Nigeria’s future glory.
“In very strong terms, CAN condemns the dastardly and callous act. It was a minus for our democracy and a scar to be remembered forever.
“On the other hand, we appeal to all Nigerians that the arson, wanton destruction of property, infrastructural facilities that have followed the killings, though one understands that they came out of the provocative killing, should stop.
“This is because it would further inflict pains on fellow Nigerians who are either working in those facilities or deprive them the benefits which those facilities provided on a daily basis, especially, to mention just but one, the BRT buses which are providing ease of movement to Lagos workers on a daily basis.
“Ours is a special appeal as spiritual fathers, priests and prophets to the nation for calm to allow comprehensive peaceful resolution of this situation. An adage says, ‘cutting of one’s head can never be the right medication for headache.’”
The CAN President, however, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to speak soft words to the nation to calm nerves, and assure all Nigerians that such carnage will never happen again.
“The government is also advised to bring the trigger happy uniformed men who killed the people to book to ensure that those whose lives were wasted got justice.
“Furthermore, for effective dialogue, all the relevant stakeholders, especially, opinion leaders such as the traditional rulers, the religious leaders and the leaders of different youth groups and civil societies, etc., should be called together to proffer solution to this great threat to our nationhood. Wisdom is required and urgently too, so that things might not deteriorate further,” Ayokunle said.
He also condoled with the families who had lost their loved ones prematurely in killings at Lekki Tollgate.
“Finally, we advise the government to compile the list of those killed nationwide during this protest, especially those shot dead on Tuesday and compensate their families as a way of identifying with them and ameliorating the pains of the irreparable loss.
“It is our prayer that our country would rise from this terrible experience to be a better nation where the law enforcement agents are humane and thoroughly professional in the discharge of their duties and our democracy becomes a democracy bringing the dividends of growth and prosperity to all in the nation,” he added.