The Bishops recently revealed that the ongoing protests by Nigerian youths are morally justified and the government must make moves to guarantee a total reform of the entire Police Force.
According to the Most Rev. Augustine Obiora Akubeze, President of Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), the way the SARS officials have been operating wrongly in Nigeria proves that the country is a failing state.
He added that disbanding SARS and setting up a new outfit called Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) proves that our government lacks understanding and sincerity to tackle the problem.
His words, “Thus the cries of our children protesting against the brutality of SARS that manifests in extrajudicial killings, unlawful arrests, profiling of youths as criminals, the invasion of youths privacy by searching phones and laptops without any warrant or any just cause, and the incarceration of many of the youths in the SARS custody without trial.
“We the members of the CBCN have followed the protests with keen interest and call on the Federal Government of Nigeria once again to listen to the cry for justice so that peace can reign in our country. The protests seem to have a life of its own, and it is spreading all over the country; this shows that most Nigerians are facing the same oppression and brutality inflicted by the SARS.
“We urge the Federal Government to fulfil its primary constitutional responsibility of securing life and property of every Nigerian and provide opportunities for our children to realise their God-given potentials.
“The audacity and impunity with which the SARS officials have been operating all the while is a manifestation of the failing state of Nigeria. Various bodies and patriotic Nigerians have expressed the opinion that just ending the SARS would not solve the enormous problems of Nigeria, because it is futile treating symptoms of a disease when the root cause is known.
“We reiterate that restructuring this country is a desirable path to be towed given the various developments in this nation. The knee jerk reaction of the administration by abolishing the SARS and setting up the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team portrays either the absence of an understanding of the entire problem or a lack of sincerity to address the issue.
“The Nigerian Government must realise that what the youths, on behalf of Nigerians, clamour for under the code name #EndSARS is a comprehensive reform of the entire Police Force and not a change of name; they call for a reform of all our government institutions and a reform of the entire nation. They are asking for a system that will be hard on crimes and criminals in the society within the ambience of the law, while at the same time treating every human being, citizens and visitors alike, with respect and dignity.”
“EndSARS goes beyond the SARS, and it is morally justified. We support the youths who have taken this step, and we caution that they are allowed without any intimidation to exercise their right to peaceful demonstration and should not be provoked or incited to violence.”
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