The Catholic Bishop of Ijebu-Ode Diocese, Most Rev. Francis Obafemi Adesina, has lent his voice to the #EndSARS mantra currently making wave in the country and even outside the country. In what has become a nationwide protest against Police brutality in the country, the Catholic Bishop has joined the many Nigerian youths and citizens to say that Police brutality and every form of oppression from those meant to protect the people must end

He made this remark in a statement released by his Secretary today, Wednesday 14th October, 2020, on the occasion of his 31st Priestly Ordination Anniversary. While thanking God for the gift of 31 years in the Lord’s vineyard, he made a clarion call to leaders elected to position of authority in the country to listen to the agitations of the people. He said that, we have come to the point where citizens now demand a better governance from their leaders. The cry of the youths and indeed every Nigerian to EndSARS is a cry to put an end to every form of brutality and oppression Nigerians face daily from those meant to protect their lives.

The Catholic Bishop condemned the fact that the Government has allowed police brutality to linger on for so long in the country. According to him, “now is the time for the Government to act and act in favour of the cry of the many Nigerian youths who have suffered intimidation in the hands of those meant to protect them. The battle is not only for those who have suffered it, but also, for the sake of those yet to suffer it.” He therefore calls on the Government to listen to the voice of the people as it is the voice of God.

Furthermore, he enjoined the youths and the protesters to carry out their protest in a peaceful way and should not be violent about it. He condemned areas where the youths had to vandalize Police vehicles and Police stations while carrying out protest last week. He said that peaceful protest is a civil right for every citizen, and as such, he encouraged all those involved to do so in a peaceful way and not disturb the day-to-day activities of other citizens.

In addition, Bishop Adesina condemned the killings and arrest of several Nigerians who are currently protesting against Police brutality. He said that “arresting and killing innocent citizens for protesting is part of the so many wrongs in our country that must be addressed by the goverment. It is quite unfair to loose so many citizens of the country due to trigger-happy Police who are supposed to protect the lives of the citizens. This is why the Police must be reformed and all stakeholders in the country must join this agitation and movement for the reformation of the Police in Nigeria. The killings are too much and we must all speak out.”

In conclusion, he charged the Government to act fast and in time. “The cry goes beyond ending Police brutality in the country, the cry is about making Nigeria a better and a safe place for citizens where they can walk around without fear of intimidation from those meant to protect their lives. Aside Police brutality which must end, the Government must be ready to deliver on their campaign promises and make life better for every Nigerian.” He said that the protest is a step in the right direction, meaning that Nigerians can stand for what they want and voice it out. Now is the time for the Government to really show and prove that they are actually for the people who elected them. May the Lord bless Nigeria and her citizens. Amen.

#EndsSARS #EndPoliceBrutality

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