Catholic Church Backs Agitation against SARS

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Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

The Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria has asked the federal government to consider the concerns of Nigerian youths over acts of victimisation and impunity perpetrated by the Police Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

A statement issued by the Directorate of Social Communications of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria over the #ENDSARS campaign said there are evidences to attest to the fact that the SARS officers have turned against the citizens they were meant to protect.

“The current agitation by Nigerian youths for the disbandment of SARS is as a result of the deep frustration and suffering the youths and other citizens have experienced in the hands of the Nigeria Police Force,” it said.

In the statement signed by its National Director of Social Communications, Padre Mike Nsikak Umoh, the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria said stories abound attesting to the fact that officers and men recruited for the purpose of securing the lives and property of the citizens have unfortunately turned around to be a menace to the very citizens they are paid to protect.

According to Umoh, “This in some way is a reflection of the poor value presently attached to the dignity of the human person in our country, including the value for life itself, by majority of the political office holders and those officially in charge of the instruments of maintaining peace and order in our society.

“The Catholic Secretariat aligns with this agitation by the Nigerian youths, but more so as a pathway to bettering governance in general and engendering mutual respect for citizens’ rights and dignity.

“The servant-leadership model instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ should drive governance and challenge leaders to see themselves truly as public servants working for the common good and not public lords to oppress the people or be served the common wealth.

“The #EndSARS campaign must be a conscience searchlight for all security officers, which must lead them individually and as a body, to regret their acts of victimisation and impunity as well as resolve to act with love and responsibility towards the evolution of a Nigerian society embodied by the love of God and neighbour.”