By Onyebuchi Ezigbo
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has asked the military and police not to intervene in the ongoing civil protests in order to avoid killings.
In a statement yesterday by its President, Rev. Samson Ayokunle, CAN commended the youths who are advocating reform of the police either through #EndSARS protests or prayer walks nationwide for embracing a peaceful approach.
It said: “We condemn in strong terms every attempt being made to stop or disrupt the peaceful protest, which is lawfully allowed and guaranteed by 1999 Constitution (as amended).
“We are monitoring the #EndSARS protests nationwide and we are praying that their unprecedented efforts to have a decent society will not be in vain.
“We call on the military and police to resist the temptation to intervene in a civil protest in order to avoid harvest of deaths. We have had enough of mass burials without fighting a war in the recent past.”
The CAN urged the federal and state governments to keep their promise of restoring confidence.
It called for the immediate inauguration of judicial or quasi-judicial panel with representatives of the civil society at all levels with a view to prosecuting criminals security agents found accused of human rights abuses.
It asked President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately send an appropriation bill to the National Assembly for the compensation of all victims of police brutality and other extrajudicial killings in the last 10 years.
It advised that fresh recruitment into police should do background checks on those being recruited so as to avoid recruiting criminals.
The CAN said: “Similarly, semi-literates should never be recruited into the police again. Well educated, morally and mentally sound people are good enough to wear police uniform in Nigeria.
“All three tiers of the government should stop paying lip service to the welfare of the people and immediately begin the welfare programme that will bring succour to the suffering masses occasioned by the increase in the fuel pump price and the power tariff.
“Each of the 36 state governors, including the FCT Minister, should set up a committee to dialogue with the representatives of the protesters to douse the tension in the country.”