THE Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has condemned the killing of Nigerian youths during the ENDSARS protest on Tuesday, at the Lekki Toll Gate, Lagos State.
Samson Ayokunle, the CAN President stated the position of the Christain umbrella body on the shooting of unarmed protesters in a statement on Thursday.
“The Christian Association of Nigeria is deeply shocked and saddened by the unfortunate wastage of lives of fellow young Nigerians who were protesting unarmed against the brutal treatment and killings of Nigerians by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police Force on Tuesday, October 20, 2020 at Lekki Tollgate in Lagos State,” Ayokunle said.
He said although the military has denied the event despite video evidence and eye witness accounts, their presence at the scene did not help the situation.
According to him, whoever ordered the shooting of unarmed citizens on legitimate protest in a democracy for whatever reason had crossed the red line.
He added that such a person had caused more pains for this nation and many parents of the 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,” the CAN president said.
He however appealed to Nigerians to halt the destruction of properties and infrastructures across the state.
“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 because it would further inflict pains on fellow Nigerians who are either working in those facilities or deprive them the benefits which those facilities are providing on daily basis, especially, to mention just but one, the BRT buses which are providing ease of movement to Lagos workers on daily basis.”
Ayokunle also noted that the government should also be humble in its response to the incidence that occurred on Tuesday.
“From the side of the government, let there be humility that the response to the protest by what happened on Tuesday night at Lekki Tollgate was not good at all,” he said.
“In humility, let the government, (especially, Mr. President) speak soft words to the nation to calm nerves and assure all Nigerians that this type of action will never happen again and that the government would act with dispatch on all agitations of the youths.”
He urged the Nigerian government to ensure that the perpetrators of the killings were brought to justice, adding that the government should 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.