The Anglican Archbishop of Owerri, the Most Revd. David Onuoha, has urged Nigerian youths to shun violence and give the government time to respond to their demands that led to the #EndSARS protests.
Onuoha made the call in a statement in Abuja on Sunday, following the widespread protest by some Nigerians demanding an end to police brutality and the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
He said that the protest presented Nigerian youths as resourceful and intelligent, with the capacity to make things happen, adding that they must, however, exercise restraint and allow government to meet their demands.
“Having strongly registered your concerns and demands, you should now allow a little time for our leaders to respond,” he said.
He said that the Federal Government and the Imo State Government, in particular, would not fail in meeting the expectations of the protesters, judging by the programmes unveiled by Gov. Hope Uzodimma’s administration.
Onuoha, therefore, urged the youth to shun violence, looting and destruction of lives, insisting that such actions were not the best ways to resolve issues.
“Your demand for an end to police brutality as well as for good governance is very well placed, legitimate and appropriate.
“What gain is there when we use the scarce resources available to replace and rebuild damaged structures, instead of using the funds to improve on what we have for our common good?
“A lot of people are known to have lost their lives in the violence and brigandage of the nature that we witnessed recently; we do not want to lose you in this manner because you are very dear to God and us.
“Active participation and peaceful resistance are recognised globally as legitimate means of redeeming the society. God also approves it; this is a preferred option.
“We welcome enthusiastically your resolve to take active part in politics, as a way of ensuring the rebirth of this nation.
“You must pursue this vigorously and peacefully,” he said.
Onuoha urged the youth to always be agents of positive change, while being civil and peaceful in all their demands “as there could not be another country to call ours if the nation is destroyed”.
The archbishop urged Nigerians to be steadfast in prayers, as the blood of innocent citizens, spilled during the protests, would surely be the seed of the new Nigeria that would be cherished by all.