THE Federal Government has been urged to see the “#RevolutionNow” protest as wake up call to address the untold hardship ravaging the country and ease the suffering Nigerians are undergoing.
The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Most Rev. Adewale Martins, made the plea Wednesday in Lagos in reaction to the agitations against corruption and ineptitude of leadership.
In a statement, the Archbishop stated that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration should see the agitations as vox pop of on his administration.
He stated that adopting that approach will enable the government to redouble its efforts towards fulfilling its constitutional role of securing lives of the people.
Expressing worry over the spate of killings and kidnapping of innocent Nigerians by armed bandits, he stated, “except urgent and concrete measures are taken to reassure Nigerians of safety of their lives and property across the country, things may soon get out of hands.
“People may be forced to resort to self-help, if the government and security agencies continue to fail them.
“The ongoing protests by some groups is a reflection of the growing decay in the land and should be a wake-up call for the president to be more creative and decisive in addressing various agitations bothering the minds of Nigerians.
“Clamping down on the protesters will not make the problems disappear. The fears being expressed about the state of the nation are genuine and they deserve to be looked into urgently.”
He noted that if President Buhari is not forthcoming on addressing the nation on these issues to reassure, “people may feel free to interpret events as they wish.”
Illegal and continued detentions
Noting the need for speedy arraignment of those arrested during the protest in the court of law, Adewale implored the Federal Government to obey rulings by the courts in its avowed commitment to the rule of law.
He stated: “The continuous detention of the protesters without trial may further paint the government as only paying lip service to the tenets of democracy.
“The proper and real dividend of democracy include freedom of expression and assembly, including the freedom to protest.”
He applauded the judgment of the Kaduna High Court granting Sheik El Zakzaky and his wife bail to travel to India for medical treatment and said that the country was ruptured and in need of healing.
Governors and security
On the insecurity in the states, the Archbishop called on the state governors to intensify efforts to work with the various law enforcement agencies and traditional institutions to curb insecurity in the land, especially on the highways.
According to him, the people unleashing mayhem on travellers on the highways are likely to be foreigners under the guise of herdsmen.
“We urge the governors to collaborate with necessary groups to flush out these foreigners from their territories and free the nation of their criminal activities,” Martins added.