Most Rev. Adewale Martins, Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, advised the federal government to see the continuing “#RevolutionNow” protest as a wake-up call to solve Nigerian untold hardships. Arresting protesters can never solve Nigeria problems, he added
Martins made the plea on Wednesday in Lagos while reacting to the ongoing agitations for better living conditions for Nigerians, urging the government to ensure the protection of their lives and property.
He said in a statement that President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration should also see the agitations as an opportunity to directly hear the complaints of Nigerians.
According to him, this will enable the government to redouble its efforts toward fulfilling their constitutional role of securing lives and property of the people.
The archbishop expressed displeasure over the rising cases of insecurity across the country, particularly the kidnapping and killing of innocent Nigerians by armed bandits.
“Except urgent and concrete measures are taken to reassure Nigerians of the 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 to disappear. Rather, I urge him, as the father of the nation, to pay attention to the issues that bother the citizens.
“The fears being expressed about the state of the nation are genuine and they deserve to be looked into urgently so as to save this nation from further distress.
“President Buhari needs to address the nation on these issues and give people the much-needed reassurance and hope.
“If this is not forthcoming, people may feel free to interpret events as they wish,” Martins said.
He said that there was a need for the speedy arraignment of those arrested during the protest in the court of law.
“The protesters ‘ continued detainment may brand the government further as turning a blind eye only to the principles of democracy.
“Democracy’s adequate and genuine dividend includes liberty of speech and assembly, including liberty of protest,” he said.