Anambra clerics task FG on swift response to youths’ demands
Obiano urges prayers, counsels victims on justice
Anglican Bishop of Awka Diocese, Alexander Ibezim and his Amichi counterpart, Ephraim Ikeakor, have charged the Federal Government to urgently address demands of EndSARS protesters, observing that the demonstrations were symptomatic of bad governance and violation of human rights in the country.
Speaking at the seventh Anglican Prayer Rally of Anambra State (APRAS) in Awka with the theme, “We are more than conquerors,” Ibezim, who doubles as Archbishop of the Ecclesiastical Province of Niger, welcomed the original peaceful protests.
He urged government to tackle pervasive hunger in the land, stressing that Nigerians were still smarting from the adverse effects of COVID-19 pandemic.
Lamenting that poverty has reached a breaking limit, Bishop Ibezim urged the current administration to rise up to the occasion.
His words: “The Federal Government should, without further delay, respond to the demands of the youths in order to soothe frayed nerves.
“We equally condemn looting of properties by hoodlums, and appeal to those doing that to desist from such act. We, however, urge the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government to bring peace to the nation by responding to the demands of the youths.
“It is a known fact that Nigerian youths are faced with an environment that presents little or no hope. Massive unemployment, dysfunctional education system, hostile environment for business, insecurity, all points to the fact that all is not well.”
Wondering about what has become of the agriculture revolution of the First Republic, a period youth employment was high and the country self-sufficient in produce, the cleric canvassed mechanised farming as a way out.
In his remarks, Bishop Ikeakor, who had predicted civil obedience given the biting poverty, unemployment and hardship among the citizens, welcomed the pre-infiltrated protests, insisting that nothing was working in the country.
The Bishop cautioned government and the political class to sit up with a view to avoiding what he described as a “silent revolution and lawful change of power.”
Calling on Nigerians to embrace God, having fought and won their battles, Ikeakor described the protests as a warning to political leaders that the people could not be taken for granted for too long.
“We have been warning them to look at the people’s complaints, but they refused, and now the youths came up with their protests because they could not take it any longer. To me, the original #EndSARS protest was a complete welcome development to tell our political leaders that we cannot continue with their deceit,” he added.
Also speaking, Governor Willie Obiano urged fervent prayers, advising victims of police brutality to seize the opportunity offered by the State Investigative Panel to demand for justice.
Represented by Managing Director of Awka Capital Territory Development Authority (ACTDA), Venerable Amechi Okwuosa, the governor assured the people of his administration’s continued engagement of youths.
Earlier in his sermon, Bishop of Nnewi Diocese, Ndubuisi Obi, charged faithful to pray without season as Joshua did in his time.