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Ndukuba, Benson-Idahosa, group urge dialogue, calm

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Chancellor of Benson Idahosa University (BIU) and Archbishop of Church of God Mission International (CGMI), Margaret Benson-Idahosa, yesterday, appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to hastily address the demands of the marchers before the protests get bloodier.

This is even as the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) pleaded with the protesting youths to remain law-abiding in their genuine cause.

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In a statement in Benin City by CGMI’s Director of Administration, Odemwingie Okundaye, Benson-Idahosa urged the President to ensure that the public patrimony was better managed for the good of the citizenry.

Her words: “We have watched with keen interest the events in our nation, and it behoves us as a church to speak for the oppressed, to stand for good governance, equity and sanctity of life.

“This is so because the church is a microcosm of the society and a conglomerate of diverse backgrounds.

“The Church of God Mission Int’l (CGMI) can not keep silent and watch the lives of our youths wasted by those who have been entrusted with the responsibility of protecting them.”

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According to the archbishop, leaders must understand that the “display of wealth without conscience is a sin, and God will hold them accountable.”

She commended the campaigners for their peaceful conduct.

Primate of the Church of Nigeria, Most Revd Henry Ndukuba, said the body of Christ could not be mum in the midst of “credible reports of widespread abuse of power and oppression of citizens, especially by those empowered by the state to protect citizens’ rights, lives, and property.”

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Commending the dissolution of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), he beseeched the Federal Government to resist the temptation of immediately replacing the outlawed security outfit with another unit by whatever name, without first assimilating the demands on behalf of countless victims of police brutality.

Ndukuba said the government should address the issues of gross abuse of power and privilege, including the violation of human rights, youth frustration, and anger highlighted through the raging #EndSARS EndSWAT fulminations.

He urged thorough investigation and trial of erring SARS operatives.

ALSO, the Benin National Congress (BNC) sued for calm, noting that the agitation was borne out of the nation’s misrule.

Its president, Aiyamenkhue Edokpolo, however, regretted the fatal clashes in parts of the federation.

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