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Published On: Mon, Oct 26th, 2020

Don’t exonerate yourselves from #EndSARS violence, group tells Obasanjo, religious leaders

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By Tobias Lengnan Dapam

A rights group, Confederation of Christians for National Cohesion (CCNC) has asked former President, Olusegun Obasanjo to desist from attempting to exonerate himself from the challenges that gave rise to the #Endsars protests that has resulted to violence in some parts of the country leading to loss of lives and destruction of property.
The group also accused some religious leaders of inciting the youths during their sermons in Churches and Mosques and saying they will be held responsible should anything go wrong in the country.
The group was reacting to a statement credited to the former President where he allegedly accused President Muhammad Buhari of ordering the military to open fire on protesters and urged the youths to give room for dialogue.
According to the statement signed by convener of the group, Bishop Maxwell Okeke accused the former president of not only ordering the military of killing armless citizens in their thousands in Zaki Biam, in Benue state and Odi in Bayelsa state amongst several allegations extra judicial killings.
“While we condemn in totality the incidence of military shooting live bullets at protesters, we equally feel pained that Obasanjo who had no regard for human lives will find it convenient to pontificate on the current issue without first apologising for his several crimes against humanity while he held sway as President.
“We equally wish to remind the former leader that he is majorly responsible for the atrocities committed by security agencies particularly the special units of the police for which the protests was hinged on. It was under his watch that the EFCC and ICPC became apparatus of government used in fighting perceived political opponents.
“Corruption which is widely acclaimed to be responsible for the state of our development was on it highest peak while the former President superintended. The least expected of him is to publicly apologise to the nation anything short of this only amount to spitting on the graves of the thousands he fell using the apparatus of the army”, the statement noted.
The group further called on religious leaders especially Pastors David Oyedepo of the Winners chapel and Enoch Adeboye of the Redeemed Church of God to be cautious of the sermons they preach in churches which tend to incite the citizenry against the government.
“ We particularly frown at the sermon delivered by Oyedepo wherein he stated that he had warned Nigerians about the candidature of President Buhari in 2015. This is a great incitement. Pastor Adeboye’s wife and children gave food and other logistics to the protesters thus encouraging what ever holiganism the protest degenerated into. The feeding encouraged all kinds of people who had no idea of the crux of the protest to join. Our religious leaders must consistently pray for leaders as directed in the Bible. We expected that having watched the protesters express their fundamental right and gotten the commitment of the government, religious leaders like Oyedepo and Adeboye would guide them to a negotiation table on how government can meet the immediate, short and long demands and serve the people better. Their idea of just encouraging and feeding protesters on the streets is most regrettable “
The group further urged the government to stop forthwith from using brute force to stop protesters saying it was there fundamental human right.
It equally appealed to the protesters to give room for dialogue stressing that all disagreements could only be resolved via dialogue.

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