“The Nigerian Government must realize that what the youths, on behalf of Nigerians, clamor for under the code name #EndSARS is a total reform of the entire Police Force and not a change of name; they call for a reform of all our government institutions and a reform of the entire nation,” the Bishops say.
The #EndSARS campaign is also a call to review the welfare of the policemen who have been badly deprived by the system, they further say and question, “How does a country with conscience and reason put arms in the hands of such poorly paid police personnel?”
“Our police barracks are mostly dilapidated and the salaries of our police officers are very demeaning,” the Bishops note in their collective letter signed by CBCN President, Archbishop Augustine Obiora Akubeze.
They explain, “It is a fact that many widows of deceased policemen are yet to collect the entitlement due to their husbands, and for those who have, it has been after very harrowing experience and very inhumane extortion by those in charge.”
As a way forward, the Bishops call on the Federal Government of Nigeria “to once again listen to the cry for justice so that peace can reign in our country.”
(Story continues below)
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“We urge the Federal Government to fulfill its primary constitutional responsibility of securing life and property of every Nigerian and provide opportunities for our children to realize their God-given potentials,” they say.
The demonstrations call for reforms that “will take care of the proper training, equipping, and promotion system devoid of nepotism but based on merit and meaningful welfare package for the men and women in the front line of our security,” CBCN members say in their two-page statement.
They call for an end “to every form of brutality and oppression” in the ongoing #EndSARS campaign saying brutality “degrades the image of God in us.”
The Prelates reiterate the need for the restructuring of the country’s governance “as a desirable path to be towed given the various developments in this nation.”
“Now is the time for the Federal Government to move beyond tokenism and institute reforms that would guarantee justice and lasting peace in Nigeria,” the members of CBCN say in their October 17 collective statement.
Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.