In the circumstance, we in CAN Rivers State do strongly stand with the young Nigerians for their disposition, commitment and peaceful protest. They have shown that they are indeed the true Agent of change and new Nigeria. Our greatest worry, was the manner in which the protest was hijacked by the enemies of national development who hired both tugs to disrupt the nation-wide protest and the unprofessional involvement of the police and army that led to loss of lives. As a people we all owe those young ones (particularly at Lekki toll gate) who gave their lives as sacrifice for a better Nigeria. I choose to call them heroes and pray that their Souls rest in peace.
At this juncture, we:
1. Strongly join our CAN National President, Rev Dr. Samson Olasupo A. Ayokunle to plead with our aggrieved youths to calm down and stop this protest henceforth in order not to give room for hoodlums to perpetrate more evil by destroying, looting of property and killing humans.
Hence we remind these killers that life is sacred and as no one has the right to take it, there is a severe curse and punishment upon such an individual who takes life.
2. Use this medium to call on all Stakeholders of CAN - Religious Leaders, Royal Fathers/Traditional Leaders, Leaders of various Institutions and Parents to completely discourage their young ones in further protest of any kind. Christian leaders in particular should strongly advocate and pray for peace in our various Churches to help our nation in this trying moment. The benefit of our leaders' continued commitment cannot be overemphasized here - Psalm 122: 6 & 7.
3. Humbly call on the Rivers State Government, the Rivers State Commissioner of Police and other Security Agencies to expedite action in curbing the spread of violence in Rivers State (particularly in Oyigbo Local Government Area) while commending them for their efforts so far.
4. Passionately call on all political office holders to consider and align their actions with government policies to better the lives of Nigerians with available resources as they must give account to God if they think men are not important. We decry the continuous use of hoodlums as thugs for whatever reason(s). It has never yielded any positive result and will never. All things profitable with the use of thugs are vanity. It should stop.
5. Have seen that the EndSARS protest is a clear indication that Nigerians are not happy with the political class (that is, the leaders at all levels), who have failed us. We have not witnessed only a case of Police brutality (which is infact an indication of high level of poverty), there is the case of corruption and bad governance of which our leaders should buckle up to seriously listen to and urgently make amend in order not to subject the country to worst-case situation.
On behalf of the Rivers State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, I sympathize with the Rivers State Police Commissioner and police families that lost their loved ones in the cause of their duties in curbing the spread of violence in Oyigbo Local Government Area, Rivers State.
It is unbelievable, unheard of and more regrettable that:
i. A country whose workers earn least wages inversely have her legislators receive the highest payment in the world.
ii. Governors and State Assembly members amend their wages and pensions to their taste before leaving office and continue to enjoy same while occupying higher political offices in the face of dwindling national economy without regret.
iii. A country with three tiers of Government (Federal, State and Local Government Councils) yet the LGAs are not completely autonomous like the Federal and State and the so acclaimed structured political parties are not bothered.
In the light of these and perhaps the unrevealed, we have a reasonable need to call on God for our help as more protest or revolution might take more lives if not lead us to another civil war.
Nigeria just celebrated her 60th independence anniversary from colonial masters but yet grossly enslaved by political masters.
As a Christian leader therefore, I strongly believe that *God who set the captives free in Judah, Jerusalem and Israel is more than able to free us from political slavery in Nigeria.* I therefore, call on all religious leaders to cry onto God like Zechariah, Joel, Daniel, Elijah, did to completely set us free from bad Governance and other authorities that are limiting the prospects of this nation while I pray to God to dismantle every spiritual horn that is holding Rivers State and Nigeria captive in Jesus Mighty Name. This is because whosoever the Son of man sets free is free indeed.
God bless Nigeria!
God bless Rivers State!!
God bless Rivers CAN!!!
Apostle Stanley Dimkpa, Ph.D
Chairman, Rivers CAN