Nigerian state has bl*od on its hands, says Bakare
The Serving Overseer of Citadel Global Community Church, formerly known as Latter Rain Assembly, Pastor Tunde Bakare, says it is regrettable that Nigeria has degenerated from how it was handed over at independence.
Bakare said it was sad that with last Tuesday shooting of #EndSARS peaceful protesters at Lekki tollgate in Lagos, the military had introduced a bl*od stain to Nigeria’s green-white-green national flag.
In a state-of-the-nation address delivered during the Sunday service in his church in Lagos, Bakare called on the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to “ensure that those who ordered armed soldiers to fire on innocent citizens are fished out and made to face the full weight of the law.”
In the address titled, ‘The building blocks of nationhood: A blueprint for the new Nigeria,’ Bakare said the soldiers should be made to face trial “under international legal standards.”
He said, “The Nigerian landscape is filled to the brim with the bl*od of its citizens. By its brutal repression of unarmed protesters, the Nigerian state has blood on its hands.
“That agents of the Nigerian state would resort to using live ammunition to silence fellow citizens, fellow human beings, is heart-rending. Their bl*od will yet speak, as truly as there is a God.”
The cleric described the widespread #EndSARS protests as a symptom of Nigeria’s foundational problems that had persisted through different administrations, saying with the youth finally awake to demand a better country, Nigeria had now begun to witness “the crescendo of an era and the beginning of another.”
Bakare, who said the real meaning of SARS is State-Aided Robbery Squad, predicted that #EndSARS protest by youths would continue unless the foundational problems were addressed.
He said, “No degree of brutal repression of protesters can quench the flame of protests in the hearts and minds of the Nigerian people. Your bullets may drive them off the streets, but your bullets cannot pierce their spirits or puncture their resilience.
One can understand why the younger generation would so heavily indict preceding generations. At independence, we inherited a promising nation, but we are bequeathing a predatory nation to the young generation. We inherited a nation whose structural foundations were built on principles of true federalism, a nation in which the diverse groups had the freedom to determine their destinies, but we are bequeathing a unitary nation, federal only in name, in which sub-national expressions are suppressed by an overbearing centre.
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