The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Most Rev Alfred Adewale Martins has admonished the Federal Government to tread with caution in its handling of prominent figures in the #EndSARS protests that recently rocked the nation. The clergyman gave this advice in the wake of reports of arrest, seizure of international passports and freezing of bank accounts of people who were connected with the protests. The Archbishop in a statement, signed by the Director of Social Communications, Rev. Fr. Anthony Godonu stated that: “We have been reading with great concern, reports of arrest, seizure of international passports and the freezing of bank accounts of some of the prominent figures in the #EndSARS protest.” “Everyone was delighted to hear the President say that the voices of the youth had been heard loud and clear. That left everyone with the impression that government had seen the point in their protest and had taken a cue on how to meet their concerns.
It came as a surprise to hear that the people who had helped government to the new awakening are now being punished for the service they offered. Apart from being an abridgment of the rights of these youths to organize peaceful protests, a right that government officials have affirmed over and over since this whole matter started; it also amounts to a betrayal of their trust that government will actually listen to them. Financial contributions to support a cause, that even government officials recognize as being a noble one, should certainly not be a crime.” The Archbishop further admonished the Federal Government to be careful in the way it handles the matter so that wounds that are gradually being healed would not be reopened and the hope that trust would gradually be restored may not be lost again. The Archbishop assured Nigerians of continuous prayers for the nation, and enjoined all citizens to be law-abiding and peaceful, while going about their daily activities.