The Lead Pastor of The Elevation Church, Godman Akinlabi has warned Nigerians to do away with fear and a sense of inadequacy or powerlessness if they hope to ever achieve a radical transformation in the country.
In a special edition of the church’s midweek event, Switch, titled Radical Transformation II, he charged believers to seek proper understanding of what is going on in the country at the moment, to better prepare themselves for the journey ahead.
Akinlabi, who was one of the first church leaders to respond to the ongoing protests for an end to police brutality in Nigeria, remarks that the alleged massacre of unarmed peaceful #EndSARS protesters by the armed forces at the Lekki toll gate on Tuesday can be seen as part of the measures to instil the spirit of fear in the mind of the average Nigerian, especially the youth, deterring them from gaining further momentum in their demands for good governance seen in recent weeks during the protests.
The alleged attack on unarmed protesters, hours after the Lagos State Government imposed a curfew in the state, reportedly left scores injured, while there are also unofficial claims of several fatalities. Most of the injured protesters are being treated in private and government hospitals in the state.
Speaking at the event, Akinlabi urged the church to speak up for justice, equity, and accountability in leadership from the government.
He says the church needs to demand justice by asking the military hierarchy, the only institution with the vested authority to authorise the men, who is truly responsible for the alleged assault of Tuesday night. He called on the presidency to prosecute all the parties involved in the heinous act to ensure that it is never repeated.
Speaking about fear, Akinlabi encouraged believers to channel their fear as a motivation to gather accurate information about all that is currently happening in the nation.
“You cannot make a lasting impact while feeling safe or comfortable. As a citizen aware of my rights, I find the use of fear as a form of discouragement but rather a motivator. I believe the devil is unleashing a spirit of fear but despite all that we see, our God is still able to save and deliver this nation.” Akinlabi said
He described the ongoing protests in the country as the birthing of something new. Just the same way we have seen welcomed changes in the rest of the world as a result of the different occurrences this year. He went further to liken it to God pressing the reset button on nations around the world.
“God is using the young people of Nigeria to push for something new, for their rights to life, for a life of peaceful existence, for the commonwealth of the nation, for development, for good governance, for good leadership and an end to police brutality in the nation” Akinlabi added.
Akinlabi has repeatedly mentioned that one of the roles of the church in society is to be the conscience of the nation, therefore it is the role of believers to ensure that the government repeatedly does what is right and is in the best interest of the citizens.
The church has adamantly supported the peaceful protest by the youths using its platform to amplify the message and inspire hope. However, as things took a turn for the worse, the church has taken certain steps to ensure the wellbeing of the community is upheld. Recognising the emotional toll, the current affairs of the nation may be having on individuals, the church has opened its counselling lines for any person who may need someone to talk to at this time.