The Inter-Faith Dialogue Forum for Peace (IDFP), has urged Nigerian youths to stand up and ensure unity and peaceful coexistence, which is paramount for sustainable development of the country.
Bishop Sunday Onuoha, Chairman, IDFP, who made the call at a news conference in Abuja on Wednesday, cautioned youths against the circulation of destructive audio and Video messages, which could further create tension and violence in the country.
”We have witnessed the misapplication of both the mainstream and other social media platforms that have been used to further polarise the #ENDSARS protest along ethnic, religious and regional lines.
”We are calling on all our religious leaders to collectively speak against such negative utterances by teaching and educating their members on the need to be tolerant of each other.
“This is fundamental to preventing the miscreants from taking undue advantage of the situation thereby escalating violence in the country.
”We have noticed the circulation of destructive audio and Video messages to further cause tension and violence in the country.
“We, therefore, call on Nigerians to stand up to defend the unity and peace of Nigeria, which is paramount for sustainable development of the country,” he said.
Onuoha also called on the government to listen to the cries and agitations of the EndSARs protesters by addressing the needs for reforms, which cut across many sectors in the country.
”We join the voices of reason to condemn the killings and to state clearly that the shootings, attacks and setting ablaze of properties at various places were uncalled for and cannot be justified.
”We join other Nigerians in supporting the setting up of Judicial Panel of Inquiry to investigate complaints of police brutality, extrajudicial killings in the country, hoping that justice for all victims will be fully addressed, so as to douse the high tensions in the country.
”We frown at the actions of miscreants and thugs that infringe on the fundamental human rights of Nigerian youths to peaceful protest in and around the country.
”Attacking, killing, burning and looting of both private public properties and destruction of sacred places of worship from our faith traditions, have no justification, and stand to be condemned in its entirety.
”We are using this medium to call on the government to listen to the cries and agitations of the protesters by addressing the needs for reforms, which cut across many sectors in the country.
”We are also calling on our youths to exercise restraint in their reactions in the larger interest of Nigeria.
”We as members of this platform share our deepest thoughts, pains and prayers with the families that have lost their loved ones during and after the peaceful protest and that government should ensure that such should not be allowed to happen again,” he said
Onuoha appealed to the government, in the spirit of peace in the country, ensure that in the future, protesters are adequately protected during their procession.
He stressed the need to avert further attacks by thugs and in order not to take advantage of the situation to disrupt the protest as well as the public and private assets of peace-loving citizens of the country.
The chairman also reminded the youths as the backbone of our nation to imbibe the culture of dialogue that will avail them the opportunity to actualize their demands.
According to him, the truth remains that we cannot fulfil our aspirations in an atmosphere of violence and lawlessness.
”We call on all the youths wherever they may be residing to stand down and cease all further public agitations by allowing the government to meet their demands.
”They should also not be a party to any acts of lawlessness and destruction of public and private properties. They should not allow themselves to be used as agents that incite unrest anywhere in and around the country,” he said.
AIhaji Sanni Ishaq, Chairman, IDFP, also appealed for speed in addressing other demands made by the protesters.