What religious figures can do in the ‘what next’ question from #EndSARS

Nigeria has a long history of protests and agitations led by activists, students and labour unions. But, for the first time in recent times, there was a protest led by young Nigerians, brought together by a shared history of being oppressed by a rogue police unit. However, events have shown that the protest is only a signifier of a larger problem that bedevils the nation.

It is noteworthy that some religious bodies joined in the protests and taught citizens about being active on altars. Pastor Sam Adeyemi of Daystar Christian Centre is one good example of this. In a series of 10 tweets posted October 31, the clergy offered his thoughts to young people on what next after the protests. The clergy started the thread with this.

Dear young citizen, as you consider the way forward for the #EndSARS movement, I wish to offer some ideas. First, it’s time to transmute from protesting to nation-building. (You will protest as a tactic once in a while). The protest was like the takeoff of an aircraft.

At a time when it seems like the agitations for Police Reforms is dying down and police have deliberately stayed off the streets, the question on the lips of young people is ‘what comes next?’

This is the question on the lips of every young person. Pastor Sam answered the question in a graceful way as a true elder statesman. Ideally, religious leaders should be opinion moulders; being influential figures in society.

Indeed, many revolutions in history have involved religious figures as they remain some of the most influential people in history. The devotion that religion demands ensures that their followers are loyal and obedient. Instead of making active citizens, as lot of religious leaders have made stooges who simply follow them.

The role of Pastor Sam Adeyemi and other religious leaders in the agitations for police reforms is unprecedented and it shows that indeed, the people are behind the protests.

However, the church, mosque and other religious places can do more. It is time that the power wielded by spiritual heads is put to positive use.

These religious houses must continue to engage people actively. Discussions that are important to nation-building must be hosted and people must know that they have roles to play in the nation. It is understandable that a lot of religious leaders do not take positions because they want to remain non-partisan but a lot of the issues that affect Nigerians are also non-partisan. Police brutality and insecurity are some of these challenges. They do not discriminate.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.

cool good eh love2 cute confused notgood numb disgusting fail