Pastor Jeff Okoroafor, Head Minister, Jesus Fellowship, Civic Centre Lekki, says Nigerian Youths should protest via votes during elections and not on the streets.
Okoroafor said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday, in reaction to planned anniversary protest by organisers of the October 2020 #EndSARS protests.
NAN reports that following the protest in 2020, the Federal Government, through the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu (Rtd.), announced the dissolution of the police formation, Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS).
The protesters had accused the SARS of extortion, intimidation and harassment of many young Nigerians.
Okoroafor told NAN that a new protest in whatever guise was unnecessary.
“Since the government listened and dissolved the SARS outfit, it means the aim of the protest was primarily achieved, hence no need to bring it up again.
“I recall that aside from allegations against SARS, the protesters were also speaking on governance and related issues at all levels of government.
“Issues of governance should be challenged at the polls and not on the streets. Youths who feel that their governors are not doing well or their representatives at state and national levels are not performing, should take their agitations to the polls and vote them out.
“Allowing a new protest in the guise of anniversary will be tantamount to suicide mission, we had enough destruction during the first protest,” he said.
The Jesus Fellowship head minister pointed out that those calling out the youth for yet another protest should also think of the consequences and the mayhem that trailed the protests nationwide in 2020.
“There is nothing wrong in peaceful protests but organisers of the EndSARS protests were unable to control participants that led to the protest being hijacked by hoodlums to steal and unleash terror on innocent Nigerians.
“Losses suffered by Nigerians as a result of the protest cannot be quantified in addition to the trauma.
“There are better ways to channel grievances rather than protest in a country currently facing security challenges,” he said.
The pastor noted that an anniversary, if there should be any, should be used by the youth to think of how they can effect positive changes in the country.
“SARS was accused of many things including murder. One question remains. Has fraud, kidnapping, robbery, rituals stopped?
“Are those crimes being perpetrated by old men or youths? Are crimes on the increase or in decline after the dissolution of SARS?
“These are the questions the organisers should reflect on and most importantly, they should think of how they can assist government in bringing perpetrators of crime to book.
“The same young people who claim bad governance are the ones used by bad politicians to rig elections. Some even voluntarily vote for people they claimed are not performing,” said Okoroafor.
He urged all Nigerians to pray for the country’s leaders and join hands with the government and security agencies in building the nation. (NAN)