A gospel artiste, Evangelist Ebenezer Famisa, on Saturday called on well-meaning Nigerians, especially youths to be patient with governments, prayerful and embrace peace for Nigeria to overcome its current challenges.
Famisa spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Lagos, on the launch of his fourth album entitled: “Ona Iye (Way of Life)’’.
The artist said Nigerians should put the events that trailed the #EndSARS protests and the acts of looting and wanton destruction of property perpetrated by hoodlums behind them.
EndSARS is a decentralised social movement and series of mass protests against police brutality in Nigeria.
The slogan called for the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a unit of the Nigeria Police with a long record of abuses.
The protests, which took its name from the slogan, started in 2017 as a Twitter campaign, using the hastag #EndSARS, to demand for the disbandment of the unit.
It eventually snowballed into physical and peaceful protests in October, but was later hijacked by hoodlums, leading to looting, vandalism, killings and wanton destruction of both private and public property.
According to Famisa, we should allow our governments, both at the Federal and State levels, to attend to the demands of the youth protesters, which are already before them.
He said that dialogue, patience and prayers were vital qualities for the country to overcome all the challenges and problems confronting it.
“Whatever happened had come and gone; now, we must all show some levels of understanding with the government.
“We should put the #EndSARS protests behind us and understand that God has a good vision for Nigeria.
“I urge Nigerian youths to do so for the sake of posterity and the overall wellbeing of the nation.
“The way our youths expressed themselves initially was well-coordinated, but the hijack of the protests by hoodlums is not acceptable.
“As a youth and Gospel preacher, I do not support destruction of government and private property.
“Nobody wants violence, because violence prolongs issues, and distracts attention from reasoning.
“We need to calm down and pray together to achieve a common goal,’’ Famisa said.
He commended Lagos State Government and other states in some parts of the country for setting up Judicial Panels of Inquiry for quick dispensation of justice to to victims of the protests.
“The ball is now, undoubtedly in the court of the authorities, at both Federal and State levels, to address the legitimate concerns raised by Nigerians.
“Government needs to be closer to our youths, because they are the leaders of tomorrow,” the gospel artist said.
On his forthcoming album launch, he said that the album would be released toward the end of 2020, which would encourage all and sundry to embrace God for good direction in life.
“Music is a veritable tool of peace. I urge everyone to embrace good quality music and prayer to bring about peace in our nation.
“The new album, ‘Ona-Iye’ meaning Way of Life, is a true reflection of happenings in the country, and it is inspirational and spiritual.
“The lyrics contain words from God to change the mindset of our youths and the world in general,’’ Famisa said. (NAN)