Alfred Martins, the Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, has warned President Muhammadu Buhari against deploying soldiers to the #EndSARS protest grounds across the country.
The Nigerian army, on Saturday, announced plans to launch ‘Exercise Crocodile Smile IV’ across the country, as the #EndSARS protest spreads in Nigeria.
The clergyman, in a statement, stated that deployment of security operatives to the protest grounds will only lead to injuries, possible deaths and an escalation of the demonstrations that have remained peaceful.
He advised the government to dialogue with the protesters, adding that a transparent response to their demands will resolve the impasse.
“Such a measure, if adopted, can only lead to injuries and possible deaths, and an escalation of the protests. It has the tendency of turning the largely peaceful protests into a violent one,” Martins said.
“We therefore urge the federal government to toe the line of engagement in dialogue, listening to the demands of the youth and other well-meaning Nigerians.
“We commend the government for acceding to the demands of the youth. Now, the whole country looks forward to practical steps that would be taken to implement them.
“We believe that a sincere and transparent response to the demands of the young people would go a long way in resolving the present impasse.”