<!– Bakare and Buhari –>
By Kazeem Ugbodaga
Pastor Tunde Bakare, founder, The Citadel Global Community Church (CGCC), formerly The Latter Rain Assembly, has recommended to President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that those who ordered armed soldiers to fire on innocent citizens at the Lekki Toll Gate are fished out and made to face the full weight of the law.
Bakare, in a state of the nation address in his church, Ikeja, on Sunday, added that the officers who carried out such wicked acts should also be prosecuted under international legal standards.
He lamented that the protest by #EndSARS was hijacked, which led to wanton destruction of lives and properties.
“Above all, I strongly recommend that President Muhammadu Buhari should ensure that those who ordered armed soldiers to fire on innocent citizens are fished out and made to face the full weight of the law.
“The officers who carried out such wicked acts should also be prosecuted under international legal standards. Unfortunately, the protests took a sad turn, from the attacks on protesters by thugs, to the infiltration of protests by hoodlums unleashing mayhem in cities and communities.
“Unfortunately, this is where peaceful protests hijacked by thugs and hoodlums have landed us. Be that as it may, governments at the federal and state levels have lent credence to the conclusion of protesters that the government itself was behind these smokescreen tactics to discredit the protests
“By its actions and inactions, the government has burned the bridge of trust. It is my hope that this address will help rebuild that bridge and resolve the issues in the interest of the Nigerian nation,” he said.
Bakare said any attempt to resolve the issues must go beyond the surface to excavate underlying factors, saying that overarching challenge was systemic governance failure which, over the decades, had worsened the living conditions of Nigerians.
Going forward, Bakare said within the construct of national security infrastructure, he reiterated his call for a new approach to youth development in the context of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).
“The NYSC provides an opportunity to achieve capacity building for economic development, to beef up our national security and defence infrastructure, as well as build the bridge of trust between the people and the armed forces.
“At this juncture, I reiterate my recommendation that NYSC becomes an optional two-year programme with the first year spent on military training for our young people and the second year spent on agro-entrepreneurship,” he said.
In addition, Bakare also recommended that a minimum of an Ordinary National Diploma (OND) obtained from a recognised polytechnic, or two years in a recognised university with a cumulative grade point average not lower than a second-class lower division, be among the prerequisites for admission into the Nigeria Police Academy.
“This will compel an upgrade of the Nigeria Police Academy to a degree-awarding tertiary institution affiliated with a Nigerian university, transform the Nigeria Police Force into a Nigeria Police Service, and further build the bridge between Nigerians and the Police,” he said.
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