<!– Pastor Tunde Bakare –>
By Kazeem Ugbodaga
Serving Overseer, The Citadel Global Community Church (CGCC), Pastor Tunde Bakare has kicked against the freezing of #EndSARS promoters’ accounts by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.
The CBN secured a court order to freeze the accounts of 20 #EndSARS promoters recently, an action that has generated tension in the land.
But Bakare, in an address on the Nigerian youths, said this period required deep humility, sobriety and deliberate thinking through, both by the government and the governed, in order to ensure that plans, policies and actions are weighed before they were implemented to avert the re-occurrence of the most recent crisis.
“In light of the foregoing, some of the actions recently taken by the government on the heels of the EndSARS protests may need to be reversed sooner rather than later in our collective best interest so that they do not trigger further protests.
“Among such policy actions is the freezing of the accounts of young Nigerians who reportedly sponsored the protests. While I admit that, under our extant laws, banks may freeze an account upon an ex-parte order granted to a law enforcement agency by a court of competent jurisdiction for the purpose of investigation, these provisions of our Law should not be used to intimidate Nigerian youth simply because they engaged in and promoted protests against the inactions of government.
“In addition, targeting and arresting citizens on trumped up charges, deploying court probes as a tool of intimidation, vii and generally eroding our fragile peace, are deeply worrisome signs of
regression,” he said.
According to Bakare, to extend the olive branch to the youth in one breath, and to deprive the youth of the right to freedom of movement and property as enshrined in the constitution in another breath, would send confusing signals to them and cast doubts in their minds regarding the sincerity of the government.
He said the immediate reversal of these actions, therefore, would calm raw nerves and fast track peace in the land, saying that if there are serious or fundamental security breaches that necessitated the freezing of bank accounts and the confiscation of a passport, these should be made known.
“In the absence of any security breaches, citizens’ rights should never be trampled upon. In this season, the government ought to lift the morale of the Nigerian youth by all means and in every way possible. Furthermore, I have followed the conversation around the regulation of social media following the violence that accompanied the EndSARS protests.
“I recall that my statements in this regard during an interview on Arise TV were misreported and misrepresented by those seeking occasion. Let me state, once again, that, although I have been a victim of misrepresentation and needless defamation of character on social media, I remain an advocate of freedom of expression. However, while I stand for the responsible use of social media, I will never subscribe to any attempt to deprive Nigerian youth of a space and context in which they have found a sense of self,” he said.
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