General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor E.A. Adeboye has thrown his weight behind Nigerians protesting against Police brutality nationwide.
For several days, the protesters have marched against rights violations and extra-judicial killings by Police operatives, particularly, those of the dissolved Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
In a tweet Wednesday night, Adeboye said he supports the youths as they “speak up” through the peaceful protest.
“Our daughters will not be able to prophesy and young men will not see visions if we don’t keep them alive,” the cleric tweeted.
“I support the youths in this peaceful protest as they ‘speak up’ to #EndPoliceBrutality #EndSARS #ENDSWAT.”
His church also condemned Police brutality and asked government to restructure the Police and re-orientate the officers towards modern ways of policing.
In a statement signed by RCCG’s Assistant General Overseer (Administration and Personnel), Johnson Odesola, the church lamented the loss of many lives through “unnecessary brutality and wrong application of force” by Police operatives.
While welcoming the dissolution of SARS, the church warned that the defunct unit’s replacement called the Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT) “should not become a case of old wine in a new bottle.”
The RCCG also urged protesters to comport themselves orderly and eschew violence and destruction in the process of expressing their grievances.
“The Redeemed Christian Church of God has identified with Nigerians presently protesting against police brutality and the abuse of power by the very institution established to protect them,” the statement said.
“The Church declared its understanding and appreciation of the concerns and grievances of the youths and the generality of Nigerians and called for an immediate end to police brutality in the country.
“While noting the constitutional responsibility of the Police to maintain law and order, the Church emphasized the need for the Police to constantly align their strategies with the needs of the people.
“While noting that many innocent lives had been wasted through unnecessary brutality and wrong application of force, the Church calls on the Government to not only restructure the Police but to also re-orientate the officers towards modern ways of policing.
“The Church welcomes the disbandment of the SARS and notes the establishment of a new outfit called the Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT) but warned that it should not become a case of old wine in a new bottle.
“The Church reiterated its call on Government to take urgent steps to tackle the rising rate of unemployment, decay in the nation’s educational system and the general harsh economic situation in the country.”