The general overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adeboye, has thrown his weight behind the wave of ongoing protests protest against police brutality across the country.
Thousands of young Nigerians have over the last 10 days taken to the streets calling for an end to harassment by the defunct special anti-robbery squad (SARS).
Adeboye made his position known in a tweet on Wednesday night. The religious leader wrote: “Our daughters will not be able to prophesy and young men will not see visions if we don’t keep them alive. I support the youths in this peaceful protest as they “speak up” to #EndPoliceBrutality!#EndSARS #ENDSWAT.”
In the same vein, RCCG issued a statement supporting the position of its leader.
In the statement issued on behalf of the church by Johnson Odesola, the assistant general overseer (administration and personnel), RCCG said many lives have been wasted through “unnecessary brutality and wrong application of force”.
“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 read.
“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.”
The SARS protests has continued to garner local and international support. Celebrities like Kanye West, Marcus Rashford, and senior UN officials have thrown their weights behind the ongoing agitations, insisting that it makes no sense to kill the youths arbitrarily by security agents.