The Archbishop of Canterbury and Head of the Anglican Church, Justin Welby, has said that the deliberate shooting of unarmed protesters in Lagos was an act of outrage, and he urged for a path to peace, justice and reconciliation.
The Archbishop disclosed this in a social media statement on Monday evening. He had earlier called on Nigerian leaders to “come together and agree a common vision that puts aside difference, steers the ship of state away from the rocks of conflict and sets a course that is for the good of all.”
The deliberate shooting of unarmed protestors in Lagos and other parts of Nigeria last week was an outrage. I say this as a human being, as a Christian, and as the leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion – which counts some 18 million Nigerians as part of our global family.
— Archbishop of Canterbury (@JustinWelby) October 26, 2020
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The Archbishop last week condemned the shooting of unarmed protesters in Lekki and urged President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that lives were protected.
“I condemn in the strongest terms the reported deliberate shooting of unarmed protesters in Lagos and other parts of Nigeria.
“I have urged President Muhammadu Buhari directly to ensure that lives are protected – and I say that again now,” he said last week.
In yesterday’s statement, Mr. Welby said: “The deliberate shooting of unarmed protestors in Lagos and other parts of Nigeria last week was an outrage. I say this as a human being, as a Christian, and as the leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion – which counts some 18 million Nigerians as part of our global family.”
He warned of the violent past of Britain’s colonial history and urged that Nigeria learned from the UK’s past mistakes.
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“But I also say this as a British citizen, knowing that in our recent colonial past the UK has committed appalling acts of violence.
“And while I absolutely have no place to lecture or rebuke Nigeria, a country that is very dear to my heart, I can say this: learn from our mistakes. Do not go further down the path of violence and injustice. Turn around and find the path of peace, justice and reconciliation,” he said.
He said that Nigerian leaders could become heroes if they sacrifice ambition and work to unite Nigeria in a time of trouble.
“No nation can be built without heroism. This is a time for all those who play a role in the political and civil leadership of Nigeria to be heroes for the common good. This is a time to sacrifice ambition, to set aside party, to unite to serve in order that Nigerians from richest to poorest may flourish,” the Archbishop concluded.