ABUJA – President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Archbishop Daniel Okoh, has said that the rumours that the forthcoming 2023 general elections may be truncated by some elements in the society, coupled with the increasing problem of insecurity, especially the alleged planned attack on the nation’s seat of power, is causing fear and uncertainty in the minds of many Nigerians.
According to Okoh, this has necessitated the Christian body to hold a national day of prayer to seek the face of God and divine intervention for the country to witness peaceful and non-violent elections come 2023.
This is also as the Catholic Archbishop Emeritus of Abuja, His Eminence John Cardinal Onaiyekan, decried the inability of government to restore peace and normalcy in the country, despite frequent assurances.
Speaking to the journalists after the prayer session yesterday at the National Christian Centre, Abuja, Okoh acknowledged that it’s trying and difficult time for the country, saying that the essence of the National prayer was for God to disable the weapons of war already mounting, and restore peace in Nigeria as well as restoring the fate of those that have been driven away from homelands.
He said, “As Christians, we are people of prayer and now that our country is preparing for the next elections, one of the major things we should do to support our nation to have a peaceful and non-violent election is to come together and pray. We believe that anytime we call upon the name of our Lord, with sincerity, He answers us.
“So, CAN decided that it would be a good thing for us to gather, particularly at this time of electioneering campaigns, so that the Lord would grant us peaceful campaign and elections. So, that is the reason we gathered Christians on the platform of CAN to do this prayer on this day.
“We know that there are some bad elements in the society but we may not know where they are, but God, who is a Spirit and the Owner of the world and its fullness, knows where they are. If there are any people like that, He knows where they are and where they’re preparing their weapons of war.”
The CAN President observed that the 2023 general election is an opportunity for Nigerians to rewrite the history of the country, while calling on the INEC to conduct elections that would be credible, not only in the eyes of politicians, or the eyes of Nigerians but also in the eyes of the world.
He said, “Let our testimony come out at this point of history of Nigeria that we had a peaceful and credible election that produced people of integrity, people of capacity, people with competence to turn around the fortunes of this nation. We have people in this country, who have the passion to drive the economy of this nation. It is time to put our country back again, onto the path of progress. And it is important that all of us are committed to doing that disregarding all primordial sentiments but focusing on putting the country back on the track of progress.
In his sermon, the Catholic Archbishop Emeritus of Abuja, His Eminence John Cardinal Onaiyekan, lamented that there was a gradual deteriorating condition of lack of peace and harmony in the country, with negative consequences on the economic and living conditions of the people.
He noted that such has taken many forms, from terrorist insurgency to violent attacks and killings by many types of armed groups; armed robbery and kidnapping for ransom; bandits capturing and exploiting human and natural resources in large sections of our national territory, adding that nowhere is safe anymore in the country.
He said, “There are painful rumours of some presumed hidden agenda that has infiltrated our security structures with strange elements, aiding and abetting the insecurity of the nation. Rumours have been making the rounds that our government may, perhaps, be lacking not just the ability, but also the political will to do the needful. This has led to a heightened sense of insecurity, with negative impact on a peaceful national harmony and fruitful economic life.”