Prayer Group raises need for credible leadership in Nigeria
By Bridget Ikyado
A group, The National Prayer Altar has appeal to all Nigerians of good conscience to lend their voices to the need to raise credible leadership for the country.
This is contained in a message on the state of the nation titled “Righteousness Exalts a Nation But Sin” … and was endorsed by 174 Nigerians from all the geopolitical zones and the Diaspora, on Sunday in Abuja.
National Prayer Altar, is jointly coordinated by Pastor Bosun Emmanuel and Prof. Kontein Trinya, is a daily trans-denominational prayer initiative of Christians from the six-geopolitical zones of Nigeria, Christians in the diaspora, as well as nationals of other countries.
The NPA started on April 18 2022 and has sustained its daily online prayers to date, with participation in the hundreds.
Those who endorsed the message were
Bosun Emmanuel,from South West, Kontein Trinya from the South South,
Sylvester Mbamal ,South East,
Linda Ndache, North East,
Alabi Mojirade,North Cental and
Hauwa Kure,from the North West.
The group said competent leadership is indispensable to peace and progress in Nigeria. As a people, we have suffered unwarranted hardship amidst abundant resources, because of our leadership deficits.
They added that anything short of credible leadership in this season would mean for the country to continue in penury and sorrow.
The prayer group further said those who rigged elections can neither claim to have been ordained by God nor to mean well for the people.
” Nothing good comes out of fraud. At the National Prayer Altar, we shall continue to pray every day for righteousness to prevail in the country, trusting God to heal our land.
The prayer group raised concerns on issues and called for prayers and solutions to be proffered.
They expressed worry over the current state of the Nigeria Church as it was an indictment on its leadership.
” Unfortunately, there is little apparent collaboration amongst the tiers and members of that leadership to robustly confront the moral and spiritual chaos that confronts the Church.
Unhealthy individualism and ensuing rivalries have fostered competition rather than cooperation among Christians and their leaders, stressing the point that the problem of the Nigeria Church remains a leadership problem.
” Sadly, a divided house cannot stand.
In the circumstances, we wish to advocate an urgent Christian leadership summit not restricted to officials of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) but open to all notable Christian leaders across the five Church groups in Nigeria (2 Chron. 7:14).
A Nineveh-like solemn assembly would be a good starting point, it pointed out”.
The National Prayer Altar and many well-meaning Nigerians have lately been distressed with certain developments connecting some apex Christian leadership offices in the country; a negative posturing of the Church that started in the recent past, and appears insistent on continuing in the present.
The Prayer Altar prays that the current President of CAN would early establish his own standards of Christian leadership, to forestall regrettable crashes into infamy.
While this President’s commitment to righteousness cannot be disputed, an early break with the mistakes of the past is crucial.
It is disturbing that Christian leaders who have appeared helpless and speechless in the face of the ongoing massacre of Christian communities in Nigeria would be so prompt to endorse persons and structures that have posed the greatest existential challenge to their brothers and sisters.
It is sad that CAN would write a letter of congratulation to a government whose legitimacy is still in contention at the courts.
It seems to announce, sadly, that CAN supports the Muslim-Muslim ticket which it had all the while appeared to vehemently oppose.
It is worrisome irony smacking of hypocrisy. It is sub judice, not righteousness, to so take sides, especially as election results are not only being challenged but the conduct of the election itself has been globally condemned for its many apparent constitutional violations.
While CAN might have been comparatively modest in its congratulations, the national leadership of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) appears to have thrown caution to the winds in effusively pronouncing blessings on a flawed process and its objectionable product.
We hope that the appropriate organs of the PFN will redeem the image of that respectable Fellowship by calling an enquiry into how and who had authorized the letter and the worrisome congratulatory benedictions pronounced upon persons of publicly disputed legitimacy.
Meanwhile, let it be on record that, to the extent that the generality of the Church and its leadership were not consulted before those public statements were made, and since those masses have continued to express their discontent at the ecclesiastical leadership overstep, the congratulations remain the tolerable political correctness of those that sent them.
Their messages do not represent the voice of the people and are not binding on the Church in Nigeria.
On the judiciary, the group said
while the world watches on as the current electoral cases go on at the Tribunal, let it be known that it is the judiciary that is on trial this time, not so much the elections, for Nigerians across political and other divides know the truth.
In the weeks to come, Nigerians shall pronounce their verdict on the judiciary, whether guilty or not guilty.
We are concerned about the obvious manipulation of ethnic sentiments for political advantage in the country. This social virus is deliberately being resuscitated by self-seeking individuals to the detriment of unity and peace of Nigeria.
The candidacy of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is not a Yoruba agenda, neither is the candidacy of Mr. Peter Obi an Igbo agenda. The attempt to manipulate an impression that the Yoruba people entirely support Asiwaju Tinubu as their “own” is a mischievous political game.
During the presidential election, the Yorubas, like most other Nigerians, demonstrated their exasperation with the corrupt governance of the APC and the PDP in the past twenty-four years.
In the same vein, the attempt by some errant Igbos to give the impression that Mr. Peter Obi is an Igbo candidate is equally out of place.
That candidate has had the support of progressive Nigerians all over the world; in fact, the support of progressive people everywhere in the world.
The group interrogated INEC on the 2023 elections have ranked as the worst in the history of Nigeria. Not only did the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) contradict its regulations, it actively sought to frustrate the electoral process, particularly in the deployment of appropriate facilities and logistics in that election.
It is imperative that INEC be interrogated about its handling of the 2023 elections, and the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Yakubu Mahmood, be properly investigated, unless this public officer is beyond the laws of the land.
The appropriate human and civil rights organizations in the country should commence a process towards that interrogation, as a precedence in future electoral engagements.
The group frawned at incendiary political and religious postures.
Certain politicians and their agents have lately been heard on the media making statements that verily amount to reprehensible hate speech.
Their comments not only strongly indict them of complicity in the genocides that have ravaged their communities but also have the potential to further stir the religious and political intolerance that has made Nigeria one of the most terrorized nations in the world.
Unless the appropriate national security agents are ethnically and religiously biased, they should interrogate those persons the same way they have been known to readily summon lesser others accused of volatile incitements.
The blatant infringement on public peace by such otherwise respectable high profile persons is where the strident voices of Christian leaders should have been heard, demanding their prosecution or the explanation of their incendiary claims that have been trending on the social media.
In Southern Kaduna and all over the country, according to commonly available statistics, several thousands have been killed and countless Christian communities sacked by the Fulani militia often dubiously masked as ‘herdsmen.’
Unfortunately, the condemnation of those atrocities by certain clergies and politicians has been less than deserved.
On the removal of fuel subsidy, the group said the recent announcement by the APC on the ‘removal of petroleum subsidy’ without appropriate remediation for the plight of the masses reminds one of the story of King Rehoboam in the Bible.
Soon as Rehoboam was up on the throne, he demonstrated a gross lack of empathy with the hardships of the people. The nation was soon destroyed under him.
A Yoruba proverb warns that the eye that would see the evening does not stir dust in the morning. By its austere ‘welcome greeting,’ the APC appears to have affirmed that it is set to afflict Nigerians with more suffering than they had endured under Buhari.
Unfortunately, it is the same political group that, in 2012, vehemently opposed and castigated the former President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, for attempting to initiate the same process that they now hail. The hypocrisy is choking.
The National Prayer Altar is a daily trans-denominational prayer initiative of Christians from the six-geopolitical zones of Nigeria, Christians in the diaspora, as well as nationals of other countries.
The Prayer Altar started on 18th April 2022, and has sustained its daily online prayers to date, with participation in the hundreds.
As a cooperation of praying people, the National Prayer Altar is interested in developments both in the Church as well as in the larger society.
In compliance with the Scripture that “faith without works is dead,” the National Prayer Altar is committed to intercession as well as to practical national interventions.