From Tony John, Port Harcourt and Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Religious leaders from the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, at the weekend, sought God’s intervention in the insecurity bedevilling the nation.
The archbishops and bishops, who had rounded off their 40-day fasting for the peace and unity of the country against insecurity, said the plethora of problems confronting the nation would be solved spiritually.
The prayer held on the auspices of “One Million Man Fasting for the Nation Association.”
Speaking during the event at Fountain Square, Abuja, National President of Arewa Ministers for Peace Initiative, who also doubles as the National Chairman of the forum, Abu Richard, blamed the deplorable state of the nation on religious leaders who have deviated from their roles of spiritual watchmen for the pursuit of materialism on the pulpit.
Richard called on religious leaders to unite and shun acrimony, hatred and envy and cry to God for mercy in the land.
He said men of God are watchmen of every city like biblical Jeremiah and were expected to pray to God always for peace and progress of the people.
He called on politicians and the secular leaders to rally round President Muhammadu Buhari, stressing that being human and fallible, he needs support to stand.
Primate of Pentecostal Bishops Organisation of Nigeria, Emmanuel Ogu, said they came together for the prayer as prophetically directed to pull down all the strongholds that have held Nigeria bound.
Ogu, who is the presiding archbishop of Apostolic Christian Faith Mission Worldwide, prophesied Nigeria would not divide but come back to be an enjoyable nation by the next three and half years.
The host Archbishop, Leonard Kawas, said clerics have risen to surmount and fight the war of insecurity.
He advised both bandits and those involved in troubling the nation to repent or face the wrath of God.
He called on President Buhari to embrace both Christian and Muslim leaders equally and respectfully to appease God.
Meanwhile, Bishop of Catholic Diocese of Ekwulobia, Peter Okpalaeke, has urged governments, at all levels, to make the traditional community leadership system part of its security strategy.
Okpalaeke made the call at the coronation of Chinwike Okpalaeke as the traditional ruler of Amesi town in Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra, yesterday.
The Catholic bishop blamed the destruction of culture and values of the people for being partly responsible for strife and insecurity in the society.
He said every community of people had its peculiar way of resolving issues and that everyone used to be under the control of any leader they chose for themselves.
The bishop said although the modern society had its positive contributions to peaceful relationships among the people, the traditional society still had a lot to contribute.
Okpalaeke, who shared the same family with the new traditional ruler, prayed for a successful and long reign while urging him to preside over the affairs of his people with fear of God.
“If we want peace in our society, we must go back to the traditional ways people related to one another; that is what the Church is doing by ensuring families are stronger.
“In the traditional institutions, it is expected the traditional ruler will make use of the village heads and kindred heads to galvanise the people.
“There is no way a kindred or village will say it does not know its people; it is an effective way of addressing the insecurity in the society.
“Society is drifting because we have forgotten our roots; we must go back to our villages and families and strengthen them.
“Traditional rulers must be father to all and take their communities and subjects to God in prayer,” he said.
Also, traditional Prime Minister of Amesi town, Innocent Ezeonyebuchi, said the selection of the new traditional ruler was peaceful and in accordance with the laid down rites.
Igwe Okpalaeke promised to work for peace and harmony in Amesi and I enjoin all to join hands to make the community great.
“Security is that of everybody; I shall work for robust community policing by ensuring our vigilance group works with the police,” he said.
President, Christ Apostolic Church (CAC) Worldwide, Henry Ojo, said all hands must be joined to ensure Nigeria does not disintegrate.
He said the country would make meaningful progress if the the regions in the nation are allowed to control their resources, adding that the arrest of the leader of Independent People of Biafra, and manhunt for the Yoruba nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo, also known as Sunday Igboho, would not help matters.
Ojo, who made the disclosure at the 25th anniversary of the CAC Arogungbogunmi International, Olunde, Ibadan, yesterday, bemoaned the increasing cases of terrorist activities in Nigeria in particular and the rest of the world in general.
He suggested that world leaders must rise to the occasion in the interest of all.