Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has expressed worry over what it described as apparent state of uncertainty and heightened insecurity caused by recent rumours of terror attack on the Federal Capital Territory.
The concern of the apex Christian body was echoed by Catholic Archbishop Emeritus of Abuja, His Eminence John Cardinal Onaiyekan, who said that there has been pervasive deep frustration at the apparent inability of the federal government to restore peace and normalcy, despite frequent assurances.
Speaking to journalists yesterday shortly after prayers for Nigeria at National Christian Centre in Abuja, CAN President, Archbishop Daniel Okoh, expressed worry that insecurity in the country appeared to be increasing every day, with all kinds of rumours of terror attacks.
“This is a very difficult time for our nation, particularly when we talk about insecurity. You know, it appears that it increases every day, with all kinds of rumours, you know, causing all kinds of uncertainty in the minds of people.
“And even here, you know, when you hear rumours that even the elections we are preparing, for may be a truncated by some elements in the society but we may not know where they are, but God who is the spirits, and the owner of the world and its fullness, knows where they are, and where they’re preparing their weapons of war. He only is able according to what He tells us in the Book of Isaiah, that He is able to disable all the weapons of war, and all the weapons of destruction,” he said.
Regarding the 2023 general election, Oko said there is the need for everybody to be committed to having a very peaceful election.
He said that what Nigerians want is for the election to be credible, “not only in the eyes of politicians, not only in the eyes of Nigerians are in the eyes of the world.”
“Let our testimony come out. At this time, the point of history of Nigeria is that we had a peaceful and credible election that produced people of integrity, people with 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 back again, onto the path of progress.
“And it is important that all of us be committed to doing that and disregard all primordial sentiments and be focused on putting Nigeria back on the track of progress,” he said.
On his part, Onaiyekan said that what was more worrisome is the growing presumption that there may be a hidden agenda playing out over the current threat of terror attack on Abuja.
The Cardinal who delivered a Homily at the special prayer session, 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 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.
“This past week has seen a fresh wave of reports of imminent terrorist attack targeting the Abuja Federal Capital. Government has been issuing assurances of being in control of the situation. But the low level of trust of the general public in their government is rendering such assurances of little effective value,” he said.
Onaiyekan said the recourse to prayer by Nigerians of all creeds, in mosques and churches was seen as a last resort to draw God’s mercy to end further bloodshed in the country.
Quoting God’s injunction from the Bible, Onayeikan said: “If my people, who bear my name, humble themselves and pray and seek my presence, and turn from their wicked ways, I myself will hear from heaven and forgive their sins and restore their land.”
He said, “It is right and fitting that the leadership of CAN has called us together for this prayer session in this center of joint Christian worship.”