Archbishop of Canterbury, Oritsejafor, Imam lead prayers for girls’ release
Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) President Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor and the Chief Imam of Abuja National Mosque, Alhaji Isah Mohammed, yesterday led thousands of women, religious faithful and secondary school children in prayers for the release of the abducted Chibok girls.
The prayers were organised by the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development.
The Minister of Women Affairs, Hajia Zainab Maina, said the intercession was organised to compliment the efforts of the Federal Government to rescue the abducted girls, following the emerging threats to national security and unity.
She said: “The prayer session aims to galvanise national support for peace and security as well as sustain the momentum and continued support for the release of the girls.
“We are also gathering to pray for all men and women in uniform who toil daily and at all times pay the ultimate sacrifice to ensure peace reigns in the country.”
The minister said there is the need for Nigerians to pray to encourage the Goodluck Jonathan administration to remain steadfast in its efforts to restore peace to the country.
Hajia Maina said the activities of the Boko Haram sect had destabilised the country.
“They have brutalised our people, many of them women and children,” she said.
Oritsejafor, who was represented by the chairman of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) chapter of CAN, Pastor Isreal Akanji, said: “The Boko Haram members can lock up everywhere but they cannot stop God from entering the girls. Even without knowing what is happening, God will bring them out.
“The light will shine upon Nigeria; the light of God will prevail upon darkness and the power of God will come down and intercede on behalf of the girls.” Reading from Hebrews 13: 3 and Acts 12: 5, Oritsejafor said the case of the abducted girls would be like the case of Peter, who was released from prison through constant prayers.
The CAN president said a spiritual remote control would work on behalf of the girls as the iron gate would open for them.
He said: “Mothers are praying, sisters are crying. O Lord, we pray: touch their hearts to release our girls in Jesus name.”
Imam Mohammed begged for forgiveness of sins on behalf of Nigerians so that the girls can be released.
The Amiralh (women’s leader) of the Federation of Muslim Women Association of Nigeria (FOMWAN), Alhaja Raliat Akinbobola, prayed Allah to console the parents of the abducted girls.
The programme was attended by women from various churches and mosques, school children, among others.
Secondary school pupils prayed in tears for the release of the Chibok schoolgirls.
President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday met behind closed-door with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rt. Rev. Justin Welby at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Speaking with State House correspondents at the end of the meeting, Welby said he came to pray with Jonathan and also expressed condolence for the losses resulting from bomb blasts and terrorists attacks in Nigeria.
He said: “The bombing in Jos was deeply disheartening because I know Jos very well. I came to pray with His Excellency and express our condolence for the losses.”
“God is faithful. In one of the letters that Paul wrote to the church, he talked about the sufferings they were going through being known throughout the world and that is certainly true here because the suffering in Nigeria is known throughout the world.”
“People throughout the world pray for the country. It is a country which I have profound respect and deep love. And like many, I am deeply grieved by what is happening but God is faithful.
“He is always faithful to us and as Christians, in Jesus Christ we believe in His faithfulness and we can trust Him for the future.”
“I don’t have words to describe the good potential this country has. There is great difficulty at the moment but it is a country with such enormous potentials. I think Nigerians by nature are joyful, hopeful and vigorous, they work hard.”
He noted that Nigeria has so much going for it.
“The country has so much going for it. In the meeting, the President talked about the need of a solution that will reach all people, not just the security but economy, spiritual and every part of the human life.”
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