By Joy Odor
In a bid to seek solution to the spate of insecurity in the country including rape, kidnapping, banditry among others, the National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) have held a one-day spacial prayer session of Christians and Muslims seeking the face of God.
Members of the Association turned out in their numbers, dressed in red which symbolised the bleeding in the land, and took turns to pray at the Secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), FCT Council, Utako, Abuja.
Speaking to journalists, shortly after the prayer session, the National President of NAWOJ, Comrade Ladi Bala, who led the Christian prayer, decried the fact that the heart of some Nigerians have been turned into a heart of beasts hence the wanton spilling of blood.
The national president noted that every part of Nigeria has been affected by one form of violence or the other.
She explained that this is the reason the Association decided to seek God’s face because only God can deliver the country from the numerous challenges bedeviling it.
Comrade Ladi opined that Nigeria economy is not functioning hence there is much hunger, frustration and pain in the land which also brings the Association to the conclusion that the only way to resolve the issue is to take it to the Almighty God in prayers.
She lamented that the Association has to wake up the consciousness of Nigerians that the situation they found themselves is better taken to God in prayers because where there is no justice, there is no peace.
“The heart of some Nigerians have been turned into hearts of beast.
“We see practically every sector of Nigeria has been affected by one form of violence or the other. We are no longer united, a lot of things are tearing us apart. The insecurity itself is enough burden.
“Most Nigeria are going about their businesses with fear. They are not free in their minds. The uncertainty in the air is alarming. So we now asked ourselves, what do we do? What is the way out?
“And we realised that the government of the day has been investing in security to address the issues. Practically, most of the stakeholders are doing their part, but the problem still persist.
“Our economy is not functioning, there is so much hunger, frustration and pain in the land. We then came to the conclusion that the only way to resolve this issue is to take it to the Almighty God in prayers because He is the creator of the whole universe, who created Nigeria and Nigerians.
“lt is by His will we are here today as a nation. If not Him, who else can better our lot as a nation. One of the things that has been keeping us going is because of our inclination to the things of God. God is our foundation and we felt that the best thing is to go back to our foundation. And surrender ourselves to Him, ask for mercy because we have all gone astray. Let peace be restored again, we want to see Nigeria we used to know.
“We think it is wise to bring this to the notice of Nigerians because God says when we call upon Him, He will answer us and as mothers and women we have a critical role to play in our homes and in our nation. That is why we have come out to say all women should cry out to God.
“We must must make sure that we invest in peace that we so desire. This is not because the government has failed. The issue of security is global. We can no longer wait on government to do something, because the government’s efforts is not yielding the results that we desperately seek. That is why we turn to God, because with Him it’s a matter of seconds to turn things around.
“Prayer is a continuous thing. What we have done today is to awaken the consciousness of Nigerians that the situation we found ourselves today is better taken to God in prayers. The call is for all to go back to God, to seek the face of God. But first and foremost, we need to purge ourselves and search our conscience because like one of the speakers said, where there is no justice, there is no peace.
“Whatever you see in the physical has a spiritual dimension to it. There is a warfare in the spiritual realm and it takes prayers to overcome. That is why we decided in this month of Ramadan to fast and pray alongside our Muslim brothers and sisters to ask for mercy. The Bible says the mercy of God prevails over judgement” Comrade Ladi added.
Leading the Muslim prayer, the formal FCT Council Secretary, Hajiya Rafat Salami, stressed that at this point when Nigerians are facing security challenges, with evil people trying to unleash mayham, it is time to join hands regardless of faith and ask Allah for intervention.
According to her, insecurity, banditry, kidnapping are not faith-based because Nigerians have risen against it and God is supporting them.
She added that as Muslims end the month of Ramadan, they are joining their Christian counterparts to raise their voices to Allah to ask for mercy.
“The story of Jesus is around the efficacy of prayer. His grandmother prayed to Allah to give her a child that will be dedicated to Allah through whom you will show your grace and Allah gave him Mariam and she was downcast. She had asked for a child that will serve Allah and she was given a girl but that girl changed the course of history. So women should tap into that.
“Nobody helped Islam except Mariam and we have a lot of women in Islam that have changed the course of history. It is for us women to rededicate ourselves to God, be just to our spouses, children and to everyone because justice is very important. And be prayerful, through us and our generation Allah will send someone that will change the course of history.
“Every prayer at any time is significant and important. Our faith, Islam tells us that prayer is key. And at this point when we are worried for our lives and having security challenges, evil people in our midst are trying to unleash mayhem, it is time to join hands regardless of faith and ask Allah for intervention.
“What is important is that insecurity, banditry, kidnapping are not faith-based. Initially they tried to make it religious but it didn’t work, because Nigerians are rising and God is supporting us that is why it is important that as we end the month of Ramadan, we raise our voices to Allah and ask for mercy,” Hajiya Rafat noted.
On his part, the Chairman of NUJ, FCT Council, Comrade Emmanuel Ogbeche, commended the women for taking the lead by praying for the country especially in the face of the insecurity and other challenges bedevilling the country.
He sighted instances in the Bible were women championed the course of saving nation’s and how God had responded positively to prayers of different nations in time of trouble.
He urged that the prayers should be continuous and expresses optimism that God will safe Nigeria and redeem the people from all the difficulties they are facing.