By Angela Atabo
Arewa Pastors Non-Denominational Initiative for Peace, a Pan African Vanguard of Pastors from the 19 Northern states and the FCT, has urged the clergy to stop prophesying doom on Nigeria.
Bishop John Richard, National Chairman and Convener of the group, at a rally on Saturday, in Abuja, said the non-denominational initiative for peace, in collaboration with all ministers of God in Nigeria, gathered to end the 40 days prayer and fasting.
Richard said that in view of the prevailing security challenges in Nigeria, it convened a one million volunteer prayer warriors to pray for 40 days, and ask God for mercy, and intervene to end insecurity and calamities in Nigeria.
“I want to use this opportunity to address our colleagues, the clergy, we know that the situation is so challenging, but I will want to encourage all the religious leaders, weather Christian or Muslim or other religions.
“Let us come together in unity, let us cease from prophesying doom on our country, if you have a prophesy that is suggesting doom, I believe God wants you to do something about it.
“It is not all prophesies you publish on newspaper at a time where the country is almost catching fire; you should not be adding fuel.
“Please, I am appealing to us, let us be more positive in our publications, let us say things that will give hope and succour to Nigerian citizens at times like this.”
The Bishop said that if the clergy continued to prophesy helplessness and hopelessness, many people could even die before their time.
He said if God had shown any man of God a negative thing that would occur, the Almighty wanted them to pray to avert the calamity, adding that not everything should be taken to the public domain.
According to him, if such negative prophesies lead to the collapse of the country, even the prophet of doom will be affected in one way or the other.
He further cautioned the clergy to stop criticising, placing curses and uttering judgmental prayers on leaders, but should rather pray for them to succeed in their mandate.
Richard urged the government, victims, and those who lost their loved ones due to the current insecurity in the country, to remain strong.
“This gathering consist of clergy from CAN, PFN, the 36 states of the federation, who are supported by the Arewa Pastors Non-Denominational Initiative for Peace.
“We cannot be men of God in this country and see things go wrong, we want to use this opportunity to assure Nigerians that God has had mercy on our country and we will begin to see a lot of changes,” he said.
Archbishop Musa Usman, National Secretary, Arewa Pastors non-denominational initiative for peace, who spoke in Hausa, appealed to Nigerians to pray because prayer was the key to lasting peace.
Usman said that for Nigeria to stand as an indivisible entity, prayers needed to be offered for the country and its leadership, as that was the way to achieving peace.
“Through prayers, God will send his angels into the forest to catch all those responsible for killings and kidnappings; and by God ‘s grace, all these challenges will be over in Nigeria,” he said.
Archbishop Emmanuel Ugwu, Secretary CAN, Rivers, said that the clergy was ready to stand on behalf of the country to right every wrong.
Ugwu called on religious leaders to be fervent in praying for the country and its security apparatus, including all other sectors of the country.
He said that the group was not for anybody, and neither was it doing the bidding of a particular group, but was praying for the good of the country.
Archbishop Leonard Kawas, moderator of the gathering, urged Nigerians to be tolerant of each other, adding that God had a reason for making Nigeria a multi-religious nation.
“I call on all leaders to preach peace, and the clergy should also preach the truth to politicians and Nigerians alike in Mosques and Churches to achieve national peace,” Kawas said. (NAN)