Churches of various denominations in Rivers State have set aside their differences to observe the 3- day fasting and prayers programme ordered by the National President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), His Eminence (Dr) Samson Supo Ayokunle over the weekend in Port Harcourt. The programme took place between Friday 31st January, – Sunday 2nd February, 2020 all over the country simultaneously in the 36 States capitals and Abuja.
The directive was that the first two days will be indoors in the individual churches while the last day will be a prayer walk to the various Government Houses to protest against the Federal Govt's inability to contain the incessant killings of Christians in the country.
However in Rivers State, the security operatives only approved for the gathering of the churches at the Isaac Boro Park for the prayers but refused any form of procession.
Not to worry, the Christians carrying placards and banners with various inscriptions flooded the park with their mobile band stand, singing and dancing melodious Christian choruses.
In his opening remarks, the CAN chairman in Rivers State, Most Special Apostle, (Dr) Stanley Dimkpa informed the crowd that they were there on the directive of the CAN president.
“We have gathered here in one accord to cry unto God over the continuous adoption and killing of Christians in recent times while the Buhari government look the other way.
We, Christians have prayers as our warfare hence we have called you out for us to seek divine intervention in the sad development in the country.”
Apostle Dimkpa reminded the gathering of the recent adoption and beheading and of the CAN chairman in Adamawa State, late Rev Lawan Andimi by the Boko Haram terrorist group despite the N50 million ransom agreed for his freedom, the beheading of eleven (11) Christian travelers on the Christmas eve at Maiduguri; the adoption and killings of the four (4) Catholic Seminarians in Kakau at Kaduna/Abuja road recently; the adoption and incarceration of many others in the Boko Haram Captivities including Miss Leah Sharibu, saying that enough was enough.
The CAN chairman then reiterated his call for the removal of the Service Chiefs who from all indications, he noted, appear incompetent for the job and be replaced with more competent and sincere officers.
CAN also called for the immediate restructuring of the security architecture of the country in the interest of Nigeria`s unity.
In his exhaultation, Bishop (Dr) Ibioku Gospel Bob –Manuel of Joint Heirs in His Kingdom Int`l Church , Port Harcourt, thanked God for the programme as according to him, it came at the right time when the churches appeared to be more divided now than ever before.
The man of God believed that there is nothing the Christians cannot achieve if only they will unite and work with the unity of purpose.
He maintained that the security operatives have failed the country no doubt hence their reliance on divine intervention for solution.
“The church must do away with envy and unnecessary competition, everybody is important in this our faith. We need to be united against our common enemies.
Quoting profusely from the holy book, Rev (Dr) Bob – Manuel said except the Lord watch the city the watchman watch but in vain.
“No matter the security outfit or vigilance, God is the ultimate in every matter''
He maintained as recorded in Psalm 127 that with the cry of the children of God every strong hold in the country must be pulled down.
''There must be an end to the killings and mourning, adding , there is no compensation that would be enough for the wanton killing and blood shading of these innocent Nigerians''
Pastor Belemina Obunge of the Redeemed Christian Church of God , Port Harcourt who led the intercessory prayer session quoting profusely from the holy book first asked for the forgiveness of sins committed by Nigerians in general. ''If two or three are gathered in my name under one accord and call on me, I will answer (Matt 18; 19-20). Every strong hold of the wicked should come to an end in Nigeria today (Matt 15vs 13)''.