The Christian Association of Nigeria on Friday held a national prayer over the security challenges in the country and for a peaceful 2023 election.
CAN President, Daniel Okoh, while speaking with journalists after the prayers in Abuja, said the aim was to bring about a turn around in the country’s affairs.
He said that it was to beseech God to intercede, so that the country could witness peace and stability, as well as progress in all facets of life.
“As Christians, we are people of prayer and now that our country is preparing for the next general election, one of the major things we should do to support our nation to have a peaceful and nonviolent election is to come together and pray.
“And we are people of faith, we believe that any time we call upon Him with sincerity, he answers us.
“So CAN decided that it will be a good thing for us to gather particularly at this time of electioneering campaigns so that the Lord will grant us a very peaceful electioneering campaign and very peaceful seasons of election.
“That is the reason why we gathered Christians on the platform of CAN to do this prayer,” he added.
The CAN president said that it was also important to pray against those creating fears in the minds of the people.
“We have to pray to avert it, we may not know where they are but God, who is the owner of the world, knows where they are if there are any people like that.
“We have come today to pray and ask the Lord to disable the weapons of war and grant us a peaceful Nigeria.
“And restore the people who have been taken away from their lands, to return to their land and enjoy the fruit of their land once again,” the Archbishop said.
Mr Okoh charged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), security agencies and the electorate to use the upcoming election to rewrite the story of Nigeria through free, credible and peaceful polls.
“The election is one great opportunity we have to rewrite the story of this country, and all hands must be on deck, everyone must be committed.
“The INEC officials, the politicians, their agents, the voters, everybody must be committed towards having a very peaceful election.
“Election that will be seen to be credible not only in the eyes of the politicians, not only in the eyes of Nigerians, but in the eyes of the world,” he added.
In his sermon, the Catholic Archbishop Emeritus of Abuja Archdiocese, John Onaiyekan, said in the last decade that Nigeria has witnessed a gradually deteriorating condition, including lack of peace and harmony.
He said it was right and fitting that the leadership of CAN organised the national prayers.
Mr Onaiyekan prayed for God to disarm all those planning evil against the people of the country.
“If there are any evil hidden agenda anywhere, may our God of mercy expose and neutralise them and restore lasting peace to our land,” he added.
Mr Onaiyekan asked Nigerians to pray against natural and self inflected calamities such as flood, insecurity, corruption and economic mismanagement.
He advised Christians to return to God in humble prayers and repentance.
“It is therefore natural that we see a major recourse to prayer by Nigerians of all creeds, in Mosques and Churches,” he noted.
“May the Lord hear our prayers for our nation: that all who are planning evil for our people may be disarmed by the Almighty God, and converted to good behaviour by our loving Saviour,” Mr Onaiyekan said.
Also, the Archbishop of Abuja, Ignatius Kaigama, prayed for God’s blessings on Nigeria and for a successful election and census, and for God to avert all evil plans against Nigeria.