A former Nigerian Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (rtd), has described prayer as a formidable weapon that can solve the nation’s many challenges better and faster.
Gowon said this in Ibadan on Sunday evening at a one-day prayer rally organised by the South-West Zone of a non-denominational religious group – ‘Nigeria Prays’.
The prayer campaign, which had gone round the country in the last 20 years, is spearheaded by Gowon.
It is the longest campaign in Nigeria to mobilise people for regular, fervent and result-oriented prayers for the healing and transformation of the country.
‘Nigeria Prays’ is also a project aimed at promoting the virtues of patriotism, transparency, integrity and incorruptibility in leadership, governance and in the entire citizenry.
At the rally held at the Rehoboth Cathedral, Oluyole Estate, Ibadan, Gowon commended the people for their usual support for the programme, and added that their prayers would never be in vain.
He said, “And I can say this with every authority that prayer can solve problems better and faster than generals and soldiers can do with physical weapons of war.
“I have no doubt in my heart that God will honour our collective prayer and intercession for our dear nation and heal our nation of all challenges facing her.”
The rally prayed for Nigeria, Its leaders at all levels and arms of government, and the people in general.
It also prayed for peace in the country, economic emancipation and for the rejuvenation of all the various sectors of the Nigerian economy.
Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State commended Gowon for the initiative, saying it was a mission aimed at promoting the virtues of transparency, incorruptibility, integrity and fellowship.
He said that Nigerians were the most religious people in the world but extremely ungodly, adding that societies always get the leaders they deserved.
The governor called for attitudinal change. He said that prayer without hard work would not solve the problems of the country.
He said, “It is not enough to pray, but to walk the talk. ‘Nigeria prays’ is a better initiative for the Nigerian project.
“For government to succeed, the followership must support,” he said.
Ajimobi described Gowon as a very godly man who had always served humanity diligently, having piloted Nigeria through turbulent times at a young age.
In his views, Bishop Joseph Akinfenwa, the Archbishop of the Anglican Communion, Ibadan Diocese, said there were lots of controversies in the country, and that the nation had never been so divided.
He described Nigeria as a nation currently witnessing the struggle for its soul, adding that God would never surrender the country to the devil.
He said, “We have to be careful of how we interpret and react to the Nigerian situation. Our prayers and attitude must be connected as we pray for divine visitation on Nigeria.
“We should ensure that our confession does not contradict our demands and prayers.”
The event was also attended by Bishop Taiwo Adelakun, Chairman, Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Oyo State Chapter and Pastor Benjamin Akanmu, the State Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).