Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta (L) on handshake with Archbishop Israel Ege, who led leaders of South-South Zone of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) on a visit to the governor of Friday in Asaba.
By Ifeanyi Olannye
Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta and Vice-Presidential Candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has urged Christians to pray for unity and recovery of the country.
Okowa made the call when he received leaders of South-South Zone of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) led by Archbishop Israel Ege in Asaba on Friday
He advised Christians not to allow political intrigues to pollute the Church and divide it.
He said that the time had come for Christians to go on their kneels and seek divine direction in the choice of the nation’s leaders that would emerge in 2023 rather than succumb to distraction by politicians.
”It is my prayer that the Church will continue to lead us in prayers and we need to be a little cautious as a Church.
“I am saying this because from the conversations I am beginning to hear, I want to be sure that the Church will not because of politics divide itself.
“The Church in itself must be very prayerful that the will of God be done in 2023. We may have our individual preferences but we must be cautious about the unity of the Church.
“Although, we are traumatised as Christians but we must be careful not to, because of that trauma, take decisions that may not actually be the will of God,” he said.
The governor attributed the successes of his administration to grace of God and pledged to continue to synergise with the Church in piloting the affairs of the state and in his future endeavours.
He called for constitutional review to pave the way for devolution of powers, especially giving more authority to states to establish their own police outfit as a way to tackle insecurity, noting that the nation was in perilous times.
The governor stressed that it was time for the re-building of the nation by giving all segment of the society a sense of belonging in the scheme of things.
He frowned at the continuous stay of tertiary institutions’ students at home due to strike by teachers and other workers.
He said that drastic steps should be taken to pull the nation out of economic quagmire, worsening insecurity and other heinous crimes taking place in all geopolitical zones.
“There is no doubt that we are very challenged as a nation and it appears that all hope is lost, particularly to the younger ones. But I am one person that believes that all hope is not lost.
“Whatever thing that we have seen in the last seven years, I believe that God has allowed it for a purpose. I believe that there are lessons to be learnt.
“As at today, there is so much insecurity; Most Nigerians don’t even know how huge these challenges are.
“With the things going on now in the education sector, it’s not what anyone will wish for. We need to be very prayerful.
“The Church must stay very prayerful and it’s a time for us as a nation to unite and find peace,” he said.
Okowa further said there was need to expand constitution of the security agencies.
“My principal, the Presidential Candidate of the PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has always said that it’s not possible to police this nation with the Federal Government police only.
“It is not because of the situation of today but because of the peculiarities of this nation. We need to devolve power and resources to the states to ensure that they can run their own police force,” he said.
Earlier, the Archbishop said that they were in Asaba to thank the governor for his support for Christians in the state and the South South and assured him of their support at all times.
Ege congratulated Okowa on his emergence as PDP’s vice presidential candidate and for his transformation agenda in Delta.
He urged the governor to remain a good ambassador of the church in his political career.
The cleric said that Satan was at war with the Church, using Boko Haram to kidnap and kill Christians as well as persecute believers.
He called on Christians to redouble prayers for the nation.
Highpoint of the event was the special prayer for Okowa, his family, state and the nation.(NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Chinyere Bassey/Isaac Aregbesola