June 12, 201
By Obinna Akukwe
The raging madness of Boko Haram insurgency had woken up a slumbering Christian community into frenzies of prayers, declarations and intercessions against the activities of the dreaded Islamic sect whose intentions is to thwart the glorious destiny of Nigeria and impose an Islamic reign of terror over the land.
The first group of clerics to openly advocate for the use of prayer warfare as a major solution to the insurgency in a widely published report is the General Assembly of all Igbo Christian Organizations and Ministers(GAAICOM) during its state coordinators executive session held at Enugu on the Monday the 14th of April, 2014 few hour after the first Nyanya explosion in Abuja. In his state of Igbo Nation Address, the Director of Media of the group, Rev Obinna Akukwe, after intimating the Bishops and Pastors on the sorry political state of the Igbo Nation also gave an update on the casualties of Ndigbo since the insurgency began .Akukwe told the clerics that “if the church do not rise up in prayer warfare against Boko Haram, the Christian Community in Nigeria will be greatly humiliated sooner than we expect “. Little did the participants know that as at the time Rev Akukwe was giving his address, Boko Haram terrorists were on their way to Chibok where they abducted about 276 students mostly Christians and subjected them to serial rape and forced marriage.
Reacting to the earlier ‘State of the Igbo Nation’ address, the Abia State Co-coordinator of the group, Bishop Isaac Eze advocated what he called “Prayer Haram’ as a solution to the insurgency. According to Bishop Eze “ this battle has surpassed the government…I advocate the use of prayer Haram, which is warfare prayers targeted at demons using Boko Haram members to perpetrate evil”.
In his submission, the Ebonyi State Coordinator, Bishop John Agu said that the church should “seek the face of God so that our sons and daughters will not be sacrificed by agents of Boko Haram…God is able to turn the situation around with the use of prayers as instruments of warfare since govt has abdicated in the face of confrontation” The Church leaders were asked to spread the use of prayer warfare to their churches and the Christian community in the South East for speedy action.
Realizing that only prayers can save Nigeria from terrorism and inept leadership the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) led by its women leader, Kema Chikwe organized a prayer session in Abuja against insurgency on the 30th of April. Unfortunately she stirred the hornets’ nest by doubting the veracity Chibok abduction .
Shortly afterwards, an Enugu based popular prophetess, Sabina Akachukwu of Revival Army sent a prayer text round the city calling on all to gather to rescue Nigeria from the hands of the terrorists. People gathered in response to her prayer call.
Evangelist Matthew Owojaiye of Northern Christian Elders Forum on the 4th of May released a list of names of some of the abducted Chibok girls and asked Christians to raise a prayer lamentation against terrorism. Evangelist Owojaiye enjoined Christians to “raise a lamentations to high heavens. What a shame on the church of the living God. Chibok Local Government is 90% Christians.Majority of the abducted girls are Christians. Why did Boko Haram visit Chibok Local Government? Why didn’t they visit so many local government girls’ secondary schools in Borno State. The Church in Nigeria is
hereby called to a lamentation Prayer. Every Christian Home Must Raise a lamentation to heaven daily”.
Few days after Owojaiye’s call, precisely 16th of May another cleric Bishop Goddy Okafor led Abia State Govt officials and pastors in a prayer session at Michael Okpara Square, Umuahia for the release of Chibok girls and end to Boko Haram activities.
Equally Pastor Paul Enenche led Dunamis Gospel Centre started a 7-week anointing of the land to end the scourge of terrorism. It started from the first week of May to end by the 13th of June. Bishop David Oyedepo led Winners Chapel has inculcated a targeted one month prayer in their prayer schedule for all services tagged ‘ Battle for the soul of Nigeria’ with a specific emphasis on ending the terror of Boko Haram and the release of Chibok girls. The prayer schedule started from the 28th of may and will run through the entire month of June.
Apostle Martins Atanda led Kings Assembly Sokoto dedicated prayers for the end to Boko Haram terrorism during their just concluded Kings Convention and as usual are still coordinating prayer texts for God to stop insurgency in Nigeria.
Pastor Goodheart Ekwueme of House on the Rock also organized special session for Nigeria on the 1st of June tagged ;’national day of prayer and repentance’ under the auspices of ‘Church in the City’ . According to Pastor Ekwueme” Boko Haram is a tough enemy against national peace and safety of the nation but I believe there is a major shift and a new Nigeria through combine prayers.”
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rt Rev Justin Welby on the 4th of June also visited Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan and offered his own prayers for the country. Archbishop Welby told Jonathan that “People throughout the world pray for the country. It is a country which I have profound respect and deep love..and like many, I am deeply grieved by what is happening but God is faithful.He is always faithful to us and as Christians, in Jesus Christ, we believe in His faithfulness “
Another group of pastors and prophets cutting across denominational boundaries who craved anonymity have been meeting monthly since January 2014 in a location around Dawaki area of Abuja where they constantly battled for the soul of Nigeria, including terrorism, tribalism , monumental corruption and gross injustice about to swallow the land. They have received some answers to the prayers and extensive instructions on the way forward for Nigeria and may make their declarations public if the Lord permits.
The Nigerian churches followed politicians to play politics with the issue of Boko Haram until the insurgents brought disrepute to the glory of the church by pouncing on teenage Christian girls in the name of Jihad of the Penis and using them as sex slaves. The few that managed to escape had announced that they were sexually molested up to 15 times daily all in the name of Allah. It is not yet late for the church to hold our leaders accountable for their actions and inaction instead of concentrating on the fat tithes and offerings. No religious leader will prosper if the nations are embroiled in sectarian crisis. Therefore, the church should call a spade a spade and hold both Christian and Muslim leaders accountable and not wait till it is too late before commanding judgments of on the enemies of Nigeria.
Obinna Akukwe reports