TVC N. As we begin the new year, Nigerians have been urged by clerics to seek God. The call was made by the Presiding Bishop of The Redeemed Evangelical Mission (TREM), Dr. Mike Okonkwo; General Overseer, The Lord’s Chosen Charismatic Revival Ministries, Pastor Lazarus Muoka; Bishop of Lagos/Dean Emeritus, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Most Revd. (Dr.) Ephraim Adebola Ademowo and Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Most Revd. (Dr.) Alfred Adewale Martins.
The clerics gave these charge in their New Year messages.
Okonkwo admonished Nigerians not to lose hope, stressing that the daunting socio-economic challenges, which everybody is experiencing at the moment, is like a wind that must pass away.
He, therefore, urged Nigerians to cultivate the habit of prayer, which according to him, changes situations and circumstances no matter how complex they may look.
While urging Nigerian leaders to be pragmatic in their approach to issues, the presiding bishop said: “As we prepare to enter Year 2017, I urge our leaders not to lose hope, but to rather take a cue from their counterparts in the developed world, by burying their political differences and tackle national issues with the urgency they deserve rather than politicise them.
“Let me also use this opportunity to call on Nigerians, particularly Christians, to continually pray for our nation and all political office holders for God’s grace and wisdom to steer the ship of this nation so that we would arrive at God’s ordained destiny for us. Let us also pray that violence, kidnappings and insurgency will cease in Nigeria because no meaningful development can take place in an atmosphere of violence.”
Muoka enjoined Nigerians to have intimate relationship with God in the New Year, assuring them of divine intervention if only they would do the needful.
He said: “My message is very simple: Nigerians should seek God and pray. If everybody knows God and obeys Him, we’ll have fewer crises.
“Men of God are solution providers in any nation, even though they may appear not to be known, but as we pray to God of heaven, He will do something to change the country’s situation. So, men of God in general have roles to play because prayer changes things. I encourage Nigerians to have absolute trust in God.
Ademowo, who believes that 2017 has great prospects for Nigerians, called on all and sundry to be upright. He also called on the Federal Government to eliminate corruption in 2017.
According to him: “Corruption is a chronic disease in our nation and it must be cured in order to progress in all sectors of the country. Obtaining legality through illegality in our society has eaten deeply to the extent that before people leave public offices, they recycle family members to cover their lootings and misdeeds.”
Martins called on the Federal Government to embrace dialogue in the New Year as a way of settling issues.
Urging Christian leaders to preach hope to their members, Martins said: “Our role as Christian leaders is not to be fortune-tellers or star-gazers. Our role is to give the people hope in the midst of their fears. Only those who are afraid of the future are looking for predictions. Those who have faith leave the future in the hands of God. They have confidence to face the future. Come what may, we believe our God is with us. And because He is with us, we are not afraid.”