Former Head of State General Yakubu Gowon has warned Christians against revenge attacks.
Gowon said this in company with President Muhammadu Buhari, the General Superintendent of the Deeper Life Bible Church, Pastor W.F. Kumuyi, and counseled Nigerians to pray for the nation in order to have peace and prosperity restored.
The former head of state, who spoke in Lagos, yesterday, at a special prayer programme organised by Nigeria Prays, a non-denominational Christian-praying body, of which he is the chairman, in conjunction with Deeper Life Bible Church, noted that such revenge attacks will only worsen matters rather than ameliorate it.
“Christians should never resort to a retaliation that would lead to a religious war. Let the authority provide the necessary physical protection for all while your prayers, Christian love and charity provide the ultimate peace and accord.
“God’s solution to the problems of this country is not to be found in guns, retaliation or physical weapons but in Holy Spirit-directed, believing and prevailing prayer from His people (the Church) who are willing to confess, forsake sins and embrace righteousness.
“Brethren, it is important to remind us that the church is God’s House of Prayer. With the general election coming ahead, it is natural for people to become anxious and fearful of what the future holds for Nigeria.
“In the light of the wanton killings in the land; be it politically motivated or instigated by the dark agents of insurgency like Boko Haram, armed herdsmen or rustlers, there is great need for us to come together to pray and intercede for our dear nation and its people.
“Whatsoever the provocation, whatsoever the threat, for the sake of our country, Nigerian Christians should never resort to retaliation that could lead to a religious war.
“I call on the authorities to provide the necessary physical protection for all. We must continue to demand the government to be alive to its primary responsibilities of protecting lives and property of poor citizens,” said Gowon.
The general commended Kumuyi for his love and commitment to nation growth and development.
In a message, the president commended Gowon and Kumuyi for their passionate love for national cohesion.
Buhari, whose message was read by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said the love and commitment of Gowon and Kumuyi, to the unity and cohesion of the country, were unparalleled.
“Prayer is the right thing to do and the way to go. Nigeria is not a mistake. God that brought us this far won’t abandon us.
“It is right that we pray to God for the unity and prosperity of Nigeria. None of Nigeria’s challenges is greater than God. In God we trust and He will take us through the challenges,” he said.
Also, Kumuyi, who spoke on ‘Divine assurance when Nigeria prays,’ said God will answer if His people, faced with national perplexity, could pray.
“Nigeria won’t disintegrate, we are just starting,” he assured his listeners in a live broadcast that was related globally.
According to him, “if God could turn around and show mercy to Nineveh, Egypt, Assyria and other countries, as well as various individuals like Rahab, in the Bible days, there is hope for Nigeria.”