General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, says he knows a name that could change Nigeria for good.
He said this on his Facebook page, attaching an image of himself with a text – Jesus.
“I know a name that can change the current state of Nigeria for Good,” he posted.
He said this hours after reacting to the killings of Christian worshipers at St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo in Ondo State.
We had reported that gunmen attacked the church, killing about 40 worshipers during Sunday service.
Adeboye in a post on his Facebook page on Tuesday, expressed sadness over the attack, saying every soul counts before God.
He wrote, “My heart goes out to everyone who has suffered from this gruesome attack. I am unable to grasp the evil that motivates one human being to deliberately take the life of another.
“Every soul counts before God, and I know that He is greatly displeased with this wickedness. I pray that God comforts the loved ones of the departed, and the people of Ondo at large.
May we never have cause to send such greetings again. And may Nigeria never know such bloodshed again”.
Earlier, the President of the Nigerian Baptist Convention, Rev. Israel Akanji, said the “carnage” in Owo is the height of the desecration of a place of worship.
In a message he signed on Monday, Akanji said, “The act is despicable, unacceptable, regrettable and sad. We can only look to God at such a time as this to have mercy on our land.
“These are negative signals indicating that there is no part of this country that is safe and that there are intentional designs to engender the collapse of our nation.
“We all must arise to ensure the discontinuation of this evil trend in our nation.
“This is also a negative omen and a mark of environmental unsuitability in our national preparation towards the election of 2023.”
Also, the President of the Evangelical Church Winning All appealed to the Federal Government to adopt modern technology to fight insecurity in the country.
The cleric said that the killing was a barbaric and well-calculated attempt to truncate the existing peace in the state and the country in general.
”We received with great shock, pain and sorrow, the sad news of the gruesome attack on St Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Owo, Ondo State, by bandits, leading to the deaths of over 50 innocent Christian worshippers including children.
”This attack is clearly a well-calculated assault on the peace-loving people of the Owo Kingdom and the entire Christendom in Nigeria.
“It is barbaric, vile, wicked, Satanic, and a deliberate action to wipe out Christianity in the country.
”We, therefore, join all people of good conscience in Nigeria and around the world, to condemn this dastardly attack on innocent citizens in its entirety and in the strongest terms
”Clearly, there is the need to overhaul the security architecture, and put in place a security system that is technology-driven, proactive, comprehensive and decisive,” he said.
On its part, the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs condemned the attack on St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo, Ondo State, where many worshippers were killed.
The Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of the Council, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, made the condemnation in a statement by Mr Zubairu Usman-Ugwu, the Head of administration of NSCIA.
Part of the statement read, “The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs under the leadership of its President-General and Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar III, condemns in the strongest
terms, the heinous attack on St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo, Ondo State.
“The Council calls on governments at all levels to issue and pursue an ultimatum for the security agencies to unravel the identity and bring to book the perpetrators of the violation of the sanctity of not only life but also religion.
“The security agents, who have been engaged to combat criminality and insecurity are enjoined to heed the Qur’anic call that:
“For had it not been that God checks one set of people by means of another; monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques, wherein the name of God is persistently mentioned would surely have been pulled down.
“Verily, God will help those who help His (cause). truly, God is All-Strong, All-Mighty. (Q 22: 40). It is therefore mandatory for security agencies to help in rescuing the helpless citizens that we have all become.”
Copy From Punch
A TIME OF RECONCILIATION AND GROWTH
(Sermon by Archbishop Daniel Okoh, President of Christian Association of Nigeria, at the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols held at the Bouquet Hall of the State House, Abuja on Tuesday, December 19, 2023)
- I am delighted to be part of this Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols and I wish to express my gratitude to His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu (GCFR) and his dear wife, the First Lady of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, for giving my wife (a musicologist) and I the opportunity to not only listen to good music but to sing along with the brethren to the glory of the newborn King and to share the word of God with this distinguished audience this evening.
- Sisters and Brothers, this Christmas is special to us in Nigeria in the sense that it is the first Christmas Celebration after the General elections that saw the emergence of the Distinguished Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu (GCFR) as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the affirmation of his election victory by the Supreme Court of Nigeria. Congratulations, once again, Your Excellency. It is the Christmas that many Nigerians are looking up with renewed hope that things will get better. And I pray that things will certainly get better in the name of Jesus Christ. Immanuel in Nigeria, the hope of glory.
- I would like to use this opportunity to appreciate our dear President, His Excellency, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, for his sensitivity to the diverse nature of our nation and for demonstrating commitment to foster a sense of inclusiveness in governance in these few months he assumed the leadership of Nigeria. May God Almighty prosper his efforts at making peace and prioritizing security in our nation. In his tenure, Nigeria will flourish again.
- Brethren, General Elections that were keenly contested this year have come and gone; and we now have a sitting President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It can only be one President at a time. There is a need for a genuine reconciliation among individuals, families, groups, and communities to join forces to address our common challenges as a nation. The season of celebration of the birth of the Prince of Peace, who is the word made flesh, affords us, as children of God, a golden opportunity to reflect on the length that the Almighty God went to reconcile Himself with depraved and estranged humanity.(Ephesians 2:15-18). According to the abundance of His grace, He left the comfortable, heavenly places and came into the hopeless, broken world like a baby in a very poor, lowly, and humble condition (Luke 2:7) to dwell among us (John 1:14) so that He will redeem us, the condemned, and restore the erstwhile communion with humans. (Romans 5:11).
- On the night that Jesus was born, the heavenly hosts filled the air with their joyful song:
“Glory to God in the highest, on earth peace, goodwill toward men” (Luke 2:14).
They were announcing and celebrating the Peace that Jesus brought to the world at His birth. Apostle Paul went on to say of this Good News,
“All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation”. (2 Corinthians 5:18 & 19). In this passage, we were told that Christ forgave our sins while we were sinners and enemies of God. He showed us His love and drew us closer to Himself and also involved us in giving leadership to reconciliation among individuals and communities. All believers therefore should be the Champions of reconciliation and not Champions of crisis and division.
The works of Reconciliation were completed on the cross of Calvary by Jesus more than 2000 years and He has since given us the Message of Reconciliation. This is the time to let go of all bitterness and forgive one another as Christ forgave us so that we may experience genuine peace with one another and enjoy peace in our communities. Learning from the Prince of Peace, we must love our enemies! Jesus says, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your friends, hate your enemies’. But now I tell you: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another” (John 13:34). It is instructive to note that Jesus loved us while we were sinners and came to reconcile us with God. The Celebration of Christmas should not be with only our friends but must be a time that we go the extra mile to personally forgive and overlook offenses to make reconciliation with our enemies.
The truth is that reconciliation is not complete until one reconciles with all. In the spirit of Christmas, therefore, I urge every one of us to take the first bold step, bear the burden of peace, and reach out to our enemies with the message of reconciliation. This is not the time to pull others down but a time to build, encourage, and grow. Therefore, let us rally around our leaders and offer our support so that the peace that will ensure growth and development will come. Nigeria is blessed with an abundance of gifted persons; let everyone look out for opportunities to serve and make one’s humble contribution to make Nigeria great again. The approach of His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to his political opponents after his election and inauguration is quite commendable.
He continues to reach out across boundaries to every Nigerian to work together for a better Nigeria. So far, His Excellency, President Tinubu and his dear wife, Distinguished Senator Oluremi Tinubu, have shown that they are truly fathers and mothers of the nation. Your magnanimity shall be rewarded. Dear Brethren, I urge you to, in the spirit of Christmas, pause and check: Who do you need to rebuild a broken relationship with this Christmas? Be bold to lead in settling your relationship with people this season and you will be glad you did. Peace among individuals, families, and communities will foster sustainable development.
- In this your first Christmas in office, Your Excellency, the Christian Community in Nigeria come to you with the love of God to pray for your success in your mission to move Nigeria from the present pitiable state to an enviable state of prosperity. You have extended a hand of fellowship to us and we embrace you and your family with the love of Christ and promise to partner with you in nation building for the task is quite daunting. You will not stumble and you will not fall. In your time, all Nigerians who emigrated from Nigeria in search of greener pastures shall return with joy and their mouths shall be filled with laughter and their tongue with singing like the people of old Israel who returned from exile. (Psalm 126:1 & 2).
- Finally, I urge all of us to keep trusting God and believing the assurances of the presence of God with us – Immanuel – for our hope is sure when we trust in Him. He will protect us when we take refuge in Him. (Proverbs 30:5). As we celebrate, let us remember those who are on the margins of society – the poor, the hungry, the homeless, and those who are wounded emotionally, physically, and spiritually so that they can rejoice as well.
I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Wonderful New Year!
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