National conference delegate goes spiritual; recommends 3-day prayer for Nigeria

Nurudeen Lemu

Some of the delegates insist that Nigeria remains a secular State.

A delegate to the ongoing National Conference has called on Nigerians to seek God through prayer and fasting in order to solve the country’s many problems.

The suggestion was made during the consideration of the report of the Conference Committee on Religion, Co-Chaired by Nurudeen Lemu and Felix Ajakaiye.

A delegate from Benue State, Jack Tilley-Gyado, strongly canvassed that a three-day fasting be declared during which the Conference would offer prayers to God to intervene in Nigeria’s intractable problems.

Mr. Tilley-Gyado said many Nigerians who claim to be adherents of the two major religions in the country were fakes because they do not practice what Christianity and Islam teach.

He maintained many Nigerians have hidden under the guise of religion to commit atrocious crimes against innocent persons and, therefore, called on the people to go back to God.

Mr. Tilley-Gyado said, “I know that no human being can keep God’s rules based on the holy books. But the problem is that we are not reading them, we are not practicing what the holy books teach them. We swear falsely.

“It is not the number of times that you pray and the religion you practice. It is how you relate with God. You cannot act smart to go to heaven. Let us go back to the core values of love.

“Ladies and gentlemen, if we leave this Conference; doing what we would wish our neighbours do unto us, this country would be better.

“Please do not serve lunch for three days. Let us declare a three-day fasting and pray to God for this country. We will achieve peace and those who are overweight will lose weight.”

Also speaking on the matter, Mike Ozekhome said many have used religion to cause havoc in the country even when the Bible and the Quran clearly define the tenets of Christianity and Islam respectively.

Mr. Ozekhome, however, insisted that the government should not be involved in matters pertaining to religion in view of the provision of Section 10 of the Constitution.

He disagreed with the recommendation of the Committee for the establishment of the Religious Equity Commission, saying that the responsibility of the proposed commission can be carried out by the National Human Rights Commission.

“The very hard working Nigerians are not recognised while those who steal billions are being awarded with degrees and national honours. Mr. Chairman, I suggest that we should do something to empower the poor in Nigeria,” Mr. Ozekhome said.

In his contribution, Ambrose Okoli complained about the indiscriminate erection of religious places of worships in the country.

“We must keep places of worships from residential areas and from highways. When people shout and scream and wake people from their sleep and block highways, then we must do something to check the situation,” he said.

Another delegate, Femi Okurounmu said the Committee shied away from insisting on the secularity of Nigeria.

He said: “I want to propose that we come out strongly to say that Nigeria should remain a secular nation.”

With the secularity of the country, he said, the government should hands-off every religious activities including sponsoring of pilgrimages.

A delegate, Yaro Mamman, said there is no compulsion in Islam but suggested that Friday be declared a work-free day for Moslems just as Sunday is observed a work-free day for Christians.

“Mr. Chairman, there is no compulsion in Islam. If a child is converted, the conversion cannot stand unless the parents agree. God does not make mistakes, he created us white, black, Igbo, Yoruba and Hausa.”

While presenting the Committee’s report earlier, Mr. Lemu had highlighted some of the major religious crisis in the country and the blame game among adherents of religious bodies in the country.

To ensure peaceful co-existence in the country, the Committee recommended the establishment of the Religious Equity Commission to protect existing religious freedom as guaranteed under the Constitution.

Mr. Lemu said, “There are so many cases of religious violence in Nigeria. From Ibadan to Shagamu, Lagos to Ife, Kano and Kaduna and even in the South-East, we have witnessed violence. It’s too much and it is not reducing. Whatever we were doing before is not helping.

“We have prepared a draft bill for an Act to provide for the establishment of a Religious Equity Commission and other matters related therewith.”

The Committee stressed the need for the strengthening of the National Orientation Agency, NOA, as well as the promotion of traditional values of love, honesty, and respect for elders, kindness and peaceful-coexistence.

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  • the_adviser

    Is the country so bad that everything is passed on to a supernatural being who is in the habit of dishing out punishment to the masses? The elite has let the people down and our prayers should be to sweep all of them away and the super natural being they pray to recall them to explain their greed.

  • Ben Ikari

    All the noise about prayer is balderdash! Mark my words: Nigeria will see no peace until the country accounts for the death of innocent men, women and children killed by the federal, state and local governments. It will see no peace or will it move forward until it accounts for the hanging of Ken Saro-Wiwa and others and honesty, fairly renegotiate the existence and unity of the ethnic peoples forced to form the illegality known as Nigeria.
    Of course, most if not everything about Nigeria from foundation is criminal as such the restiveness, criminal tendencies and behaviors plus threats to national security and of disintegration. There is no national unity but forcefully holding ethnic nations at gunpoint to create a semblance of unity.
    Meanwhile, many if not most of the conferees are those who have cheated their people, looted the country, abused power one way or another. In their minds they’re mostly criminals, thus have no regard for nation building nor anyone but themselves and family. You can’t talk of God and prayer when you don’t understand and believe in honesty or respect peoples’ and ethnic rights or equality, freedom and justice? No integrity!
    Where was prayer and God when the so-called majority ethnic groups cheated and enslaved minorities, so-called in the country; where was God and prayer when Niger delta became the milking cow, slave of the north, west and east, and where was prayer and God when any Niger deltan who stood up to challenge the status quo and demand justice was murdered-the hangings inclusive?
    And where was prayer and God when conference delegates were handpicked and bribed to do the bidding of the federal government, north, west and east; where was prayer and God when many if not most Niger delta delegates at the conference (including former Gov. Obong Victor Attah) betrayed their people’s cause of resource control; and where was God and prayer when nearly 100% of Nigerian politicians, rulers stole public money to enrich themselves?
    These Nigerians, especially crooked, mindless politicians, rulers must stop deceiving themselves and the world!
    Indeed, where was prayer when these Chibok school girls in the north were reportedly abducted by Boko Haram? Prayer and God knows and sees beyond human, it’s claimed. How come they don’t see all the wrongs, ills, bloodbath in the country, Africa and around the world to prevent them; where was prayer and God when slavery, colonization and the Holocaust took place? Prevention is better than cure, right, so why always wait for bad, criminal and deadly things to happen and then make noise about prayer and God?
    Since Mrs. Jonathan called for prayers (like many others have done) after she claimed the abduction was farce, thus a way of disgracing her husband to look bad has there been positive result, except the hard work and collaboration of nations and groups around the world in search of these girls? These same people who have repeatedly opposed resource ownership or control, equal distribution of states are talking about prayer.
    Many of them in the so-called conference are against any genuine measures that will bring equity, respect, hard work and competition cum real development into the nation’s way of life.
    Measures such as dissolution of the present nonviable and corrupt states to recreate new ones based on viability and demand or return to regionalism, which will allow regions to create only those number of states they can sponsor and maintain hence will disallow the gross cheating, corruption and quest for blood to secure and maintain positions in government that currently exists are hated by most of them in the conference.
    So what prayer are they talking about…who told them prayer works and what has prayer or God changed in Nigeria or anywhere but for self-filled psychopathic or psycho-therapeutic measures? Where was prayer and God when the British forced into independent ethnic groups, unlawfully invaded them, killed millions and forced the living into the corrupt, criminal, deadly and incompetent entity known as Nigeria?
    Humans are God, prayer and demons or evil to humans. Only human efforts, honest and consistent thinking, hard work, deescalation of crisis, conflict and negotiations based on fairness, respect and justice cause change.
    These brings about development and progress, happiness, security and peace not prayer or God, even though proponents of same will put up unsubstantiated defense and excuses that lacks any bearing on reality despite humongous real-time evidence before them.

    Ben Ikari.

  • Susan West

    Even as a born again Christian I know that after praying God expects us to pick up our backsides and make a move, he will not leave his throne of grace and come to fix problems he knows we as humans are capable of fixing. Can you imagine a couple praying for the fruit of the womb, who will go into their bedrooms just to sit and watch each other’s face! Waiting fir pregnancy to occur!? Kai! Haba Nigeria and Nigerians it’s about time we wake up from cookoo land and face the reality. Someone has to play the piper for us to dance but, we should have the ability to pick a talented one who plays the right tune and the right time in other to avert confusion and chaos at the village square

  • Susan West

    Hmmm so many matters arising. Salient question very few answers, we will see what happens at the end of this conference

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