The Prelate, Presbyterian Church of Nigeria, His Eminence Ekpenyong Akpanika, has urged Nigerians to keep faith with the nation and shun actions capable of causing tension and anarchy in the land.
This was as he called on the Christian church not to lose sight of the purpose of its existence and to continue in earnest prayers for the peaceful co-existence of all ethnic nationalities in Nigeria, saying, “The Church remains a refuge and a beacon of hope for long-suffering Nigerians.”
In his message on the occasion of Nigeria’s 63rd Independence Day celebration, signed and issued on Sunday by the Director, Information and Public Affairs, Rev. Nnoke Ibe, the clergy further appealed to Nigerians to repose their confidence in God and not to be weighed down by the current daunting economic situation of the country.
The message read in part, “The nation and our leaders need our support and prayers more than ever before. Let us do our part by avoiding any action that might lead to tension and anarchy. All agitations should be handled with a sense of responsibility without ethical colourations and religious bias. Let us believe in Nigeria and trust God for a better future.
“I congratulate all Nigerians for their resilience and ability to survive through difficult times. I appeal to us to continue to keep faith with our leaders and the nation. God will soon reward our patience and hope.
“Looking at the atmosphere and prevailing circumstances in the nation at this time, I am constrained to admit that Nigerians seem not to be in the mood for celebrations. Unfortunately, the normal reasons for which we celebrate during our Independence Day seem to have eluded us this year.”
The prelate added that Nigerians were hopeful that “the electoral process will unveil a new vista of hope for the nation,” but such expectations seem to have been “dashed.”
He added that the continued existence of the country is a sign of “divine intervention” through the discharge of the church’s responsibility.
Akpanika said, “I, however, want to thank the Christian church in Nigeria and all Christians who have kept faith in the nation. I can boldly say that the continuing existence of this nation is due to your prayers and support in various ways.
“It’s a sign of God’s divine intervention through the discharge of the Church’s responsibility. I therefore call on the Church to remain a refuge and a beacon of hope for long-suffering Nigerians.”