As leaders hold national prayer under sun
Members of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) were on Thursday locked out of the International Events Centre, Dome, in Akure, the Ondo state capital, venue for the National Summit Prayer.
The Christians who had already planned using the event centre were shut out and barred by the Ondo state government.
The Daily Times gathered that the Christians were drawn from the nine states of the Niger Delta region of the country for the National Prayer.
Many of the Christians were from the Bible Society of Nigeria (BSN) and Niger Delta Christian Leaders Forum (NDCLF).
The Christian leaders were in Akure, the Ondo state capital, for a prayer program, tagged ‘2017 Prayer Summit for Nigeria.’
Speaking on the development, the former Chairman of CAN, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, told journalists that effort to convince the state government to get the Christian leaders has access to the venue yielded no results.
Oritsejafor, who is now the President of the Niger Delta Christian Leaders Forum (NDCLF), condemned the act of the state government saying that the Christian leaders were disappointed by the action but decided to hold their prayers outside the hall (Dome) under the scorching sun.
He explained that the main purpose of the payers was to seek God’s face in order to find solution to the challenges facing the progress and development of the country.
According to him, the Niger Delta region is being faced with a mirage of problems noting that supplications to God would only be an end solution to its challenge.
“Despite challenge, we have decided to converge here today to seek prayers for the development of the Niger Delta and the country as a whole.
“Prayer is the solution to the problems facing our country and by offering more supplications to God, there would be progress and unity would also reign.”
The Ondo state chairman of the Niger Delta Christian Leaders Forum (NDCLF), Rev. Samuel Obakulujo, said although the group can hold its prayer anywhere adding that they were not deterred by the action of the state government to locked them out of the venue.
Obakulujo stated that the Christian body has achieved its aim of obeying God to hold a National prayer for people of the Niger Delta region and the country as a whole.
“We have achieved our aim, the purpose is to offer prayers and that we have done in obedience to God almighty for the progress of the region and Nigeria.”
Some Christians who spoke to reporters complained and queried the action of the state government which barred them from using the event centre.
“Many of us are surprised by the action of the state government and wondered how Governor Rotimi Akeredolu could treat people like such because himself is also a Christian” one of them said.
Our correspondent learned that the week long programme of the National Prayer was to end on Thursday evening.
The state Commissioner for Information, Yemi Olowolabi, when contacted denied knowledge of the government action on the Christian leaders to hold a prayer at the international event centre, DOME.
The Daily Times, however, learned from government sources that the Christian leaders were mainly barred from using the venue because it has been fixed for another state government programme.
‘Tosin Ajuwon, Akure