Former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (rtd.) has described as worrisome, the security challenges facing the country. He, however, expressed the hope that the nation would not go through the path of civil war again. Also, Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, faulted the conduct of government officials to the wanton killings by Fulani herdsmen, noting that the bloodletting is symptomatic of a failed state. Gowon and Dickson spoke at a National Prayer Conference in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital.
Gowon, who is the convener of Nigeria Prays, said his prayer was that Nigeria should not go through the path of civil war again. A statement yesterday by Dickson’s media team quoted the former head of state as saying that Nigerian leaders were concerned with the growing insecurity in the country.
“This is worrisome. When I recall the end of the civil war, I had hoped and prayed that Nigeria would never go through the same experience again. This was what I prayed for and you can see how worrying it is. “All these spate of crises: Is it the militants, is it the Boko Haram, is it the so-called Fulani herdsmen? All sorts of things that are happening: man’s inhumanity to man, that is happening throughout the length and breadth of Nigeria.
“Sadly, it is worrying to all Nigerians and this is what all of us who are in leadership positions, your governor and his assistants, all the governors throughout the country, all of us who are leaders are concerned about it, and always aim for whatever they can do to put it under control. “But it is not only they that can do it.
They need the press and support of the people so that they can deal with the problem together. And this is our prayer, prayer for everyone in Nigeria and all Nigeria wherever they are. We hope for greater peace than what we have for now,” the former head of state added. He stressed the importance of prayers, which he said, could help solve Nigeria’s problems better and faster than military generals and soldiers could do with physical weapons of war.
The former head of state assured Nigerians that God would honour the collective prayers and intercession for the nation, while also advising people to shun violence and retaliation. On his part, Dickson said Nigerians must unite in prayers and resolve to work together to ensure fairness, justice, equity and equal citizenship.
“In this country, God’s children, human beings, irrespective of the God they worship, are being slaughtered mercilessly, remorselessly in many parts of the country. “Our nation is bleeding; we must unite in prayers and resolve to do what is right and fair. Our nation should be a nation of fairness, justice, equity, equal citizenship and united by common ideals of being the greatest black nation,” Dickson added. He called on the nation’s leaders to take the responsibility to stop the bloodletting, adding that this is the time Nigerians have to intensify prayers for the nation to overcome its challenges.
He said: “We are united by our common shared humanity and nationality, so injustice and unfairness anywhere should be a concern to anyone and everyone in our nation. “I join you in praying that the bloodletting, unnecessary killings in our nation under any shape or guise ends in Jesus’ name. “God should intervene so that people will feel the need to do the right thing, be fair and just to one another.” (New Telegraph)