Some presidential candidates in the 2023 polls have urged Christian bodies and Nigerians to be united and keep praying for God’s intervention in the affairs of the country.
The candidates made the appeal at the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) 12th General Assembly and leadership transition programme held on Thursday in Abuja.
The candidates include Prince Adewole Adebayo of the Social Democratic party (SDP), Peter Obi of Labour Party and Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Vice Presidential candidate.
Adebayo, in his remarks, urged Christians to pray for the unity and peace of the church and that of the nation, pointing out the unity of the church would not be complete until there is unity in the nation.
“This is because the Church of Christ is not one side of Nigeria. It is not an opposition. It is a blessing to all Nigerians.
“The Church of Christ is the reason why Nigeria will be saved. The blessings go to all Nigerians, both Christians and non-Christians,” Adebayo said.
He also advised that as Nigeria goes into 2023 general elections church leaders should continue to remain instrument in the hands of God and not in the hands of those who were playing politics.
He also advised clerics to pray for the will of God and not concentrating on predictions regarding the 2023 elections.
He said God has unexpected plan for Nigeria just as He brought out unexpected David to deliver the people of Israel from Goliath.
Adebayo advised CAN not to give a message of Christian versus others, but a message to unite the country and to give a message that is ecumenical, not only among Christians, but among other communities Nigeria.
The SDP presidential candidate also advised Christians not to be afraid of what the church and the nation were going through at the moment, as he expressed optimism that miracle would happen that would surprise all.
“The problems that the church is facing today is the problem ordained for our time. They are not problems that should distract us because God remains constant,” Adebayo said.
Obi, Labour Party Presidential candidate in his short remarks, urged CAN leaders and Christians to be united and pray for Nigeria and all candidates seeking elective positions in 2023.
The former Anambra governor, who congratulated CAN for the peaceful transition in its leadership, urged the association to be united, saying “the family of Christ is one, please let us be united“.
“Nigerians please remember your country in prayers. Remember those of us going for public offices in prayers for us to use public offices and public money for public goods,” he said.
On his part, Okowa said that there was no doubt Nigeria was going through a lot in terms of security and economy challenges, hence the need for Christians and their leaders to stand in for the country through prayers.
The PDP vice presidential candidate said there was a lot to be done in the next few months, especially now that the voices of Nigerians, including the church was no longer the same, saying he believed that the prayers of the righteous would guide the nation right.
“The various ethnic nationalities are singing in discordant tunes and so there is a lot to be done.
“What the church ought to do and I want our leaders to do is to please spend more time on our bend knees and I truly pray that God gives us guidance.
“For the Lord alone does what is best for Nigeria. The Lord alone will decide what will happen in this country.
“We must arise as a nation, we must speak in the voice of unity. We must not divide the Christian body, we must not divide our nation. We must ensure that everybody comes together,” Okowa said.
The Delta governor, who appreciated God for the smooth transition of CAN leadership, also praised the Christian leaders for guiding the body of Christ right.
Gov. Seyi Makinde of Oyo State said that Nigeria was in a cross road and needed citizens to pray for it to succeed.
“Makinde, represented by his Chief of Staff, Segun Ogunwuyi, said prayer was not enough and urged citizens to get their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) and elect godly leaders.
“We are at a crossroad as a nation under Christ, the body of Christ has a lot of work to do, concerning whether we will swim or sink as a nation.
“The message is that Nigeria is standing today because of our Christian and Muslim leaders, praying fervently.
“As good as prayer is, we have to take our destiny into our hands by getting our PVCs and coming out en bloc to choose our leaders.
“Leaders who will steer the ship of Nigeria towards where God wants us to be – which is to live in abundance, to live in good health and to have success,” Makinde said.
On his part, Gov. Samuel Ortom of Benue appreciated the church for not allowing itself to be intimidated with what was going on in the country.
Ortom advised the church to continue to look up to God to redeem its image, irrespective of what was going on.
“I want to implore all of us to arise. I have discovered one thing that anytime we as children of God, worshipping Christ Almighty derailed, God allowed enemies to come over us, “ he said.
Ortom also advised the church to love one another, work together, work in the commandments of God and represent the image of Christ.