|OWERRI – The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Prof. Viola Onwuliri, on Tuesday, led women groups in a prayer and fasting session for the release of the abducted Chibok schoolgirls.
The prayer, which was held at the premises of Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education (AIFCE), Owerri, has the theme “For Our Daughters We Pray.”
She said the war against terrorism had become a global issue and advised the world to stop playing lip service to terrorism, but sincerely fight against it.
The minister said “no nation can afford to sit on the fence or feel less concerned on this issue; it has become a global fight.
“It has been the turn of some countries, while some others are still battling with the crisis; it is now Nigeria’s turn, therefore, we all have to rise against the scourge.
“No one can say whose country it could be tomorrow, let all nations and the world rise up and face the battle to ensure total victory once and for all.”
She commended the international community for joining forces with Nigeria to rescue the abducted Chibok girls.
Some of the prayer points, which were captioned in placards read, “Save Nigeria, O Lord and Grant us Peace, “Defend our girls from rape and death O Lord.
Other captions include “Make haste O lord to hear us and release our girls, and “Bring peace to our land O Lord’’ among others.
Onwuliri, who said that Nigeria had gone through series of challenges, noted that the violence due to Boko Haram insurgency had resulted in many deaths.
She noted that the Federal Government was doing all within its powers to secure the release of the girls and urged Nigerians to support the efforts.
“Our girls have rights and this must be pursued and preserved. Nigeria must not rest until God answers our prayer.
“We are all gathered here, including the physically challenged, to collectively lift our voice to God for the safe return of the abducted girls.
“We will continue to say our prayers on their behalf because; if other weapons fail, prayers will not fail and we are sure that God will intercede.’’
Bishop Stanford Nworgu, the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria in the state, led the prayer on the plea for mercy.
Mrs Blessing Ijioma, the Provost of AlFCE, read the first lesson from the book of 2nd Sam 3:16-26.
Amb. Kema Chikwe prayed for the dispelling of the forces of darkness in the country, aside other prayers.
The groups represented include Women Alliance, Women PDP, NCWS, Christian Women Organisation, NAOWA, Women for Change Initiative and Federation of Muslim Women Association in Nigeria, Imo chapter.
Highlight of the event was the lighting of candles by the different women groups as a show of solidarity to the abducted girls, the people of Chibok and Borno State, as well as the country at large. (NAN)—-