CWON Retreat: Osinbajo, Lalong pray for Nigeria
By Neta Nwosu
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, have called on Nigerians to pray for the nation, to overcome the myriad of problems facing it. They gave the charge, as they took turns to pray for Nigeria, on Friday, at the celebration of Holy Mass for the Catholic Women Organisation Nigeria (CWON) Retreat and National Conference, held at Saint Louis College, Jos. The Vice President, who was represented by the Minister of Women Affairs and National Development, Dame Pauline Tallen, OFR, KSG, urged Nigerians to pray against all forms of challenges bedeviling the country. According to Dame Tallen, it is high time the Churches rise up, to fill the gaps, through constructive engagements and prayers. In a statement issued by Olujimi Oyetomi, Director, Press and Public Relations to the Minister of Women Affairs, the Vice President, Prof. YemiOsinbajo noted that societal ills have greatly affected the socio-economic growth of the country. Dame Mary Ashibi Gonsum, President, CWON in her address, said that in view of the continuous attack on schools, killings, banditry, and host of other problems in Nigeria, CWON has considered it imperative and absolutely necessary that the country needed prayers, for God’s mercy and intervention.
She said: “Today, we live in a world distressed by many trials. Societal ills abound, as insecurity, moral laxity, rape, hunger, ritual murder, kidnapping, alcoholism, drug abuse, broken families/ homes, unemployment, prostitution and youth restiveness, among others, stare us in the face unabated. Many of us are burdened with the feeling of hopelessness, thus the need for divine intervention, through this retreat. It is necessary to retreat from all challenges and problems, to the confines of God, who is Lord and master of every circumstance.” Continuing, she stated, “If we all think with the heart of Mary, in tandem with our theme, we will be better for it. Though Mary was the Mother of God, she was first human like any of us. Like any human, Mary had her full share of challenges and sorrows. “As clay that we are, in the hands of God, I urge us to use this retreat for spiritual rejuvenation, as we pray God to mould us, fill us, and use us as he did with Mary. “There is no situation, be it suffering, hardship, illness, hunger, persecution or danger of death that is too difficult or impossible to God to reverse. “May we through the intercession of Mary Our Mother, in unceasing prayers, and supplication, pray to God for his mercies and forgiveness, and to heal our land and deliver us from our Egypt.
” Speaking at the Retreat, Governor Simon Bako Lalong of Plateau State said that the retreat will help to consolidate on the efforts of the Government, regarding peace, stressing that peace is the cardinal pillar on which the State rests on. The Catholic Women Organisation Nigeria (CWON), declared a retreat, during its National Conference for national prayer for an end to the problems bedeviling the West African nation, including killings, banditry and drug abuse. Dame Pauline Tallen, Governor Simon Lalong, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Professor Danladi Atu; Rev. Fr. Benedict Okike, CWON Chaplain; Dame Mary Ashibi Gonsum, President, CWON; Hon. (Barr.) Nkechi Chukwueke, Special Assistant to the President; Sir Joseph Ari, Director-General and Chief Executive Officer, Industrial Training Fund, and a host of others, led the intercessory prayers for an end to the problems bedeviling the nation, including killings, kidnapping, banditry and drug addiction, with lighted candles. The Mass was co-celebrated by Most Rev. Hilary Dachelem, Bishop, Catholic Diocese of Bauchi; Most Rev. Matthew Audu, Archbishop, Catholic Archdiocese of Jos, the Chief Celebrant; Most Rev. Michael Gokum, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Pankshine and a host of other Priests.