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Christian leaders in Ndokwa land, under the aegis of the Council of Bishops of Ndokwa nation this morning, Friday, June 30, 2017, appealed to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State and the security authorities to hasten action for the release of the aged leaders being held in prison custody in the wake of the communal crisis in Amai, Eziokpor, Eziomun, Umuebu and Obiaruku communities of the state.
The appeal came even as the inmates speaking through their spokesman, High Chief Ijibike said the incarcerated leaders are already united for peace to reign.
The Bishops made the plea when they visited the incarcerated leaders in the Ogwashi-Uku prisons where they are being held.
The Bishops included, the Executive Assistant on Religious Affairs to the Governor, Bishop Greatman Nmalagu, Bishop David Obiosa of the Anglican Communion, Ndokwa nation, and Bishop Dore Fidelis Agbabi of the Joyful Faith Church, Obiaruku, were accompanied on thprison visit by the Aniocha South Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Most Senior Apostle Godwin Nkenchor Nwanze, Reverend Emmanuel Okafor, Aniocha south Secretary of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), and Reverend (Dr.) Joseph Okonji, the Aniocha South Chairman of PFN and CAN secretary.
Bishops Nmalagu, Obiosa and Agbabi in their pleas said they came from the Ndokwa nation as leaders of the Church of Christ to see their fathers in detention, to know how they were fairing and to encourage them to take heart that the time they are spending in incarceration will serve a positive purpose of galvanizing the entire Ndokwa nation for peaceful coexistence.
“These elders and leaders are well meaning persons of Ndokwa communities. They are not killers and trouble makers, but they are in incarceration vicariously because of the responsibility which leadership position as elders and community leaders has placed on them.
“Therefore, we are appealing to the Governor of Delta state, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa to fast track their release so as to help foster peaceful co-existence among the communities,” the Bishops pleaded.
They declared that as Bishops, they have taken up the responsibility to move from community to community in Ndokwa nation to preach peace and peaceful co-existence to their kindred. “But the people cannot listen to us if their leaders, elders and fathers are still being held in prison custody,” they pointed out, stressing that “We have accepted the responsibility to preach about the need for the people to maintain peace in our communities.”
Earlier, shortly after Bishop Nmalagu introduced members of the visiting team to the inmates, Bishop Obiosa led prayers prating for peace in Ndokwa nation especially in the strife torn Amai, Eziokpor, Ezionum, Umuebu and Obiaruku communities. While stressing that progress is achieved only in an atmosphere of peace, Obiosa made prayerful decrees against are opposing progress in Ndokwa land.
In his brief but instructive sermon Bishop Agbabi told the people that the Bishops of Ndokwa land believe that Ndokwa nation must live in peace because “We are one.”
He observed that the current communal strife in the affected places I a plague, adding that “It must stop.” He took his scriptural reference from the Book of Act 10: 38 where Apostle Peter declared saying: “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power; who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with Him.”
He said the mission of the Council of bishops in Ndokwa nation was to visit the elders and leaders in prison to identify with them, and to encourage them to understand that God allowed them to have their current experience where they are because He wants to use them positively for the unity, peace and progress of Ndokwa land.
Bishop Agbabi declared: “We need enablement from God to put a stop to the conflict in our land. God requires you to embark on a mission for peace in Ndokwa nation.” He then prayed for a special anointing for strength for the elders and leaders that will make their new their strength that will bring about revival to Ndokwa communities.
“We shouldn’t be thinking of war, but of peace. Why should we be fighting for land? Why can’t we ask our well-to-do children to come and use the land to build institutions of higher learning that will provide opportunities for education for the people?” he said, adding: “God anoints people for productive thinking and not for war. We must all put on our thinking caps that will give us creative and renewed mind. We have to repent,” Agbabi said.
He continued: “Wherever we have been involved in meetings where decision to kill people was taken, we ask God for forgiveness. We need to come to God in repentance. What is happening in Ndokwa nation is the work of Satan.
Pointing out that Satan does not easily give up; Bishop Agbabi said it is the devil that enters into people’s heart to cause destruction. He decried a situation where there is no end to a crisis that dates back to 1910. “We must say enough is enough. We must let go of everything,” he preached.
Also, in his speech, Bishop Obiosa urged the elders and leaders to understand that it is the responsibility of any Ndokwa person to develop Ndokwa land. “As we return let our thoughts be thoughts of progress and development for Ndokwa nation. We encourage you not to be downcast and disappointed. Don’t feel you are deserted. We believe that shortly everything will be over, in Jesus name,” he said.
Speaking to the Bishops on behalf of the incarcerated elders and leaders, High Chief Ijibike said: “Your coming is different. People have been visiting us, but your own coming is different. We believe that nothing is greater than God; we believe that all your prayers are answered. We thank you immensely.
“As the Council of Bishops of Ndokwa nation have the good mind for progress of our communities, we also believe as you believe. We are already united,” Ijibike said.
He pleaded with the Bishops to help facilitate their quick release from incarceration because they are aged and frail men in detention.