In an effort to fulfill its divine mandate of praying for one another, the Nigerian based, Journalists for Christ (JFC), an organization for Christian journalists and allied professionals is to hold a prayer session for its kidnapped colleagues.
In a recent release by it National President, Lekan Otufodurin, who’s also the Sunday Editor, The Nation Newspaper, Lagos, called on all well meaning Christian journalists to join hands in prayer for the urgent release of its colleagues who were recently kidnapped by unknown gunmen.
The prayer session is scheduled for Saturday, July 17 at its usual meeting venue, the International Press Centre, Ogba, Lagos, between 11am – 1pm, and comes in the wake of so many kidnappings in the country, which has become a serious source of worry for Nigerians, the Government and its security operatives.
This recent incident involving four Journalists which include, Mr. Wahab Oba, the Chairman, Lagos State, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Mr. Adolphus Okonkwo, Sylva Okereke, Shola Oyeyipo and their driver, Mr. Azeez Abdulraf, has come as a thorn in the flesh for Nigerians.
They were abducted by the gunmen on Sunday, July 11, at Umuafoku, near Ukpakiri in Obingwa Local Government Area of Abia State, Southeast Nigeria, while returning from their scheduled National Executive Council meeting of the NUJ in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
One of the local newspapers had reported during the week that the gunmen called on phone stating that they’ve reduced the ransom placed on the journalists from N250million to N150million, leaving no room for further conversations.
In reacting to this recent kidnap, the Nigerian Federal Government through its Minister of Information and Communications, Professor Dora Akunyili, expressed worry and unhappiness over the whole drama.
According to her the abduction of the four prominent and innocent journalists while on active duty is a challenge to security agencies to reinforce ongoing security operations in Abia State stressing that Government finds this ugly development quite disturbing, sad and clearly unacceptable.
It would be noted that the Nigerian President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, had earlier directed the police and all security agencies to go into action in eliminating kidnappers from the country, a situation he said is very embarrassing to the entire nation.
Jonathan also assured all Nigerians and the international community that his government will provide adequate and radical response in the search for sustainable solution to the new wave of crime in the country.
“I wish to reaffirm the confidence of the Federal Government on the ability of the police, and security agencies in the country to free the journalists from their captors within the shortest possible time,” Dr. Jonathan also stated.
In a monitored telephone conversion by one of the Nigerian media houses from their unknown hideout, one of the kidnapped Journalists, Wahab Oba said: “We are okay in the hideout. They have treated us well so far. There has not been any form of harm done to us; but nothing is as good as having your freedom. Please pray for us!”
Responding to this clarion call for prayers therefore, JFCN is calling out its members for the intercessory prayers for their colleagues in need and with its avowed believe that the prayers of the righteous avails much, the kidnapped colleagues will receive a divine intervention.
JFCN was established in April 1998 in Nigeria to promote the gospel among journalists and other media practitioners. The organization seeks to encourage those who are already Christians to remain steadfast in the faith and reach out to those who are yet to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
Its vision is principally to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ among journalists and other allied media practitioners, with the aim of engaging and identifying with programs that can engender the growth and development of Christianity and the media at both local and international levels.
For more information on JFCN, log on to their website: http://www.journalistsforchrist.org
Success Kanayo Uchime, ANS