This is a wakeup call to all Christians in Nigeria, especially, those in Cross River State to arise and fight any administration that want to rubbish our long established faith. The Christian fight is to uphold the constitutionally entrenched fundamental human rights of association and right to worship. The umbrella organisations of Christians in Nigeria such as Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) must bark and bite at the same time. Today, the lacklustre attitude of the Church in the United States and Britain is responsible for the decline and subjection to ridicule of the Christian faith in these countries. One of the disconnect to the faith is that of prayers and that is what the countries mentioned have used to cripple schools; by banning morning or afternoon Christian prayers in public schools and colleges. The bible describes these actions as the works of the anti-Christ.
Governor, Ben Ayade, the 35 years old professor, who has been saddled with the governorship of Cross River State in South South Nigeria, has began the process of towing the path of the Anti-Christ by directing both public and private schools in this predominately Christian State not to have morning and afternoon prayer assembly. In a letter signed by the State Ministry of Education through its permanent secretary, Mrs Anne Odey, dated Wednesday 21, October, 2015, all States and private schools are to cease holding morning and afternoon prayer assembly until further notice. In addition, the governor also ordered that teachers will effect from the New Year wear suits to school during official hours. The directive was sent to all Zonal heads of schools in the State with sanctions for non-compliance.
The Christian elders of Cross River State must arise and go to this young governor and caution him to tread on familiar turf, not on the ground that will be his sinking sand. Calabar, the State capital is the first port of entry of Christianity into what is now known as Nigeria. It is also the entry point of many occult societies from abroad such as Free Masons, Eckankar and has remained the African headquarters of Rosicrucian Order. It is also the headquarters of the Brotherhood of the Cross and Star. Cross River State has remained a spiritual wilderness where all good intended projects are established and sooner or later become comatose.
The first Export Processing Zone (EPZ) in Nigeria was established in the State in the early 1990s, with all the attendant infrastructural facilities, the multiplier effect has not been felt twenty years down the road. In a similar vain, the State government invested massively in what was suppose to be a free trade zone called Tinapa – a place to shop duty free and also play; with the biggest film studios in Africa. After its dedication by renowned Pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye; the evil powers holding the state in bondage lay waste these billion dollar complex. What is thriving in the State is the Calabar Carnival – a celebration of marine festivities held every December to add colour to an otherwise colourless State. Blessed with the best Mountain Resort in sub-Saharan Africa; the Obudu Cattle Ranch, in the constituency of Governor Ayade, is begging for patronage. The governor has shown from his directive that he is not a Christian in heart and should therefore come out of the closet and let the people of Cross River State know his religious bias.
I refused from the onset to believe the many online media reports written about the then Senator Ben Ayade and his various exploits in getting where he was at his young age. But this singular action less than six months into his governance of Cross River State, calls for caution. What the State needs is a God fearing governor, who will uphold the moral flag of Heaven above all other interests. As the first civilian governor in the history of Northern Cross River State, much is expected from him and of him. He has to control his youthful exuberance by not copying issue raising matters, especially of a religious nature from abroad. He should interact more with religious leaders and chart a way forward to curbing cultism that is traversing the length and breadth of the State. The Morning Prayer assemblies of schools have added life value to millions of today’s leaders, rather than attack it, he should demand for its enhancement. Jesus Christ, the author and finisher of our Christian faith stated that we should pray without season. Akwa Ibom, the neighbouring State devoted itself to God during the tenure of the last administration and the results are there for all to see and glorify the name of God Almighty.
Christians all over the world should pray for Governor Ben Ayade and ask God to visit him and open his eyes to see what his predecessors failed to see in Cross River State. God and Jesus Christ His Son are interested in the people of his beloved State and their rising from the ash heap of bondage to his marvellous light.
Evangelist Phillips Eteng,