Originally published in News Agency of Nigeria
The Aso Villa Chapel, in Abuja, Nigeria, in conjunction with some churches, has commenced a 725-hour (30-day) non-stop praise concert towards a peaceful general election in the country.
Pastor Seyi Malomo, the chaplain of the Chapel, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja yesterday.
According to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)’s timetable, the Presidential and National Assembly election will be on February 16, while the Governorship and State Houses of Assembly poll will be on March 2.
Malomo said the praise concert programme is organised with the aim of inviting Almighty God into the election in order to have a peaceful and violent-free exercise.
“As we all know, we are in the period of election. The election season is a time that can be characterised with tension, with anxiety and even sometimes, with some forms of violence.
“What Aso Villa Chapel is doing, which is in conjunction with other churches, is through the agency of praise, to invite He, who is called the Prince of Peace into the election.
“What we are doing is like what happens when there is a boxing match, and you want to spur and ginger your champion to deliver and rise up to the challenge, you start hailing him, and calling his name, ‘Champion!’
“So, we are praising Him, who is the Prince of Peace, and we are telling Him, rise up over this nation, send help to the nation, spread Your wings of peace over Nigeria.
“We are telling God, as we praise You, let the election be smooth, be peaceful. Let it bring forth Your will.
“Let it cause all those You have chosen who meant well for the nation, to really be placed at their right place, that the winner will be accepted, the loser will accept and God will be glorified,” he said.
On the composition of churches, he said: “When you talk about churches, you talk about CAN, when you talk about CAN, you talk about churches.
“So by implication, CAN is involved because CAN is Christians Association of Nigeria and virtually all the churches, the known churches are involved; the Pentecostal Churches, Orthodox Churches like the Anglican Church, Catholic Church, etc.”
Malomo, who advised all stakeholders to think Nigeria first, said everyone should realise that only God ordains rulers.
“Well, Nigeria is a party that all of us first belong to, irrespective of the political parties that we are in. We should know that Nigeria is first.
“Election is a mere contest; you present your manifesto, you present your points to the populace. We call it democracy; the majority will determine that this is the person they want.
“This is the person we are voting for based on what we can see by what we have heard.
“By our votes, if you are not elected, you take it that you have not been elected. Nigeria goes on!
“Also, all stakeholders must realise that it is God that ordain rulers, it is not just a political party.
“Political party is a means, it is a tool; it is who God wants that will get there. And you know what? God does not have any confusion in his mind.
“God is not sitting in Heaven saying who should I vote for? No! We who are mortals may appear unsure. But God is immortal. God knows the end from the beginning.
“God is omniscient, He knows all things and He will do what is best for us,” he said.
He said every Nigerian is invited to the concert.
“Well, this is a programme for the nation and we will not be surprised if His Excellency, the Vice President and top dignitaries come.
“However, based on their schedule during the campaign, we believe they are taking it by the day. You know, it is not easy to go round the country.
“We continue to thank God for keeping our leaders evidenced by how God kept the VP in the helicopter incident. May God keep him long,” he said.
According to him, the programme is open to all Nigerians; the big, the small, the VIPs, the ordinary, the pastors — everybody is invited and they will be blessed by it.
Malomo said the event, which began at3pm on February 3, would come to an end on March 5 at about 8 pm.
“It is a 30-day nonstop praise; in the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening, in the midnight, we are here praising God, we are hailing our God.
“Like I said, it started on February 3, and it will run all through the two elections; the presidential election and the state poll which is the last one,” he said.
According to the chaplain, participants and those singing, who are eligible voters, will take turns to exercise their franchise on election days.
“It is their civic responsibility. So those who have Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) that are around the venue will take turn because we will not break the chain of the concert.
“They will take turn; go and vote and come back. Those who don’t have PVCs, because they are below voting age, won’t go.
“But everybody that has PVC that we see in the programme, must go and vote because his or her vote must count,” he said.