. We have been rendered orphans in this country – Fr. Ehusani
By Neta Nwosu
In pursuit of peace in Nigeria and the world, Anthony Fatayi-Williams Foundation For Peace (AFWF) has again lent its voice to promoting peace in Nigeria. The international Foundation whose ideology is to work for peace and youth development, in collaboration with Lux Terra Foundation, celebrated a Votive Mass for Peace in Nigeria in commemoration of the 16th anniversary of the London bombings, and victims of the insurgency in Nigeria at the Lux Terra Foundation chaplaincy in Abuja. Rev. Fr. George Ehusani, Executive Director, Lux Terra Foundation who knew Anthony Fatayi-Williams closely as a growing teenager, while celebrating the Mass on Wednesday, July 7, 2021, called on God to intervene in the country’s national affairs and save Nigerians from chaos, anarchy and doom. The cleric said since the government had failed to secure the lives of its citizens, the citizenry should embrace God in totality. In his words:
“We have been rendered orphans in this country with no father, with no leaders, with no one to take care of us. So, we call on God who is the father of orphans, to be our father and defend us. “We serve a God, the friend of the poor, defender of the widow, father of orphans. We have been rendered widows in this country, so we call on God who is the defender of the widow to defend us. We have been oppressed and abused, in multiple ways and in multiple times, so, we call on God, who is the friend of the poor, to defend us. And may he hear our prayers.” Fr. Ehusani paid tribute to victims of the July 7 bombings, to mark the 16th anniversary of the terror attacks. Fifty-two people, including a Nigerian, Mr. Anthony Fatayi-Williams died in the attack. More than 700 people were injured, when a series of co-ordinated bombings hit three London underground trains and a double-decker bus in 2005. Marking the anniversary, the Executive Director of Lux Terra Foundation shared his thoughts and prayers to the victims of the bombing, as well as the victims of insurgency in Nigeria.
He said: “Thinking about that horrible event sixteen years ago, where we lost one of our own, a Nigerian, a boy that I knew very well, he was my little friend, Anthony Fatayi-Williams. At that time, we in this part of the world did not know of terrorist bombing, then came 2009, and Boko Haram started. “From 2010, we began to have our own doom of terrorist bombings. In these sixteen years unfortunately, we have now had numerous bomb attacks that have taken the lives of thousands of people, and we have regressed from there, to a situation where we have Boko Haram, we have Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP), we have bandits ravaging all over the country, not just in the North-west, killing, maiming, and destroying, leaving in its wake, an orgy of blood. “Many Nigerians are traumatized, right now, as we speak, 121 students of Bethel Baptist Secondary School in Kaduna were kidnapped on Sunday.
The 136 students that were kidnapped from the Alihu Tanko Islamic School in Niger state, over seven weeks ago have not been released. There are still Chibok girls that are in captivity, so we have students of several schools, some of them don’t make news any more. We have students of several institutions, including universities kidnapped. “We have been in trouble, and our trouble does not seem to be abating, as we have in the South East, we have seen the anger of young people who feel deprived, who feel marginalized and have joined extremists, and are bombing, killing and maiming in the East. Then, in the South-west, we have seen our law enforcement agents engage in unlawful acts. The manner of the invasion of Sunday Igboho’s residence, in the middle of the night, 1a.m, a few days ago or last week is not befitting of any democratic society. He was not in the middle of a crime; he was not committing a crime at that moment. To invade his home in that manner is a shameful thing.
“And so, there is anger in the land, anger on account of injustice; injustice in government appointments, injustice in the siting of projects. There is a lot of anger in the land right now, making the search for peace more farfetched; making the realisation of peace in our country more difficult because while some of us, including Lux Terra Foundation and Anthony Fatayi-Williams Foundation have been engaged in all kinds of initiatives to bring Nigerians together to speak one language, to speak with one voice, to achieve a measure of consensus on national issues, so as to promote peace, we have leaders that look determined to sink the ship of state, to destroy us further.” Noting that Nigerians are powerless and helpless before the violent storm, and are face to face with the futility of their ability, he beckoned on God to come down quickly, to the aid of His people without delay. Fr. Ehusani prayed, “Intervene once again in our national affairs, and save us from chaos, anarchy and doom. Rent the heavens open and come down from your exalted place, for these are turbulent times in our clime.
You know Lord that my generation has to contend with an aberrant order, where hell is constantly let loose in hired assassinations, armed robbery, banditry, religious bigotry and street thuggery. “Can’t you see? Come down quickly Lord and don’t delay, intervene once again in our national affairs, and deliver us from our corporate insanity. Tear down the heavens and come down Lord from your heavenly place and dislodge the regime of violence, dislodge the regime of injustice, and let justice reign in the land. He continued, “Rent the heavens open, and come down from on high that the winds of justice and righteousness may blow from Sokoto to Kano, and the waters of justice may flow from Lagos to Calabar. Visit this land, Lord that right may dwell on the highlands of Jos and Yola, and equity may flourish in the creeks of Warri and Yenagoa.
Come down with your ladder of compassion, and restore your beautiful creation that truth and justice may reign on the rocks of Abuja and Abeokuta, and that love and compassion may grow on the hills of Enugu and Ibadan, that peace may flourish on the plains of Markurdi and Kaduna, and that security may abide in forest regions of Abakaliki and Benin-City. Tear the heavens open Lord, and come down with power to intervene in our national affairs.” He prayed further, “Let us pray for Anthony Fatayi-Williams, who died in a bomb blast 16 years ago, and all those who have died on account of insurgency, banditry, kidnapping and criminality across our land, in the last 16 years, especially in the last 12 years of Boko Haram. Lord, receive them in your kingdom and grant them the joy of your presence.
Those who have been maimed, those who have lost parts of their bodies, on account of these violence, those who have suffered incredible psychological trauma, emotional distress, those who are yet to recover from this trauma, let us pray for their healing, that the good Lord who is the real Healer will bring them healing, we pray O Lord.” Anthony Fatayi-Williams Foundation has as its core values, Peace prayer of St. Francis of Assisi titled, “Lord, Make Me An Instrument of Your Peace.