By: Jessica John Bakari
As Christians all over the world celebrate Ash Wednesday, they have been called to remain united in prayers for peace and the security in Nigeria while they seek the face of God.
Here in Yola, the state capital of Adamawa State, Christians in their thousand trooped to Saint Theresa Cathedral Jimeta as early as six o’clock in the morning dressed in black to receive ashes on their forehead signifying total repentance and mourning over the killings of innocent people by the Islamist group, Boko Haram.
The Catholic Bishop of Yola Diocese, Bishop Stephen Dami Mamza who presided over the celebration in the Cathedral said that there are three Pillars of lent which are prayers, almsgiving and fasting, pointing out that without them one cannot participate actively during the lent season.
The Bishop explained the significance of Ash Wednesday as a sign of repentance and said that “Christians particularly Catholics are expected during this season of grace to seek the face of God and his forgiveness.”
The clergy man who read the letter from the Catholic Bishop’s conference of Nigeria to the congregation said “the level of insecurity in Nigeria today is alarming in all part of the country and the repeated barbaric execution of innocent people by Boko Haram insurgents and kidnapping have traumatised many citizens”.
Bishop Mamza reminded all arms of Government in Nigeria whose responsibility is to protect Nigerians that “without security there can be no peace and without peace, there would be no development.”
The Catholic Bishop of Yola Diocese appeal to them to immediately make efforts to put to an end the unprecedented wave of violence and brutality aimed at Christians and urged the faithful never to be discouraged but to be courageous and believe in God. He said the essence of dressing in black on this day by all Christians in Nigeria was to show sign of pains and sadness and to remember those killed as a result of Boko Haram insurgency.