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Nigeria: doing the painful thing

Nigeria is going to do the painful thing everyone said it has to do: the currency will be allowed to float freely. The governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, said that the bank will intervene ‘as the need arises’. A weaker currency will help Nigeria's economy by encouraging import substitution and attracting foreign investors, who have shunned the country for fear of a devaluation. The move will be painful over the short term: inflation was 15.6% in April. The authorities will probably be forced to tighten monetary policy. Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy but it has soaring inflation. This latest action will not magically fix all of Nigeria’s problems - for example, lower oil prices and ongoing oil-production disruptions by the Niger Delta Avengers.

Pray: for honesty and fair trading, and for righteous acts that bring about economic recovery. (1Tim.6:10)
More: www.metalsnews.com/Metals+News/BusinessInsider/The+Business+Insider+The+Money+Game/HEADLINE1102698/Nigeria+is+finally+going+to+do+the+painful+thing+everyone+said+it+has+to+do.htm

Nigeria: pastor's wife killed after blasphemy accusation

Christians in Kano, northern Nigeria, expected widespread violence following the killing of a Christian woman last week, but Sunday services passed peacefully. Bridget Patience Agbahime, 74, originally from the southern state of Imo, was ambushed by a mob for allegedly blaspheming against Islam’s prophet. Her husband, the pastor of Deeper Life Bible Church, was with her, but prompt police intervention saved his life. Mrs Agbahime was a quiet woman who traded in plastic wares, known to respect others; it is doubtful that she could have made any statement of blasphemy. The killing has provoked widespread social media outrage, with calls for the perpetrators to be brought to justice. One Christian group said, ‘Our religious leaders must come out and preach the true tenets of religion, because this violent arrogance is getting too much.’ Christians fear more activism from radical Muslims during Ramadan, traditionally a time of terror and suicide bombings.

Pray: for God to comfort all in mourning and breathe peace into the situation. (2Cor.13:11b)
More: www.worldwatchmonitor.org/2016/06/4500305/

Nigeria: first missing Chibok girl found after two years

On Tuesday night, Amina Ali Nkeki wandered out of a forest, asking for help, accompanied by a baby and a man who claimed to be her husband and the father of the baby. Amina was in poor physical condition, as were the baby and man. They were part of a group asking for help. The man said he had been kidnapped by Boko Haram from the town of Mubi, taken to Sambisa Forest, and married to Amina. Amina was taken to her house in Mbalala, where she was reunited with her mother, Binta Ali. The Sambisa Forest is an ideal hiding place for militants and their explosive devices:recently soldiers have infiltrated the forest and driven many out of their territory, but some are still hiding there. Stop press: the army has rescued a second Chibok girl, Serah Luka, and 97 other women. See:

Pray: for the 200+ still in captivity. Pray for Amina, her husband and baby’s healing and recovery from their ordeals. Pray for the families and the girls living in hope / fear. (Job 5:16)
More: edition.cnn.com/2016/05/18/africa/nigeria-chibok-girl-found/

Corruption in UK and elsewhere

A summit on corruption was held on Thursday in London. For decades Britain and the west have asked poor countries and failed states to address problems with dodgy money (money invested in western banks, stores, estate agents, and offshore). The president of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, came to London to lobby for help regarding tax havens in Nigeria. Buhari sent a letter to England saying, ‘We are embarked on a nationwide anti-corruption campaign. But these efforts are sadly undermined if countries such as your own are welcoming our corrupt to hide their ill-gotten gains in your luxury homes, department stores, car dealerships, private schools and anywhere else that will accept their cash with no questions asked. The role of London’s property market as vessels to conceal stolen wealth has been exposed in court documents, reports, documentaries and more.’ One third of all the trillions hiding offshore are in tax havens linked to the UK, according to Oxfam.

Pray: for God, in His mercy, to regulate governments, city brokers, accountants, lawyers, bankers, etc. (Mt.6:10b)
More: www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/may/10/the-guardian-view-on-corruption-david-cameron-should-look-closer-to-home

WATCHMAN PRAYER POINTS JULY 2016

Written by Pastor Austen C. Ukachi

1.  Pray for the release of Nigeria's stolen wealth by Western Nations. Large amount of money stolen by past military leaders and by politicians mainly are stashed in many banks abroad. Pray that western countries that are custodians of Nigeria's stolen wealth would agree to repatriate the money to Nigeria without any pre-condition.

2. Pray for the peace of the land. Pray that the lingering crisis between the Federal Government and the Niger Delta militants would not deteriorate. Pray that it will be resolved amicably so that peace will reign in the land. Pray for peace in the South East where youths are agitating for the Republic of Biafra. Pray for peace in the North East where Boko Haram still maintains pockets of resistance.

3. Pray for the bill on cattle grazing. A bill is before the National Assembly on cattle grazing. Already, the public has reacted to some of the provisions of the bill, which grants the Federal Government the right to acquire any choice land for grazing of cattle. Pray for the National Assembly to thoroughly examine the bill and remove the offensive clauses. Pray that the Federal Government will exercise caution in the implementation of the bill whenever it is passed.

FAITH UNDER PRESSURE

Written by Pastor Austen C. Ukachi

EXHORTATION

"Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colours. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way" (James 1:2-4 MSG).

Without any shadow of doubt, these are days of intense pressure. Both at the national and personal levels, we are all under one form of pressure or the other. In the words of Paul, we are hard pressed on all sides. As a nation, we are presently under economic, social, religious and political pressures. Business men and women are under economic pressure. So also are the students, market women, workers, etc. Pressure leads our youth into all kinds of vices. Some convent with the devil to acquire evil powers. Pressure leads our youth to seek to migrate to Europe by all means.some go through the desert, others cross the Mediterranean seas. Pressure lead some men to armed robbery etc.

Nigeria: a midnight raid

On Sunday night, in Enugu State, an attack by more than two hundred suspected armed Fulani herdsmen left at least 48 people dead. Scores of people were critically wounded, and sixty houses and two churches completely razed to the ground. 56 people with gunshot wounds were taken to different hospitals. The state police confirmed the attack but cannot give an exact figure of people killed: however, the police and security agencies have been mobilised to curtail the situation so that it does not degenerate into all-out war. The attackers were armed with AK-47 rifles and grenades, bows and arrows, and machetes or swords. Many villagers escaped to neighbouring communities, but people in nearby towns are also worried about possible attacks from the herdsmen. Sources disclosed that the villagers had resisted the use of their farmlands as grazing fields by the herdsmen.

Pray: for God to comfort those mourning and living in fear, and to strengthen security in the area. (Is.41:10)
More: www.christiantoday.com/article/nigeria.dozens.slaughtered.and.church.burned.down.in.latest.fulani.massacre/84931.htm

Africa: drastic increase in children used in suicide attacks

UNICEF reports that the number of children involved in ‘suicide’ attacks in Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, and Niger has risen from four in 2014 to forty-four in 2015. One in five suicide bombers was a child. Terrorists are deceiving children and forcing them to carry out deadly acts. Half of the attacks in Cameroon were done by children, one in eight in Chad, and one in seven in Nigeria. The primary group perpetuating these tragedies is Boko Haram. An African proverb notes that children are the reward of life. Jesus didn’t keep the children far away; he welcomed them closely. Tragically we cannot physically reach the children in these countries, but we can pray that children will cease being objects to be used and start being individuals to be loved.

Pray: for Africa to act according to an African proverb, ‘Train a child the way he should go and make sure you also go the same way.’ (Pr.22:6)
More: www.denisonforum.org/global/2446-drastic-increase-in-number-of-children-used-in-suicide-attacks

Nigeria: rehab for Boko Haram fighters

Now that Nigeria is making headway against Boko Haram, it faces the challenge created by terrorists voluntarily surrendering their weapons. How can the country reintegrate former fighters into society and ensure they won’t become a future security threat? The current solution involves a rehabilitation camp established by the Nigerian military to repatriate surrendered Boko Haram fighters and encourage others to abandon the insurgency. Operation Safe Corridor will take terrorists through vocational training sessions to help them become productive citizens, said defence ministry spokesman Rabe Abubakar. He urged other fighters still on the loose to surrender and benefit from the programme, saying that the onslaught against the remnant of the terrorists would continue and not relent until the power of evil in the northeast is completely neutralised. Recently emaciated fighters begging for food have surrendered at military bases after food supply routes to the terrorists’ camps were blocked.

Pray: for God to give success to de-radicalisation programmes and authorities processing thousands of former Boko Haram captives. Pray also for the Chibok schoolgirls, still held captive after two years. (Ps.102:20)

More: www.christianheadlines.com/blog/nigerian-military-creates-rehab-program-for-boko-haram-fighters.html

Nigeria: oil spills in the Niger delta

Oil giant Shell is being sued over oil spills in the Niger delta by communities which want Shell to clean up their land. Some of the claimants are the Ogale, a community of 40,000 farmers or fishermen living in Rivers State. The Bille community of fishermen are the other party suing. Neither community has had clean drinking water since the spills began in 1989. Their case is being handled by law firm Leigh Day, who point to a November 2015 report by Amnesty International in which Shell said four spill sites would be cleaned up. They are still contaminated. In 2011 the United Nations Environment Programme found water contaminated with oil by-products and recommended a clean-up. Pipelines are targets for thieves who steal crude oil and refine it locally, leading to more spills and damage through explosions. Shell dismisses any suggestion that it has knowingly continued to use unsafe pipelines, and says it is at an ‘early stage’ in reviewing the claims.

Pray: for Shell to clean up the area and implement a sustainable recovery programme. (Ex.23:6)
More: www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-35701607

Nigeria: churches unite for first time to address violence in north

The world’s deadliest terrorist group is not in the Middle East, but in Nigeria, where the Islamist insurgency Boko Haram and other forces killed more than 4,000 Christians in 2015 - a 62% increase from 2014. In response, Nigeria's largest confederation of Christian churches is, for the first time, jointly endorsing a commitment to revive the Church in the country's north, before it collapses from a decade of violence that has killed thousands of Christians and driven away more than a million. Christians in the northern region have for long been abandoned to their own fate by the Nigerian authorities. ‘This is the first time we’re going public to sign a declaration which gives the true picture of the persecution Christians are going through in this country,’ said Rev Musa Asake.

Pray: for targeted violence, discrimination and marginalisation of Christians in northern Nigeria to be halted. Pray for the survival and growth of the Christian faith through unity. (Ps.10:17,18)
More: www.worldwatchmonitor.org/2016/02/4316008

World horrified as scores of children massacred

Last weekend, Boko Haram burned children alive in Nigeria, and IS bombed schoolchildren in Syria. Homes were reduced to piles of ashes and left smouldering in the Nigerian village of Dalori following a Boko Haram rampage. For four hours heavily armed gunmen and at least three suicide bombers attacked, setting much of the village aflame. Children were burned alive in their huts. Two nearby refugee camps were also attacked. Nigerian army troops arrived, but were outmanned and outgunned by terrorists. 3,000 miles away, IS detonated two suicide car bombs in a neighbourhood south of Damascus protected by Hezbollah. As people gathered to help dead and injured children, an IS terrorist wearing a suicide vest set off another blast. 45 were killed and 110 wounded.

Pray: for the Syrian peace talks to resume, and for all those contesting terror in Nigeria. (Ps.118:5)
More: www.breakingchristiannews.com/articles/display_art.html?ID=17485

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