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By Princess Simon (Bureau Chief North Central, in Minna)

The Correspondent Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Niger state Council has organized special prayer session to appreciate God for the gift of life, unity of purpose among members and above all seek divine intervention to end untimely deaths.

The Chapel in less than two years list three members; Matthew Jwantu, Hameed Salaudeen, and most recently Mercy Osajiugo of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) who died about a month ago due to complications after a surgery in an Abuja hospital, and will be buried this weekend.

During the prayer session held at the Chapel's office behind the CBN building, Minna, the state capital, the Chairman Comrade Yakubu Mustapha Bina said the intercessory prayer session became necessary because only God who sees and knows everything secret can bring an end to it.

In their admonitions; two prominent Clerics, the Chief Imam of Federal University of Technology (FUT) Minna Mosque, Dr. Shiekh Bashir Yankuzo and the Overseer Mountain of Fire Ministry (MFM) Minna, Pastor Peace Ekwarede said journalists are the most endangered species because of the risks associated with the journalism profession.

The Clerics offering prayers for the union and practitioners as a whole, Niger state and the entire country asked God to protect journalists against all forms of danger as the days are full of evils.

Describing journalism as key to the development of nations, including Nigeria, Shiekh Bashir however told practitioners to consider the unity and cohesion in truthful manner for the overall growth and development of Nigeria.

The Clerics were however unanimous in their submissions that most of the problems facing the country is that of leadership and therefore asked leaders at all three tiers of government to be honest and fulfil campaign promises to avoid provoking the masses to anger.

Leaders at the local, states and at the national levels should be transparent in their dealings with the led by being trustworthy and having the fear of God. There's no way citizens will not respect them and obey their directives.

"Nevertheless, some family problems could degenerate into affecting the immediate society and cause mischief starts from the family level and we must strive to get it right from that level to avoid blame games".

Pastor Ekwarede who read from various portions of the Bible, challenged journalists, members of the chapel in particular, to consider God first as the ultimate in order to survive the hard times.

"Injustice has been on the rise, righteousness, fairness and equity is very much lacking and these are some of the issues that bring journalist face to face with people who don't want the truth to be told about the happenings in the society.

The duo therefore emphasize the need for leaders to have the fear of God by leaving examplary life while in office, reminding them that, truth cannot die in face of the society and must be told at all times. NNL.

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