The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rt. Rev. Justin Welby, on Wednesday visited the Presidential Villa, Abuja to pray and condole with President Goodluck Jonathan on the security challenge in the country.
The Archbishop was accompanied on the visit by the Primate of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh; the Chaplain to the President, Ven. Obioma Onwuzurumba; and the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Board, Mr. John Kennedy-Okpara.
After the meeting, Welby spoke with State House correspondents on the security challenge facing the country and assured Nigerians that “people throughout the world” were praying for it to end.
He made reference to the recent bomb blasts in Jos, Plateau State but made no direct comment on the abducted girls.
“The bombing in Jos was deeply disheartening because I know Jos very well. I came to pray with His Excellency and express our condolence for the losses,” said Welby, who along with Davis brokered the truce between the Federal Government and the Niger Delta militants in 2004.
“God is faithful. In one of the letters that Paul wrote to the church, he talked about the sufferings they were going through being known throughout the world and that certainly is true here because the suffering in Nigeria is known throughout the world.
“People throughout the world pray for the country. It is a country which I have profound respect and deep love. And like many, I am deeply grieved by what is happening but God is faithful.
“He is always faithful to us and as Christians, in Jesus Christ, we believe in His faithfulness and we can trust Him for the future.
“I don’t have words to describe the good potential this country has. There is great difficulty at the moment but it is a country with such enormous potential. I think Nigerians by nature are joyful, hopeful and vigorous. They work hard.
“The country has so much going for it. In the meeting, the President talked about the need of a solution that will reach all people, not just the security but economy, spiritual and every part of the human life,” Welby said.
Welby came to the Presidential Villa two days after a delegation of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation visited the President and four days after a group of Islamic clerics led by Khalifa Ahmed Inyass visited.
Davis, a hostage negotiator and a former Canon Emeritus at the Coventry Cathedral in London, has been in Nigeria working secretly on the release of the girls for almost a month.
He had revealed he had had ‘‘ongoing contacts’’ with the groups involved in the kidnapping in the North-East for seven years.