The event of the Prayer Pilgrimage for Peace took a broader dimension and jointly organized by the Catholic dioceses of the Benue (Makurdi, Otukpo, Gboko and Katsina-Ala). The event began with a Vigil on the 2nd of January with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist by Bishop William AVENYA of Gboko diocese. The celebration continued on the 3rd of January, 2015 with the Eucharistic celebration with Bishop APOCHI of Otukpo as Chief celebrant while Bishop ANAGBE, Co-Adjutor Bishop of Makurdi gave the homily. Also at the occasion, were Archbishop UKPO, Emeritus of Calabar and Bishop AUDU of Lafia, Bishop NYOM of the Anglican Communion, and Bishop LUGA of the Pentecostal fellowship, Gboko.

A throng of priests and the Christ’s faithful of the four dioceses and beyond also graced the occasion. The prominent sons and daughters of Benue State were present in their appreciable numbers. His Royal Majesty, the Tor Tiv IV was equally in attendance. The occasion was also attended by the Governor of the State, (Rt. Hon Gabriel SUSWAM), two of the Benue Senators (George AKUME, Barnabas GEMADE, David MARK sent a representation). Present were some of the Gubernatorial Aspirants Hon. Terhemen TARZOOR and Dr. Samuel ORTOM.

MASS OF THE VIGIL 2ND JANUARY 2015

Bishop AVENYA acknowledged the efforts of the Bishop of Makurdi diocese, Most Rev. Athanasius USUH who initiated and slated Gboko to be the center for the celebration of the Prayer Pilgrimage for Peace because of the centrality of Gboko. During his homily, the Shepherd of Gboko said the absence of peace in our land is not because of presence of war but because the human heart has refused to be receptive to the peace of God. According to him, the accumulation of stupendous wealth cannot guarantee peace.

 He pointed out that poverty of the mind, greed and desire to be on top amongst others, are some of the ills that make one to trample on the rights of others. With that peace that comes from God, one would not worry. He quoted copiously from the bible, the statement of Jesus saying, with all the worries we cannot make one hair on our heads black or white; if our heavenly father takes care of birds in the air how much more will he not look after us human beings who are made in God’s image and likeness.