Archbishop of Abuja, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, has urged clerics to avoid taking
undue advantage of their followers, saying religious leaders ought to be servants
of the people, not their exploiters.
Sunday, during the ordination ceremony of five new priests at Catholic Church
of the Archangels, Gaduwa, Abuja.
who noted that clerics were in short supply compared to the people, however,
hinted at his looming exit from the service of the church.
“Generally, in the world, clerics are not enough. So, we are glad to have more
people ordained to serve as religious leaders. “Every cleric is supposed to be
a servant of truth and serve the people in humility. Among clerics, there are
some who are focused on looking after young people.
remind them that their calling is to holiness, and sanctity of life for
themselves and the people, especially the youths and children. Their mission
should be to bring them nearer to God.”
the new priests to focus on God to overcome temptation, especially when they
work with young people.
archbishop advised: “Keep your focus on God. You are weak but when you work
with God, you become strong. Anytime you leave Him, you will fall. So live each
day with the grace of God.
time I preside over ordinations, I never know which will be my last, I am
saying goodbye to everyone because I am already at the end (due for
of the NEC meeting was; ‘Islamization and Fulanization of Nigeria; The Role of
lengthy and intensive deliberations on the theme of the meeting and the state
of our Nation, Nigeria, the Council resolved on the way forward as follows:
all Christians, in particular, and Nigerians in general, must pursue peace and
unity in all their words actions to enhance peaceful co-existence in the
2. On the
agitation for the establishment of settlements by the government for ‘a tribe’
in all the states of the federation, Council strong advices the Federal
Government to resist the temptation to yield to the demands by any particular
tribe, religion or trade that threatens the corporate existence of Nigeria.
constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) provides
that Nigeria is a secular state. In line with the above provision, Council
appeals to the three tiers of Government and all major stakeholders not to
accord supremacy to any particular Religion over others as this may further
compromise the already threatened unity of the Nation.
Council views with great concern the worrisome state of insecurity across the
federation and the ineptitude on the part of the law enforcement agencies of
Government to take appropriate action to arrest, investigate and prosecute
perpetrators of the heinous crimes. Council therefore urges all concerned
stakeholders in the Criminal justice sector to rise and live up to their
once again, congratulates President Muhammadu Buhari, Commander-in-Chief
of the Nigerian Armed Forces on his 2nd term. The position of Council however,
is that in the coming appointment and composition of the Federal Executive
Council, the President should sincerely consider the Federal Character, the
diverse ethno-cultural and Religious composition of the Federation in other to
balance all interest and sensitivity of the all federating units of the Nation.
Finally, Council advices Christians in Nigeria to unite and speak with one
voice; promote holiness and righteous; strive to deepen the faith of members in
God; be vigilant and security conscious in self defense to protect life and
property of members and the Church; and at all times promote the call to spread
the good news of Jesus Christ, in season and out of season, to the ends of the
Excellency, Governor Emeka Ihedioha CON, has reinstituted the monthly clean-up
exercise in the state. He has also reinstituted the monthly Governor’s Prize
for the Cleanest Local Government Area, as well as the Cleanest Autonomous
Community, Primary School and Secondary School, respectively in each LGA.
effect, His Excellency has approved the appointment of a Planning,
Sensitization and Implementation Committee for the July, 2019 clean-up exercise
Fr. George EHUSANI Lux Terra Leadership Foundation
At a time
when people imagine that I should be very proud of, and be fulfilled in my
priestly ministry; when everywhere I turn people run over to meet me, and tell
me that they watch my programs regularly on TV; at a time when I have become
some sort of petty celebrity; it is at this time that I find myself becoming
discouraged, disillusioned, distressed and feeling like giving it all up,
abandoning this whole enterprise, and going to some monastery – away from all
these distractions, and rather investing in my inner growth and the
much-desired communion with God, through contemplative prayer and the practice
is that I have been going through some crisis on account of which I have been
asking myself whether all my teaching, preaching, writing and social advocacy
engagements amount to anything at all in the Nigerian setting. I observe that
the Nigerian society is not changing for the better, and people are not being
radically transformed in our Churches. Though we claim to be very religious,
though our Churches are crowded and we host noisy worship sessions, though some
of us can quote passages of the Scripture effortlessly from Genesis to
Revelations, and though we host numerous night vigils and deliverance sessions,
Nigerian Christians are not being transformed in any significant way, and
consequently we are not equipped to transform our society for God.
spiritual formation of most of us Christians has often left large areas of our
lives more or less untouched and unredeemed. Like the iceberg which has only
about 10% of its dimensions above the waters, and the remaining 90% underneath
the surface, there are layers and layers of the life of the average Nigerian
Christian that seems unreached by the Gospel of Christ. Like other Nigerians
out there, who have never encountered Jesus Christ, and who have never
benefited from the grace of baptism and confirmation, or the sustaining power
of the Sacraments, Nigerian Christians live with anger and bitterness, fear and
anxiety, wickedness and hatred, resentment and un-forgiveness, self-indulgence
and addiction to the pleasures of the flesh, selfishness and greed, vanity and
vain-glory, and we are stuck in fetishism, occultism, and primitive
says in Matthew 7:20 that “By their fruits, you shall know them.” But
Christianity as a mass movement in Nigeria is not working. Popular Christianity
in Nigeria which features mega Churches and a huge gathering of thousands of
people, is not working. That religion characterized by the noise-making
enterprise which we call prayer; the one that features regular deliverance
services, multiple healing miracle crusades, so-called “powerful men of God,”
dashing celebrity preachers, swaggering motivational speakers, flamboyant Gucci
pastors, designer suit evangelists, jerry coil prophets, private jet owning overseers,
fashionable Church choirs and trendy Gospel singers, etc.,
religion is not working!
Let us be
honest with ourselves: Nigerians are not being transformed for Christ in any
significant way. We Nigerian Christians cannot show that we are better than our
forebears who never heard about Jesus Christ. With all our feverish activism
and massive Churches everywhere, we cannot demonstrate that we are better than
people of other religions in godliness and holiness, in love and unity, in
mercy and forgiveness, in gentleness and patience, in civic discipline and
social morality, and in the practice of justice and the promotion of peace. Our
marriage and family lives are often not better than the marriage and family
lives of others in our environment who have never heard about Jesus Christ.
There is nothing to show that the rate of marital infidelity and general
promiscuity among Christians is any less than what obtains in the secular
society. The young people in our Churches often do not behave better than other
young people in their towns and villages or in their schools and colleges.
profess Christianity and are sometimes ready to go to war in “defense” of our
religion, we have often remained greedy, avaricious, corrupt, undisciplined,
fraudulent, adulterous, fetish, superstitious, exploitative and oppressive of
the poor in our midst.
majority of us Church-goers do not demonstrate any serious commitment to the
Kingdom values and the eternal salvation that Jesus came to inaugurate with his
life, death, and resurrection. Not at all. Nigerians seem to have settled for a
brand of Christianity that the Apostles Peter and Paul will not recognize. We
seem to be stuck with the material world and are pursuing all that promotes our
physical existence with consummate passion. We seem to devote all our energies
to the pursuit of this-worldly ultimate goals, and as such transcendental goals
and values have little consideration in the daily choices we make in our
private and public lives.
that in the eyes of many who attend liturgical services at Lux Terra
Chaplaincy, and in the eyes of some others who watch our programmes on
television, I am often no more than an entertainer whom they watch every
Sunday, as a number of my so-called fans are often not prepared to open
themselves up to the transforming influence of the Gospel of Christ which I
attempt to preach. True, we are not making any significant progress by way of
individual or group transformation in Christ. All we seem to be doing is simply
moving chairs around in a Titanic. We must come to recognise that Christianity
as a mass movement has failed to make any significant impact in Nigeria and
times I started becoming discouraged and distressed about this embarrassing
reality and asking myself serious questions bordering on the purpose and
meaning of my own numerous activities in the face of this sobering reality. And
this is one reason why I went away on a 21-day retreat. And in the course of
the retreat, I sought the face of God, trying to discern his will in my
confusion. I came back from the retreat determined not to spend the rest of my
active life simply oiling the wheel or servicing structures that may not
deliver any goods. Yes, I came back determined not to spend the rest of my life
along the path of such shallow, hollow and mediocre religiosity.
back convinced perhaps more than ever before that the Gospel of Christ is the
most potent force for individual and social transformation. I have taken a
close look at the Acts of Apostles, and seen once again how the early
Christians gave loud, courageous and radical witness to the life of Jesus
Christ, and I am convinced that (even in the Nigerian environment of today)
with the power of the Holy Spirit poured out to the Church on Pentecost day, we
can submit ourselves wholeheartedly to the Lord, and He will set us on the path
of authentic Christian discipleship. We must start thinking of doing a few
things differently. It was Albert Einstein who said that you cannot solve a
problem with the same level of consciousness that created the problem. And in
education, I learned that if one has been teaching a class for a long time and
they keep failing, it is either that all the students are idiots, or the
teacher needs to re-examine his methodology. So we need to stop for a moment
and ask ourselves what this whole enterprise of going to Church in Nigeria is
part, I want to begin to do something different. I want to commit my life anew
to the Lord and to the mission of the Gospel and request those who want to
journey with me to re-commit themselves and their families anew to the Lord.
Yes, as Amos 3:3 says, “Do two people travel together on a journey without
first agreeing?” I would like to set in motion soon some modalities and
processes aimed at achieving this “agreement” among those who worship with me,
to travel together along the path of a more authentic Christian life. I would
like to explore the building of new Christian communities in the form of the
household Churches of the New Testament times. This means that large numbers
are not of primary importance in this new approach. Perhaps we could end up
with no more than 20 or 30 families at the Lux Terra Chaplaincy. And that would
be okay. I urge those who are interested in this enterprise to start reading
something about “Christian Covenant Communities.” Perhaps a discussion on this
concept will be the starting point…
National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has released the consumer price index,
which measures inflation stating that the index dropped year on year from 11.40
per cent in May to 11.22 per cent in June.
bureau said the June inflation rate of 11.22 per cent represents a decrease of
0.18 percentage points over the rate recorded in May.
month-on-month basis, it said the index increased by 1.07 per cent in June
2019, noting that this is 0.04 per cent rate lower than the 1.11 per cent
recorded in May.
report reads in part, “The CPI which measures inflation increased by 11.22
percent year-on-year in June 2019.
0.18 percent points lower than the rate recorded in May 2019 (11.40) percent.”
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Monday said the latest open letter written by
former President Olusegun Obasanjo to President Muhammadu Buhari on the
worsening insecurity and unrestrained bloodletting in the country, has
vindicated its position and that of millions of Nigerians that Buhari
had failed as the nation’s chief security officer.
opposition party, therefore, urged President Buhari to listen to Obasanjo.
even as the party described the open letter as patriotic, momentous and one that
“captures the apprehensions of majority of Nigerians across the board.”
statement signed by its national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the
party noted that President Obasanjo’s letter “reechoes its numerous cautions
against the violations, insensitivity, impunity, vindictiveness, divisiveness,
intolerance and dangerous sectionalism that characterise the Buhari
administration and which are jeopardizing our national unity.”
President Buhari to “read between the lines and listen to the voice of reason
from well-meaning Nigerians at this moment.
statement continued: “Our party is deeply worried that our nation, which grew
in leaps and bounds in all sectors before the All Progressives Congress (APC)
took over in 2015, is now dangerously sliding on all fronts under President
Buhari, who has shown crass incompetence in managing our national affairs.”
maintained that had President Buhari heeded wise counsel to re-jig his parade
and respect the wishes and aspirations of Nigerians in the national interest,
Nigeria would not have been on this dangerous bend.
remains that President Buhari has not demonstrated the capacity to lead a
nation as complex as our Nigeria. Events have shown that he cannot handle our
diversities and ensure a united and equitable country that guarantees fairness,
justice and space to all citizens without fear or favour.
therefore counsels President Buhari to listen to the pulse of our nation;
accept his failure and seek help from other well-meaning Nigerians so as to
take back our nation from this imminent precipice.”
also called on all Nigerians across divides, irrespective of creed, ethnicity
and political leaning, to close ranks, eschew all primordial and parochial
interests and work together for the stability of the nation.
Barrister Jiti Ogunye, a
constitutional lawyer and public affairs analyst, is the Principal
Counsel, Jiti Ogunye Chambers. In this interview with TEMIDAYO AKINSUYI, he spoke on former president Olusegun
Obasanjo’s letter and his proposed Coalition for Nigerian Movement and other
Former president Olusegun Obasanjo in his letter to President Muhammadu
Buhari asked him to honourably dismount from the horse and not bother seeking
reelection in 2019. Do you think this advice should be heeded by the president?
think that a lot of people are rather angry that the advice is coming from
former president Olusegun Obasanjo. They regard him as hypocritical,
self-serving, holier-than-thou and overbearing bordering on dictatorship.
Some have even accused him of suffering from messianic complex, I am the best
and people who have come after me don’t know anything about governance.
That is the criticism of many because those that Obasanjo arranged to succeed
him in power weren’t fit for the purpose, either because they were ill, most
unfortunately allegedly to Obasanjo’s knowledge when he foisted them on the
party, PDP and on Nigeria being their willing campaign manager or because of
lack of seriousness in an otherwise serious environment of governance. He
has been accused of being a failure on that score alone, not to talk of the
policies that he himself implemented when he was in government. Those
criticising him are more or less saying that the teacher is not qualified to
teach or ‘Teacher, don’t teach me nonsense’. But I have publicly argued that
even if we are to look towards the Scriptures and hearken to the injunction
therein which says that ‘ What you are desperate to hear from the wise and
prudent, sometimes it comes from the babes and the sucklings’. In this
part of the world, the Yoruba will say that sometimes, what you are anxious to
hear from the wise or from the mouth of the sane, may come from the mouth of
the madman. So for me, there is a distinction between Obasanjo the person
and the message he has given.
Why do you say that?
Chief Obasanjo has said is not what the ordinary people are now saying. Indeed,
I regard him as a fantastic collator, as a person who deftly has assembled the
gory facts of our national existence at this time and has delivered a message
of pervading hopelessness on the country. He has travelled through all
that afflict us such as poor economic management, disastrous foreign policy,
nepotism in government, worsening ethnic relation in the country, clashes
between herdsmen and farmers and the state of insecurity which is very
alarming now all over the country. We were told that Boko Haram has been
degraded and technically defeated but we still see what they do. Each time they
strike, government spokespersons say they are only attacking soft targets as if
those soft targets are not human beings that should be protected. Also to
be mentioned is the anti-corruption war which has suffered some kind of
reversal because of obvious nepotism, some people being regarded as sacred
cows. So, Obasanjo has collated all these and my expectations are that
government should sit down ask itself sincerely: What is Obasanjo saying? What
are Nigerians saying? What areas require urgent remediation? How do we
have a more prosperous, united union for our country? The issue of
restructuring by the APC panel which they really don’t want to initially but
which they are now goaded to revisiting. In the manifesto, you promised
that we are going to have devolution of powers, restructuring, state police and
all that but now, they have to be reminded that it is a promise they made in
their manifesto. They denied it but eventually they set up a committee which
has now turned in a report to the party. So, how do you then get the government
of the APC to accept these recommendations and then move the discussion
forward? I think these are the things that the government should look to.
What is your perspective on the response by the FG through the Minister
blandish throwback of economic indices and data that is usually the knee-jerk
response of government won’t help in this situation. You can throw up
your economic indices and data showing that the economy is improving
fantastically. You can talk about the Stock Exchange that is rated very high by
western countries, all I know is that wages have not increased, people are
spending more now to buy less, and things are costlier now than they were
before. For those who are making comparism between locally produced rice and
imported rice in terms of price to show that those imported bags of rice were
costlier than the locally produced ones. Do you expect a bag of rice that is
produced in Nigeria to be costlier than the one that is imported with import
duties and so on? Those are not the arguments you should throw up.
Parents find it difficult now taking care of their children. It is more
difficult for people to go to school now. So, this government of Change should
look at all these. We miss the point when we just say to hell with
Obasanjo and his bad verses. Assuming Obasanjo was opportunistic in
writing that letter, if there were no issues for him to write about, if this
government had delivered on its promises to Nigerians, he will be sounding
stupid writing those letters. The letter will not gain any resonance in the
polity. In fact, Nigerians will dismiss him as somebody who has lost his mind
because what he wrote in his letter is so different from the reality on
ground. But his letters always gain resonance because of what is on the ground.
The only caveat I have is that now that these analyses have been made, what is
What is your take on Obasanjo’s Coalition for Nigerian Movement?
we are top take the model of the ramshackle liberal democracy we claim that we
are practicing, Obasanjo’s recommendations is outside the framework of what his
Coalition for Nigeria, which may then transmute into a political party and then
contests election at which stage he said he will then withdraw because he wants
to continue to play the role of an elder statesman having said earlier than he
is done with partisan politics. He even said in that letter that those
who must be willing to participate in his conceived Coalition for Nigeria must
come from all walks of life. Given the follow-ups to that letter, we
learn that politicians across the two political parties (APC and PDP) are being
wooed to participate in this coalition. That part is a path that is
fraught with danger because it is a recipe for recycling those who have caused
our nightmares in the last 19 years of our democracy. As you now realise,
the APC is not too different radically from the PDP. In any case, those who are
in PDP before are now in APC now and some of them are giving the hint that ‘if
their people asked them to go back to their home in PDP, they will
go’. If you are asking those who are disgruntled about the Buhari
administration to now find their ways into this coalition for Nigeria, what you
are going to have is still chieftains of the political class of Nigeria
cohabiting in this coalition for Nigeria and then bidding for power being posed
as an alternative. My own suggestion is that you have all these political
parties in Nigeria and INEC is complaining now that they are unwieldy. These
political parties should do some serious soul- searching realistically since
they have to play mass politics and not office projects, staying in one office
and issuing press statements and deluding themselves that they are mass-based
political parties. Isn’t it time that they merge based on ideological affinity
and political similarity. In other words, they should go back to play the APC
playbook now that they still have time. All of them must start talking to
one another right now and say ‘we should be the alternative’ and then the
Nigerian people can then see the alternative to the APC and PDP and not what
Obasanjo is recommending.www.independent.ng
Pope Francis prays for the
migrants killed this week by an air strike on a detention center in Libya, and
recalls the many victims of massacres in Afghanistan, Mali, Burkina Faso and
By Linda Bordoni
Pope Francis on Sunday invited the faithful to join him in
prayer for the “poor, unarmed people who were killed or injured by an air
strike on a detention center for migrants in Libya”.
addressing the crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the Angelus
assessment of the attack reported that 53 people were killed in the strike,
including 6 children, and that 130 others were injured.
said “there are reports that following the first impact, some refugees and
migrants were fired upon by guards as they tried to escape.”
international community, the Pope added, must not tolerate such serious
went on to express his hope that “humanitarian corridors may be opened in an
organized and concerted manner for the migrants who are most in need”.
the Pope said he wished to remember “all the victims of the recent massacres in
Afghanistan, Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger,” and before saying goodbye to the
faithful he had a special greeting for the Eritrean community in Rome to whom
he said: “I pray for your people!”
do or die politics and the get-rich-quick mentality among the youth have forced
many into diabolic means to realize their inordinate ambitions. One of such
evil means is ritual killings, either to get money or achieve success in
by this ugly development, a religious leader and a traditional ruler, have at
different fora raised the alarm against the fiendish trend.
at Maria Assumpta Cathedral Owerri recently, the Catholic Archbishop of Owerri,
Most Rev. Anthony J.V. Obinna noted that apart from Diala/Osu/Ohu segregation,
another evil in Igboland and other parts of Nigeria is ritual killing.
some go into rituals, using human beings, human blood, seeking power from a
helpless human being, from helpless goats and dogs for money and power,” he
Describing such rituals as wasted sacrifices, the prelate said he heard that
such rituals are performed in private, public and even in official places by
people who seek power and money”. He said that such diabolic acts are holding
the scripture, Archbishop Obinna asked: “What will one gain by winning the
whole world and forfeit his soul”?
attributed poverty and misery in the land to lack of wisdom, saying, that is
why we have failed despite God’s richly blessing on this land.
He said Nigerians have a lot of intelligence but lack wisdom. “Intelligence is
only a raw instrument that can be used for evil or for goodness.
we use our intelligence more for evil than goodness. It’s only when intelligence
transmutes to wisdom that goodness, justice, uprightness, honesty etc, will
manifest and transform our society.
related development, the Benin Monarch, Oba Ewuare II has also expressed
concern over the growing cases of money rituals among the youths. He warned
that the behaviour which is receiving wide patronage by yahoo yahooboys, was
abominable and alien to Benin customs and tradition.
a service in Benin, the Monarch advised youths to shun money rituals, noting
that there was no easy way for wealth accumulation.
He said, “youths cling to the illusion that they
can become wealthy by killing people or stealing female underwears for ritual
purposes. They will no doubt face the consequences.”
Ewuare also warned politicians to desist from violence and other acts capable
of truncating the electoral process. He also cautioned the youths not to allow
themselves to be used as political thugs to cause mayhem during elections.
President, Ayuba-Wabba (middle) addressing a world press conference at its
headquarters on suspension of warning strike on new national minimum wage
Nigeria Labour Congress has urged the Federal Government to deepen democractic
tenets that would end current poverty and hardship in the country.
Assistant Secretary, Information, DenjaYaqub, made this call at a Public
Lecture in commemoration of the 45th Anniversary of the establishment of
Diplomatic Relations between the Republic of Cuba and Nigeria in Keffi,
Agency of Nigeria reports that the event was organised at the instance of the
Nigeria Movement of Solidarity with Cuba.
noted that it was a matter for regret that the dividends of democracy was not
being felt by the public, expressing concerns over imperialist tendencies in
it was high time young persons began to think of how to nationally change the narrative of citizen’s
plight, saying the issue of privatisation of public utilities was a major
concern to the organised labour.
Nigerian government ought to take a cue from the Cuban experience wherein they
revolted against imperialism by thinking inwards for self-development and
“What has made Cuba succeed is much more than solidarity, but an ideological
commitment to move the country forward without any ethnicity, without thinking
about religion or tribe.
problem we have now in Nigeria is ‘Where are you from’, nobody is talking about
the damage capitalism has done to the country, imperialism is attacking
countries, it is after the natural resources of these countries, and this
affects us because our leaders lack ideas.
“We run a
system that is imposed on us; public service entails that we have access to
public water, electricity and education but all of these have been privatised.
has to do with capitalism and we must do a lot to end it; young persons should
rethink and think liberation, national, and socialism for inclusive
commended the cordial relations between Nigeria and the Republic of Cuba in
diverse areas of health, history, education and ideological commitment.
Jonathan Ayuba, Dean, School of Postgraduate Studies, Nasarawa State
University, highlighted historical relationship between Nigeria and Cuba.
African countries ought to stand in full solidarity against the present issues
of media repression, social injustices and economic imbalances in the Cuban
republic, following its role in liberation of some countries in the region.
pledged the commitment of the university in supporting the goal of ending
injustice in the region, saying the collaboration was a two-way benefit for
the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof Suleiman Mohammed, called on the
Cuban Government to support the institution in the construction of its College
of medicine, highlighting their achievements in world class experience in
health care delivery.
minimum wage implementation, Mohammed called on the State unions to be more
responsive, by holding the executives accountable.
“We need to carry the struggles to the states, they have to live up to their
responsibilities, labour must ensure that the state unions do more to ensure
full implementation of the national minimum wage.”
Ambassador to Nigeria, Carlos Trejo, said the Cuban people were conscious of
their cultural affinity with the African people.
said Cuba would always ensure that they shared their successes with the
Nigerian people, adding that his country’s past assistance to Nigeria was
devoid of any financial gains.
in spite of US strong opposition, Cuba would continue to maintain her strong
friendships with African and Nigerians.
ambassador said that Nigerians in Cuba were not regarded as Afro-Cubans, but as
Cubans, adding that his country would never let Africa down.
said in spite of imperialist aggressiveness from United States of North
America, the country had managed to achieve high political and mutual
confidence within the international community.
NAN recalls that the Cuba solidarity
organisations from the continent centre their efforts on demanding an end to
the economic, commercial, and financial blockade imposed by United States
government on Cuba, with protests outside US embassies and consulates across