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Catholic Bishops Task FG on Peace, Security

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The Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) has urged the Federal Government to further strengthen the peace and security of the nation.

Most. Rev. Augustine Akubeze, CBCN President, said this during the opening ceremony of the second plenary of CBCN in Abeokuta on Sunday at the Sacred Heart College Hall.

Earlier in the day, the bishops were joined by Catholic lay faithful, priests and leaders of other Christian denominations at the opening mass for the plenary meeting held at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Cathedral, Itesi Abeokuta .

The conference which converged the presence of all Catholic bishops in Nigeria in Abeokuta addressed the state of the nation among other pertinent issues affecting the Catholic Church and the country at large.

Akubeze said that it remained the duty of the government to protect the constitutional rights of its citizens and also ensure peace and effective security.

He said that adequate security of lives and properties would bring about peace and would eventually lead to sustainable development.

Akubuze also the  Catholic Archbishop of Benin Archdiocese condemned the recent killings of some Catholic priests  in some parts of the country.

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“Only recently we heard of the burning of Rev. Fr. David Tanko of Jalingo Diocese to death and only recently we heard of the killing of a priest in Enugu Diocese.

“We Catholic priests and faithfu must preach daily the message of peace and justice. It is part of the message of Christ. It is part of the mission of the church.

“As missionaries, we must be harbingers of justice and peace in our land.

“We are just interested in living our lives peacefully without any fear of being kidnapped for ransom or being driven from our home land.

“Every government that fails to protect the constitutional rights of her citizens has failed. The leaders of a country should ensure peace and security of his people,” he said.

Also, the Chairperson of the conference, Prof. Catherine Eromosele, decried the continued  keeping hostage of  Leah Sharibu.

Eromosele said that she  had spent no less than 1,980 days in the custody of  Boko Haram, and urged the Bishops to keep her matter  and others abducted alive.

Eromosele appealed to the Catholic clerics to urge the Federal Government to do all that is possible to ensure their release without further delay.

In his remarks, Gov. Dapo Abiodun of Ogun lauded the Catholic Church for contributing to the development of the state and  the country at large.

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He called on the church to continue to pray for the peace and unity of the country.

He  added that the present administration under President Muhammadu Buhari would not disappoint Nigerians by fulfilling his electioneering.

Gov. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti and his Plateau  counterpart, Simon Lalong and  the Minister of Transportation, Mr  Rotimi Amaechi attended the events.

Also,  Prof. Pat Utomi, Mr Jimi Agbaje, the Alake of Egba Land,  Oba  Adedotun Gbadebo were among the dignitaries at both the mass and the opening ceremony. (NAN)

Religion

Katsina-Ala Catholic Diocese, Installs Dugu, New Bishop

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From David Torough, Makurdi

Most Reverend Isaac Dugu was on Friday installed the new Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Katsina-Ala.

The Episcopal Consecration and Installation of Reverend Dugu took place at Akume Atongo Stadium, Katsina-Ala, the headquarters of Katsina-Ala Local Government Area of Benue State.

Bishop Dugu was installed as the second Bishop of the Catholic Diocese.

Speaking on the occasion, Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom who joined other Nigerians from all walks of life in solidarity to witness the event reaffirmed the readiness of his administration to sustain the partnership it has with the Church towards tackling the challenges militating against development.

He congratulated the new Bishop and prayed that his Episcopate would win more souls for Jesus and sustain peace in Katsina-Ala Diocese and the State in general.

Earlier in a homily, the Apostolic Nuncio to Nigeria, Most Reverend Antonio Guido Filipazzi explained that the primary task of the Bishop is to promote unity among the people so that they may love God and follow his teachings, pointing out that “The Bishop’s mission is at the service of the unity of the Church and humanity.”

The Papal Nuncio who was the Principal Consecrator, discouraged divisions in the Church stressing that “If the Church is divided, the society cannot stand united” and urged the faithful to collaborate with the new Bishop for the unity of the Diocese.

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Metropolitan Archbishop of Abuja Archdiocese, Most Reverend Ignatius Ayau Kaigama who spoke on behalf of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, CBCN, promised to stand by the new Bishop and the Diocese of Katsina-Ala urging him to bring his talents to bear on the Nigerian Church.

Most Reverend Dugu in his acceptance speech, appreciated God and thanked the Holy Father, Pope Francis for finding him worthy of appointment.

He acknowledged the sacrifices of his predecessor, late Bishop Peter Adoboh in laying a foundation for the Diocese and pledged to work hard to sustain the legacies of tending the flock with dedication.

Also speaking, the Bishop of Gboko Diocese, Most Reverend William Avenya thanked Pope Francis for the opportunity to oversee the Diocese of Katsina-Ala as Apostolic Administrator.

Bishop Avenya also commended Governor Ortom for what he described as the Governor’s “Wonderful accompaniment with the Church”, saying the Governor animated the work and has provided a functional vehicle for the new Bishop.

The Tor Tiv, His Royal Majesty, Professor James Iorzua Ayatse in a goodwill message appreciated God and Pope Francis for appointing a new Bishop for Katsina-Ala and counselled his subjects to support the new Bishop in prayers to succeed; expressing the hope that God would use the Bishop to restore peace and development in the Sankera axis of the State.

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Top government officials among them the Senator representing Benue North-East Senatorial district, Senator Gabriel Suswam, Speaker, Benue State House of Assembly and PDP Governorship Candidate, Engr. Titus Uba, Secretary to State Government, Professor Anthony Ijohor, SAN as well as 26 Catholic Bishops across the country graced the event.

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POLITICS

Enenche Blasts APC, PDP Over Stand on Igbo President

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Pastor Paul Enenche of Dunamis International Gospel Center has lambasted Nigerian politicians and leaders of the two main political parties, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for failing to give their presidential tickets for the 2023 presidential electionsto the South East.

Speaking during the healing and deliverance service at the church’s headquarters, Glory Dome Abuja on Tuesday, fiery gospel preacher lamented how ethnic and religious groups are being marginalized in the country.

The man of God claimed that major political parties, especially the PDP and the APC should have zoned the presidency to the South-east to douse the ongoing agitation for secession.

He said, “When president Olusegun Obasanjo came into power in 1999 the two political parties decided to present candidates from the South-West.

There were South-West Christians so it was narrowed down.

“At this time now, let me ask a question, what is wrong if it was narrowed down to Southeast? I am asking out loud. People Who have felt so marginalized and oppressed for a long time.

“Why can’t they be sensible and say let south-east produce presidency so that the parties give tickets to candidates from the region?

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“Who says that such cannot calm down the agitation in that area and also give that region some sense of belonging?.

“Who says that an Easterner can not be a president of Nigeria. What did they do? What is their offence? Who said it? Where was the law made from? never for once.

“Those who have had presidency many times are still clamouring to come. That is to say, there is a group of people that are not humans. Such useless things are happening in various states of the country and Jehovah is arresting the situation.

“I say it with authority, there is no part of this country that is stronger or better than the other. And I can tell you in both capacity and wisdom if the same people have been ruling and everything is degenerating why can’t you try other people and see whether things will not change? whether things will not be better. Jehovah will change it by force. He will change the narrative by force”.

Many stakeholders had urged the two main political parties to zone their presidential tickets to the South East, but was not adhered to.

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CRIME

Ondo Attack: Nigeria Fast Becoming Failed State – ECWA President.

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From Jude Dangwam, Jos

The President Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) and the head of TEKAN-ECWA Bloc of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Rev. Dr. Stephen Baba Panya has cautioned that Nigeria must not tow the path of Somalia.

He said the many killings, banditry, kidnappings, and criminalities across the country were clear pointers to the existential fact that Nigeria was fast becoming a failed state and heading towards anarchy and disintegration.

 

Panya stated this Monday in a press statement signed and made available to Newsmen in Jos the Plateau State capital.

According to him, “What is really keeping Nigeria today is nothing but the grace and mercies of God, and we must not take this for granted as a nation. As a multi-religious and multi-ethnic nation, every effort must be made not to destabilize our nation’s critical fault lines.

 

“Nigeria should learn from the bitter experience of countries such as Somalia, which is known as the most homogenous nation in terms of religion, ethnicity, language and culture. However, due to the clannish war, it has not known peace since 1991.”

The ECWA President said the attack was a well calculated assault on the peace-loving people of the Owo Kingdom and the entire Christendom in Nigeria; describing it as “barbaric, vile, wicked, Satanic, and a deliberate action to wipe out Christianity in the country.”

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“That the attack was carried out on Pentecost Sunday, the generally acknowledged ‘birthday’ of the Church, clearly shows it is a continuation of the relentless but futile effort of the devil and his agents to exterminate the Church in Nigeria,” Panya stated.

The President while condoling with the families of the victims, the Catholic Church and the Christendom in Nigeria, expressed worries thus, “ECWA is worried at the increasing spate of hostility against the Church in Nigeria without the government taking drastic and adequate measures to forestall such acts.

“We also need to draw attention to another unfortunate trend that is gradually emerging and rapidly taking root as the new normal in our nation. This is the killing of people on alleged blasphemy being promoted and perpetrated by Islamic extremists.

“We recall the gruesome murder of Deborah Samuel Yakubu, a young Christian girl in Sokoto, and more recently, in Abuja, the murder of Odaru, a young Muslim vigilante from Nasarawa state for alleged blasphemy. We also recall the recent killing of Harira Jibril and her four children in Anambra state for reasons that are not yet very clear.”

Panya cautioned that people who perpetrate such evil will continue to be emboldened to do more havoc when there are no visible and deterrent repercussions for their actions.

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“The greatest honor that can be done to the victims of this attack is to get to the root of the matter and bring the perpetrators to justice no matter who they are and where they come from,” he stated.

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