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Eid-el-Kabir: Atiku Tasks Nigerians on Sacrifice, Love and Hope

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Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar has congratulated Muslims in Nigeria and across the World on the occasion of the Eid-el-Kabir celebration.

in a statement in Abuja, Atiku reminded all Muslims on the essence of the celebration of the Eid-el-Kabir, which he said was about sacrifice, love, and hope for a peaceful coexistence in Nigeria and the world at large.

“The purpose of the celebration has a bold reflection on Nigeria. Our country is broken and insecurity has become a daily menace staring all our compatriots in the face. 

“The hardships in the land and the harrowing experiences that people go through to survive, and the pervasive lack of unity amongst Nigerians, are the reasons why we must do a sober reflection on the State of our Nation, as we mark this year’s Sallah.

“Therefore, selfless sacrifice and communal love as exemplified by Prophet Ibrahim and his son, Ishmael, should guide us, as we submit ourselves and needs to the Will of Allah.

“If we emulate the righteousness and great virtues of the Holy Prophet, mankind shall no doubt receive the reward of Allah’s love and mercy,” he stated.

He said the privileged and wealthy needed to intensify their acts of charity to the less privileged, adding there was love in sharing. 

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“Let’s work in concert to purposefully lessen the hardship facing our brothers and sisters. Let’s love our neighbors as ourselves.

“I wish to also task the government at all levels to play its Constitutional role, by being upright and dutiful and prioritize the needs of the people they have taken an oath to serve. The unity, security and development of our country is sacrosanct.

“The expression of love and sacrifice symbolized by the Eid-el-Kabir celebration has a strong effect in the relationship between the government and the governed. It is incumbent on the government to optimally discharge its responsibilities to the people. It is only when this is done that there can be love between the government and the governed.

 “Love is a pre-condition for God’s mercies and blessings, and truth must guide all relationships, especially between the government and the people.

“As stakeholders, the citizens too, should take a lesson from the celebration of Eid-el-Kabir by being up and doing in their civic responsibilities.

“As we inch towards the deadline on the on-going voter registration exercise, the people must ensure that they play their roles by not just getting their Permanent Voters Card (PVC), but casting their votes for the best candidates in the election next year.

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“Above all, I pray for peace during and after the Eid celebration even as I task Nigerians to work even harder in ensuring unity of all peoples, tribes and faiths in the country,” Atiku said.

Religion

Why we are Committed to Worship of Osun goddess—Foreign Devotees

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Some foreign devotees at the just concluded  Osun-Osogbo festival have expressed  belief in the sanctity of the Osun deity, saying the annual fiesta offers opportunity for worship through the sacred grove.

The tourists, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sidelines of the grand finale of the festival in Osogbo, said the event gave them joy and a sense of belonging in the worship of the Osun goddess.

A Brazilian, Mrs Regina Alberto, said she was in Osun specifically for the Osun-Osogbo festival as a devotee of the Yoruba Orisa worship.

NAN reports that Alberto is a member of the Odudua Worldwide Group, a Diaspora socio-cultural organisation committed to the promotion of Yoruba culture, tradition and worship.

NAN also reports that no fewer than 50 members of the group were sighted at the sacred grove during Friday’s grand finale.

Alberto, who said this was  her second outing at the festival,  however, said that  her group had been coming for the festival since 2011.

“I am from Brazil. I am with Odudua Brazil, which is part of Odudua Worldwide Group.

“This is my second year of coming for the festival, but my group had been coming since 2011.

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“The Osun-Osogbo festival is very important to us because in Brazil we praise Orisa diety and being here and seeing everyone praying and worshipping, just like we try to do is so emotional.

“The energy is so powerful , it is really hard not to cry, ” she said.

Alberto said the understanding of her group  that the source and worship point of the Osun goddess was located at the Osun-Osogbo grove spurred its interest in the festival.

She said the festival gave members of the visiting devotees joy to be in company of indigenous devotees and others from around the world to celebrate the Osun goddess.

Also speaking with NAN, a German, Johnnnes Wollbold, said he was in Osun to study Yoruba culture and take part in the Osun-Osogbo festival.

Wollbold said the study  would give him a comprehensive report on the lives and nature of Osogbo people.

Wollbold, who said he came from Weimer Germany, said he was working in partnership with Jungle Communication Centre(JCC) to study African philosophy vis-a-vis Yoruba culture.

He said he had been to Nigeria three times in the 90s but  took part in Osun-Osogbo festival in 1995.

“I am here to study Yoruba /West African culture, the music, drumming, dancing and African philosophy.

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“The Yoruba culture is not individualistic, often the Yoruba celebrate together and the Osun festival brings people together.

“The festival afforded me the opportunity to understand how the Yoruba people   mix together, their contact with nature and  harmony between nature and humans, and  not forgetting their roots.

“The Osun festival is joy of life. I see people in their everyday life, joyful and I love the celebration.

” I like the Yoruba people. They are friendly. They are not individualistic . As a German-European , I will, however, like them to stay peaceful.

“There is a senseless war in Europe between Russia and Ukraine which is crazy, so I will advise Nigerians to learn to settle their differences and stay peaceful,” he said. (NAN)

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Delta Transports 312 Christian Pilgrims to Jordan

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No fewer than 312 Christian pilgrims from Delta were on Monday transported to the Holy land, Jordan in Israel through the Port Harcourt International Airport.
The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission, Rev. Yakubu Pam, at the departure briefing in Asaba, warned the intending pilgrims against absconding.
The NCPC boss, represented by the Director of Mobilization, Mr Chris Udegbunam, lauded Gov.

Ifeanyi Okowa for his consistency in the sponsorship of Christians in the state on pilgrimage.
Pam congratulated the intending pilgrims for their level of preparedness both spiritually and physically to embark on the journey of faith.
According to him, ”it is the policy of the commission to achieve zero absconding of pilgrims in the Holy land.”
He, therefore enjoined not to abscond, adding, ”he commission frowns seriously at it and would do everything humanly possible to discourage it.

Okowa, represented by the Commissioner, Bureau for Special Duties, Johnbull Edema, urged the pilgrims to be good ambassadors of the state and not bring disrepute to the state government.
He said that as pilgrims they need to conduct themselves in a manner befitting and worthy of Christians.

Okowa said that the exercise would offer opportunity for the pilgrims to visit historical biblical sites they read in the Bible and to draw them closer to God.

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He urged them to pray and seek the face of God for the peace, unity and development of the state and county particularly as the nation gradually approaches the 2023 General Elections.

In his remarks, the Chairman, Delta State Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board, Most Rev. Cyril Odutemu, admonished the intending pilgrims to conduct themselves decently while in the Holy land.
He warned them against unruly behavior in the Holy land and advised them not to do anything that would undermine the security of the host country.
Also, the Executive Secretary of the Board, Apostle Samuel Okoh, charged the intending pilgrims to be good ambassadors of the state and Nigeria.(NAN)

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Soludo urges Churches to Promote Unity for Healthy Nation 

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Charles Soludo, the Governor of Anambra, has called on the churches to have spirit of ecumenism to build a healthy nation.

Soludo made the call at a Holy Eucharistic Thanksgiving Services for His Grace, Most Revd Alexander Ibezim, on his 60th birthday in Awka on Sunday.

Newsmen report that ecumenism is the principle or aim of promoting unity among the world’s Christian Churches.

Newsmen report that the thanksgiving service was a wrap up of a week-long ceremony to mark Ibezim’s 60th birthday, three years of Archiepiscopacy, 12 years of Episcopacy, amongst others.

Soludo commended the giant strides of the cleric of the Anglican Diocese of Awka, who has through his 38 years in God’s vineyard, 12 years of Episcopacy and three years of Archiepiscopacy, improved the society.

The governor said that if churches could promote ecumenism, irrespective of their denominations, it would be a link bridge to enthrone peace, unity and progress of the nation.

He appealed to the churches not to relent but to always pray fervently for the nation’s unity and development.

Soludo said that the state would not be tired of fighting insecurity, urging the people to join hands with the state government to fight insecurity in the state.

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“There is nothing like unknown gunmen, the gunmen are known; you should report any suspicious character around you and save the state pains of insecurity,” he said.

The governor said that Anambra would be 31 years of its creation on Aug. 27, assuring the people that his administration would make schools, road network and other basic amenities, its priority.

“I will not celebrate now, but will celebrate when poverty is chased out of the state by making every one economically fit to fend for his family.

“When the work of seen  growth and development is rooted in all sectors of Anambra’s economy,” he said.

In a sermon, Most Revd Henry Ndukuba, the Archbishop Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria Anglican Communion, encouraged Ibezim to stand strong in the things of God and ensure that his light do not dim.

Ndukuba, also urged religious leaders and the laity to give quality support to the cleric for him to fulfill his calling into the vineyard of God.

He urged all political leaders present to serve responsibly, saying they are to give account of their stewardship.

Ndukuba urged the faithful to support the church to build a healthy society through its developmental projects in Awka Diocese.

The Archbishop said that over 10 projects were inugrauated and dedicated including, Mary Summer Vocational Institute Awka; Millennium Nursing School; Renaissance Modern Polytechnic,Mbaukwu; Anglican Village; Faculty of Law, Paul’s University; Chapel of Redemption, among others.

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“All these projects would not only offer quality education to youths, but also wealth creation and spiritual growth of the people; it is a noble action by the diocese,” he said.

In his remarks, Ibezim assured the church that he would not relent in evangelism and social development as a way to promote the gospel till it gets to nooks and crannies of the state.

He said that the years spent in the vineyard of God and his 28 years of progressive marriage union “encourages him to serve God more”.

Also, Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta, attended the programme, where he urged the faithful to always pray for oneness of the nation as spiritual leaders.

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