Hajj 2019: 313 Pilgrims Quit Smoking – Agency
Not fewer thant 313 pilgrims from parts of the world have quit smoking since the start of the Hajj season, after visiting clinics of the Kafa (Enough) Society, according to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) in Makkah.
The agency, yesterday quoted Abdullah bin Dawwod Al-Fayez, Chairman, Kafa Makkah as making the disclosure.
“The pilgrims have been treated at Kafa’s clinics in Mina as part of strategic partnership with Abu Ghazaleh charity.
He said the partnership include Ministry of Hajj and Umrah as well as the Health Ministry’s anti-smoking programme.
According to the chairman, the programme is under the supervision of the main committee for awareness of smoking hazards in Makkah and the Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques.
“The results were remarkable this year as almost 113,000 pilgrims benefited from fixed and mobile Kafa awareness clinics.
“The clinics distributed awareness brochures, treatment cards and miswak as an alternative to 11,480 cigarettes that have been put down after counseling.
“The programme is taking place for the fourth year in a row. It raises the awareness of pilgrims about the hazards of smoking, providing them with an opportunity to quit during the holy season.
“The project consists of two phases. The first one is next to the Grand Mosque’s squares, while the second one is at Mina with an awareness exhibition and a fully equipped treatment clinic.”
According to health experts, smoking cigarette is the major cause of cancer as well as respiratory diseases, among other hazards to public health.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that no fewer than 1.8 million Muslims globally, including 65,000 pilgrims from Nigeria, performed this year Hajj in Saudi Arabia.
Lent: Priest Preaches Forgiveness for Improved Christian Life
The Catholic Priest in charge of Holy Spirit Church, Onireke, Lagos, Rev. Fr. Anthony Okereke, has urged Christians to imbibe the spirit of forgiveness for spiritual growth.
Okereke, a Soul Revival and Healing Gospel Preacher, made the call while celebrating an early morning Lent Mass on Saturday.
He said the essence of the mass was to reposition Christian faithful to partake in the blessings of the Lent season.
The priest said the Lent seasons should be used by Christians to atone for their sins and be better positioned to communion with God.
Okereke said that the season was an important period in the life of every Christian, adding, ”it’s a time to make peace with God and humans”.
”The fasting and prayers that we undertake during Lent will be meaningless if we still harbour acrimonies against our neigbhours.
”If we expect God to forgive us of our misdeeds, we must first forgive those who have wronged us.
”We must remember that God created man in His own image and likeness, so we must begin to make peace with your fellow humans,” he said.
The catholic clergy further urged Christians not to relent in praying for national unity, peace and development.
”If there is a man to pray, there is God to answer. Let us use the Lent season to seek the face of God,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Lent is a 40-day period of fasting and prayer which comes before Easter in the Christian calendar.
The 2023 Lent season which began on Feb. 22, would end on April 6.(NAN)
CAN has not Endorsed any Governorship Candidate in Plateau – Chairman
The Plateau chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) says it has not endorsed governorship candidate of any political party.
Its chairman, Rev. Fr. Polycarp Lubo, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Jos on Sunday that Plateau electorate should turn out en-masse on March 11 to vote for the leader of their choice.
“Concerning the governorship and the state assembly elections, be enthusiastic to come and vote en-masse the candidate of your choice in the interest of Plateau.
“Vote candidates who are God-fearing; have integrity and are accountable; vote men and women of good character and who have track records and are passionate about Plateau,’’ he charged.
Lubo thanked Plateau people for participating in the presidential election, saying that those whose candidates did not win should not be discouraged from participating in the governorship election.
He added that it was important for Plateau to pray for the will of God to prevail at the elections.
The CAN leader in Plateau also admonished the people not to take the laws into their hands no matter the outcome of the elections. (NAN)
290 Christian Pilgrims Depart for Israel
The Nigeria Christian Pilgrims Commission (NCPC), said it transported the eighth batch of no fewer than 290 Christian pilgrims from Adamawa and Lagos States to Jordan and Israel for pilgrimage.
The pilgrims departed on Tuesday through the Yola International Airport.
Addressing the pilgrims, NCPC’s Executive Secretary, Rev.Yakubu Pam, said that 120 pilgrims were from Adamawa and 170 from Lagos State, including those who sponsored themselves.
He urged them to be good ambassadors of Nigeria and abide by rules and regulations for a hitch-free exercise.
Pam tasked pilgrims to be prayerful for continued peace as well as stability of the nation and peaceful elections to be accepted as the will of God.
“This is the eighth batch; the first batch left on December 16th, through Enugu International Airport. All of the batches became prayer warriors for the general elections.
“And today, you can see how the election is going; if not because of prayers by now Nigeria could have been something else. So your prayers have to be higher for governorship elections to be successful,” he said.
He also warned pilgrims against absconding and engaging in religious aspects of life while in the Holy land.
Pam commended President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Ahmadu Fintiri for their support and cooperation with the commission and the pilgrims.
In his remarks, Chairman of Adamawa Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board, Rev. Peter Birth, urged the pilgrims to pray for peaceful elections and a peaceful transition of government.
He also commended the Adamawa Government for all the support rendered to ensure that the pilgrimage was successful.
NCPC’S Chaplin and Director, Special Duties, Pastor Raphael Oyinloye, charged the pilgrims to take the journey as a spiritual act of worship and not for tourism.
He urged them to also be obedient to authorities and the officials for a hitch-free exercise (NAN)
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