The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) on Tuesday disclosed that no fewer than 65,000 Nigerian pilgrims are in Saudi Arabia for the 2019 Hajj.
An official of the commission, Dr Aliyu Tanko, told newsmen in Makkah that adequate arrangements have been made by NAHCON to ease the difficulties in performing the Hajj, which begins on Saturday.
He said that all Nigerian pilgrims have arrived the Holy land and were engaged in preliminary activities preparatory to the conduct of the proper Hajj.
He commended the excellent arrangements made by the Saudi Arabian authorities to avoid congestion and commotion on Arafat day and during the stoning of the devil in Muna.
The commission official said that the Saudi Arabian authorities have dedicated a road solely for Nigerian pilgrims during the stoning of the devil.
“We are highly pleased with this arrangement, this singular honor explains the cordial relationship and friendship existing between Nigeria and Saudi Arabia government.
“NAHCON has provided enough and fully air conditioned vehicles that will be shuttling with the pilgrims during the movement of the pilgrims to the designated worship places.
“The commission has also engaged the services of competent and well experienced individuals to serve as guide to avoid cases of missing pilgrims, while we have also made arrangements for tracking devices to monitor the movement of our pilgrims,”he said.
Tanko commended the excellent conduct of Nigerian pilgrims in the Holy land, as not a single case of breach of Law has been reported to the commission, but warned the pilgrims against exposing themselves to the harsh weather which may affect their health.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that NAHCON has deployed no fewer than 350 medical personnel to Saudi Arabia to provide medical services to Nigerian pilgrims.
Gov. Obaseki cautions intending christian pilgrims against absconding
Obaseki, who gave the caution at a one-day Orientation/Retreat held for the intending Pilgrims on Thursday in Benin, also urged them to be good Ambassadors of the state and Nigeria at large.
The governor was represented by Ms Itohan Bazuaye, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youths and Special Duties.
Nigeria News Agency reports that the orientation/retreat, organised by the state Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board, has as theme: ‘’Pilgrimage: A tool for Moral Transformation and Spiritual Rebirth.’’
The governor said that the essence of the orientation was to physically and spiritually prepare the intending pilgrims for the journey to the holy land.
He said that the theme of the retreat was apt and timely, adding that the nation needed transformation and rebirth.
“Our poor value system and attitude must change. If we must succeed, then, every Nigerian and particularly believers who have visited the Holy Land must take their rightful position as transformation builders, ‘’he said.
Also speaking, the Chairman, Edo Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board, Bishop Oyonnude Kure, said the retreat was aimed at correcting all wrong impressions concerning pilgrimage.
“It is not for tourism and not for business. It is to fulfill God’s injunction, “Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee, whose heart is set on pilgrimage (Psalm 84:5), “he said.
He thanked the state governor for providing the needed finances, logistics and medical team to ensure a successful 2019 pilgrimage.
An intending pilgrim, Prof. Jacob Unuigbe, said the retreat was a welcome idea, adding that it had exposed participants to the benefits of pilgrimage and ways to conduct themselves in the holy land.
“I want to specifically thank the state government for organising this retreat, it has exposed us to the type of journey we will be embarking on.
He expressed optimism that none of the intending pilgrims would abscond during the pilgrimage, adding that intending pilgrims had been thoroughly screened for them to participate in the exercise.
Edited & Vetted By: Joseph Edeh/Dada Ahmed
Church donates borehole to Kaduna community to ease water shortage
The Redeemed Christian Church in Jaji, has donated a borehole to Wusono community in Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State, to ease water shortage in the area.
General Overseer of the Church, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, said in a message to the inauguration of the borehole on Sunday, that it was part of church’s commitment in providing laudable projects aimed at uplifting the living standards of the people.
Adeboye who was represented by Assistant Pastor in charge of Kaduna region, Pastor Asegbare Brown, explained that the project was also in line with the church’s social responsibility.
He maintained that the church has made it a point of duty to impact positively on host communities by sinking boreholes, donation of hospital equipment and assisting the less privileged.
He also stressed that the gesture was part of its contribution towards complimenting the efforts of government in providing basic social amenities to the people.
Adeboye assured that the church will not relent in its efforts aimed at putting smiles on the faces of people.
Earlier the Pastor in charge of the province, Pastor Oyekanmi Kadiri said water is life, a basic necessity required by the community to safeguard their health.
Also speaking, Pastor in charge of the area, Pastor Dele Sonoiki explained that the the project was conceived owing to the difficulty the people of the community encounter in having access to quality drinking water.
Sonoiki urged the beneficiaries to maintain the facility, assuring that more communities in the area will benefit from the gesture.
In a remark, community leader, Mr Emmanuel Aket, expressed gratitude to the church for the gesture and appealed to other organisations to emulate the initiative.
Edited & Vetted By: Maharazu Ahmed
Fear of God, panacea to immoralities in Nigeria – Cleric
The National President of United Aladura Churches (UAC), Most. Sup. Evang. Samson Banjo, has said that the fear of God is the only solution to all the immoralities currently plaguing Nigeria.
Banjo stated this during at a news conference to herald activities marking the 15th anniversary celebrations of the church, on Friday in Ile-Ife.
He lamented the rate at which crimes, especially rape and abduction, were being perpetrated in the country, saying it was so alarming.
“What is even more worrisome and totally abhorred is the rising rate of incest and sexual assault on minors, sometimes even by their own relatives.
“It is even disgusting that some Christians and the so-called ministers of God are not exempted from all these evil acts, such as kidnapping, abduction and rituals, among others,” he said.
The cleric called on governments at all levels to enact laws that would spell out more stringent and corrective punishments for offenders.
He urged the security agencies to deal decisively with the menace and eradicate it before becoming a scourge.
Banjo also expressed concern over the rising rate of corruption in the country, saying it must be tackled with all seriousness.
“We pray for the spirit of righteousness to dwell in the minds of our leaders in Nigeria so that they can lead us aright, while the citizens too must have change of attitude,” he said.
The religious leader said that all the white garment church had decided to come together to ensuring proper monitoring of its members and eradicating all forms of atrocities among them.
This, he said, was aimed at promoting visible growth, purity, transparency, accountability, open-mindedness and unity among white garment churches, culminating into living exemplary lives.
Banjo warned those he called fake pastors who only preached prosperity and breakthrough to members with a view to deceiving and extorting them to desist forthwith.
He advised preachers to preach the true gospel to their congregations and emphasis their salvation rather than worldly things.
The cleric appealed to the Federal Government to provide job for the teeming unemployed youths as a way of curbing criminality and restiveness among them.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that the celebrations will be rounded off with a thanksgiving service at St. Uriel’s C & S Church, Ile-Ife, on Sunday.
Edited by ‘Wale Sadeeq
Cleric urges Christians to speak, fight against immorality in families
NNN: A cleric, Rev Chinedu Eboyi of the Anglican Church of Ascension, Enugu, has charged Christians to always speak the truth and to fight against immoral behaviors in their respective families to engender a better society.
Eboyi made the call while preaching a sermon on Sunday in Enugu.
The cleric lamented that the reason why so many things were going wrong in the society today was traceable to the fact that the church had refused to speak against evil.
“The Church has kept quiet that is why so many wrong things are happening, this is not that we are already in the last days as many have alluded.
“We have neglected and refused to keep to God’s covenants and as children of God, we need to obey and keep to the covenant of God to prosper.
“If a family maintains the covenant of God, as Christians, many generations of such family will reap the fruit of God’s blessings,” he said.
The cleric said that it was the responsibility of parents to train up their children in the way of God.
“If parents, who are Christians are living up to their responsibility, the society will have experienced lesser criminality.
“The Bible says train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it,” he said.
He buttressed his sermon with quotations from the Holy Book, Proverbs Chapter 22 verse 6 which said, train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Ondo governor’s wife criticises spate of single parenting in Nigeria
Mrs Akeredolu said this on Saturday while declaring open the 2019 Family Conference organised by the Blissful Home Initiative in Ijapo Estate Akure.
She lamented the increasing number of single-parenting in Nigeria, saying mothers were over-burdened with the task of raising children alone.
According to her, many men are absentee fathers which is the reason we live in an imbalanced and unprosperous society due to the absence of healthy families.
She emphasised the need for a progressive society where there was mutual respect and genuine love in the family noting that for a man to respect and value his wife did not mean he was weak.
“l always leverage on my position as the First Lady to promote a healthy family where both parents are actively involved in the care and development of their kids.
“As one of our activities in this regard, we included a family game that requires the participation of the father, mother and their toddler in the 2nd FOWOSO Summit scheduled to hold on the Dec. 4, and Dec. 5,” She said.
Mrs Akeredolu knoted that the family game known as Crawlers’ competition was aimed at strengthening the bond between both parents and their kids.
”In preparation for the event, my team went to all the local governments in Ondo State to select families that will participate in the crawlers’ race.
“Their visit to the local governments has really shown that most men are unconcerned in the care and development of their children,” She said.
She expressed hope that the competition would expose the dysfunctional and lack of love and affection within families.
The governor’s wife, therefore, described the theme of the conference, ‘Conjugal Bliss: A Panacea for Peaceful Societal Peace’ as instructive.
She urged men to “man-up” and show true love to their wives to jointly care for the children.
She commended the Convener of the conference, the Chairman of the State Christian Association of Nigeria, Rev. John Ayo-Oladapo, and his wife, Esther, for promoting good family values through the programme for the past nine years.
Rev. Ayo-Oladapo appreciated Mrs Akeredolu for her motherly support for family issues in Ondo state while affirming that enhancement of family life values remained part of her vision since she became the first lady of the state.
Edited by Donald Ugwu
Bauchi Muslim Pilgrims Board announces N1.5m deposit for 2020 Hajj
Bauchi State Muslims Pilgrims Welfare Board on Thursday announced a deposit of N1.5 million for 2020 Hajj.
Babayo-Tilde further announced that intending pilgrims were expected to pay the deposit in three instalments before the end of January 2020.
He also announced that registration of intending pilgrims would commence on Friday,Nov. 15, in all headquarters of the 20 Local Government Areas in the state.
Babayo-Tilde urged all interested intending pilgrims to register at the centres.
The special adviser assured that the camp, to be equipped with modern facilities, would be completed before the end of 2019.
He commended officials of the board over success recorded during the 2019 operations, and urged them to sustain the tempo in 2020.
The Acting Executive Secretary of the board, Alhaji Alkassim Shall, had earlier announced that 2,010 seats had been allocated to the state for the pilgrimage next year as against the 3,090 seats in 2019.
He recalled that the board recorded death of four persons out of the 1,987 pilgrims that performed 2019 Hajj.
Shall also recalled that some intending pilgrims, which figure was not given, died before the commencement of the operations.
He stated that in spite of hitches experienced during 2019 Hajj, the exercise recorded success, and that the board had received commendations from some organisations.
Shall warned intending pilgrims against last minute rush for the payment fares as experienced this year.
He said such last minute rush had made it cumbersome to officials of the board in obtaining Visas and other documents for the pilgrims.
The Secretsry warned officials of the board against unwholesome practices that might thwart the success of the operations.
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