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Christmas: Catholic priest counsels Christians

Ogundare, who is in charge of St Peter and Paul Archdeaconry Catholic Church, Ikole-Ekiti, told the News Agency of Nigeria,(NNN) that Christians must change from the current materialistic worldview by showing love as well as share the spirit of brotherliness.

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Counsel
By Idowu Gabriel
Ikole-Ekiti (Ekiti State), Dec. 24, 2018 (NNN) A cleric, Rev. Father  Francis-Mary Ogundare, on  Monday urged  Christian faithful to love one another while promoting peaceful coexistence in order to make the celebration of Christmas meaningful.

Ogundare, who is in charge of St Peter and Paul Archdeaconry Catholic Church, Ikole-Ekiti, told the News Agency of Nigeria,(NNN) that Christians must change from the current materialistic worldview by showing love as well as share the spirit of brotherliness.

“In today’s modern world, the message of Christmas  which is peace and love  has been hijacked by materialistic views.

“Some people today, even pastors,  boast of their wealth while their neighbours and followers wallow in poverty.

” Show love, promote peace and share with others what God has blessed you with. A lot of people cannot afford three square  meals,” he said

Ogundare said the  birth of Jesus Christ at Christmas  should bring peace  according to the Holy Bible as prophesied by Prophet Micah.

“Imbibe the virtues of Christ the Saviour of the world.

“Do not just make Christmas a day of celebration, show love and promote peace on a daily basis with one and another.

” Be ready to do the will of God by assisting your fellow citizens  because no one can love God  if he or she does  not love his or her fellow brothers and sisters,’’ he said. (NNN)
JIG/EOB/OJO
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(Edited by Edith Bolokor/Mufutau Ojo)

 

 

Economy

Britain’s Next raises profit forecast after better-than-expected Christmas

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the bulk of its fiscal fourth quarter.

That was 1.1 per cent ahead of Next’s internal forecast and compared to third quarter growth of 2 per cent.

The group, which trades from about 500 stores in the UK and Ireland, about 200 stores in 40 countries overseas and its Directory online and catalog business, said its sales performance in the period was also assisted by improved stock availability in both its retail stores and online.

As a result Next increased its full-price sales growth guidance for the year by 0.3 percentage points to 3.9 per cent and its profit guidance by 2 million pounds (2.6 million dollars) to 727 million pounds, an increase of 0.6 per cent on 2018-19.

It also forcsst Earnings Per Share (EPS) growth of 5.4 per cent, which partly reflects share buy backs.

Looking further out to the 2020-21 year, Next’s guidance is for full-price sales to increase 3.0 per cent, profit to grow 1.0 per cent and EPS to rise 3.4 per cent. Surplus cash generation was forecast at 290 million pounds.

Shares in Next, up 67 per cent over the last year, closed Thursday at 6,954 pence, valuing the business at 9.35 billion pounds.

Edited by: Abdullahi Mohammed/Silas Nwoha

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General news

Catholic priest clears air on Christmas  

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The Catholic Priest of Abuja Archdiocese, Rev. Fr. Chinenye Oluoma on Thursday condemned comments by some clerics that Christmas was unbiblical’

Oluoma, who reacted on his Facebook page said Christmas was celebrated only for its theological mystery.

Nigeria News Agency reports that Oluoma was reacting to statements credited to some renowned clerics.

The statements have continued to raise dust over December 25 set aside by Christians all over the world to mark the birth of Jesus Christ.

“I wanted to pretend that I didn’t read the comments by Pastors Daniel Olukoya of the Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries (MFM) and Williams Kumuyi of the Deeper Life Christian Ministry that `Christmas is unbiblical’.

“It is the same funny mentality of those who confuse terminology with theology.

“Easter as a term is not in the Bible, but we celebrate it, because it is an event and a mystery recorded in the scripture. This is the same with Christmas,’’ he said.

Oluoma said that Christians do not celebrate Christmas for the term or calendar date but rather for the event and mystery.

“If we are not careful, one day, someone will wake up, get intoxicated on anointing and ask me to tell him why I call myself a Catholic since that term doesn’t exist in the bible.

“Same folly can be extended to all churches because no church has a name that’s used as a group of church members in the bible.

“A Pentecostal church that says it doesn’t celebrate Christmas because the term doesn’t exist in the bible but calls itself a Pentecostal church is just a comic contradiction,” he said.

He further pointed out that Pentecost in the bible meant the 50th day of every year set aside to celebrate agricultural feast, which had nothing to do with the Holy Spirit.

The catholic priest, however, said the day became significant only when the Holy Spirit fell on the Apostles as captured in Acts, chapter two in the Holy Bible.

“Even after that, there is no record in scripture that the Holy Spirit fell on other people on Pentecost day,’’ he said.

Oluoma said that the Bible was not a dictionary or history book but a book containing theologies rather than terminologies.

He added that Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Children’s Day, among others were not in the Bible either, adding that the bible doesn’t have anything against their celebration.

“So, when you want to use the bible to validate or invalidate any religious practice, you look for the biblical theology about it, not the terminology.

“If anyone cares to know, there are many things we do in life that are not in the Bible,” Oluoma said.

Edited by: Dorcas Jonah/Ese E. Ekama

 

 

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General news

Catholic priest clears air on Christmas  

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The Catholic Priest of Abuja Archdiocese, Rev. Fr. Chinenye Oluoma on Thursday condemned comments by some clerics that Christmas was unbiblical’

Oluoma, who reacted on his Facebook page said Christmas was celebrated only for its theological mystery.

Nigeria News Agency reports that Oluoma was reacting to statements credited to some renowned clerics.

The statements have continued to raise dust over December 25 set aside by Christians all over the world to mark the birth of Jesus Christ.

“I wanted to pretend that I didn’t read the comments by Pastors Daniel Olukoya of the Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries (MFM) and Williams Kumuyi of the Deeper Life Christian Ministry that `Christmas is unbiblical’.

“It is the same funny mentality of those who confuse terminology with theology.

“Easter as a term is not in the Bible, but we celebrate it, because it is an event and a mystery recorded in the scripture. This is the same with Christmas,’’ he said.

Oluoma said that Christians do not celebrate Christmas for the term or calendar date but rather for the event and mystery.

“If we are not careful, one day, someone will wake up, get intoxicated on anointing and ask me to tell him why I call myself a Catholic since that term doesn’t exist in the bible.

“Same folly can be extended to all churches because no church has a name that’s used as a group of church members in the bible.

“A Pentecostal church that says it doesn’t celebrate Christmas because the term doesn’t exist in the bible but calls itself a Pentecostal church is just a comic contradiction,” he said.

He further pointed out that Pentecost in the bible meant the 50th day of every year set aside to celebrate agricultural feast, which had nothing to do with the Holy Spirit.

The catholic priest, however, said the day became significant only when the Holy Spirit fell on the Apostles as captured in Acts, chapter two in the Holy Bible.

“Even after that, there is no record in scripture that the Holy Spirit fell on other people on Pentecost day,’’ he said.

Oluoma said that the Bible was not a dictionary or history book but a book containing theologies rather than terminologies.

He added that Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Children’s Day, among others were not in the Bible either, adding that the bible doesn’t have anything against their celebration.

“So, when you want to use the bible to validate or invalidate any religious practice, you look for the biblical theology about it, not the terminology.

“If anyone cares to know, there are many things we do in life that are not in the Bible,” Oluoma said.

Edited by: Dorcas Jonah/Ese E. Ekama

 

 

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Judiciary

Scavenger jailed 30 working days for stealing Oyo Govt.’s Christmas decoration

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An Iwo Road Magistrates’ Court sitting in Ibadan, on Tuesday, sentenced a 45-year-old scavenger, Kamorudeen Salau, to a 30-working day jail term for stealing Christmas decoration worth N25,000, property of Oyo State Government.

The Chief Magistrate, Mr Taiwo Oladiran, in his judgment, said that the defendant was found guilty as charged.

Oladiran, who said that the convict must spend the jail term at Agodi Correctional Centre, however, gave him an option of N20,000 fine.

According to the Police Prosecutor, ASP Sunday Ogunremi, the convict, on Dec. 26, at about 11.30 am., allegedly stole some iron rods, valued at N20,000 and some Christmas decoration materials, valued N5,000.

Ogunremi said the total value of stolen items, being the property of Oyo State Government, was N25,000.

NAN reports that the state government had decorated some roundabouts in Ibadan, the state capital, preparatory to the yuletide.

The police prosecutor said that the offence was committed at the State Secretariat roundabout, Agodi, Ibadan.

The offence, he said, contravened section 390 (9) of the Criminal Code Cap 38, Vol.II, Laws of Oyo State, 2000.

The defendant pleaded guilty to the charge preferred against him.

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Edited

 

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Defence/Security

Christmas: Gov. Ayade’s aide donates food items to Bakassi IDPs 

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Mrs Abbey Ukpukpen, Special adviser to Gov. Ben Ayade of Cross River on Gender and Widows Affairs, has donated food items worth thousands of Naira to the Internally Displaced Persons of Bakassi at the council headquarters in Bakassi Local Government Area.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the items include over 100 bags of rice, clothes, toys, toiletries and others.

Ukpukpen said that her visit was to preach love and humanity and also put smiles on the faces of the returnees in the season of Christmas.

“I have come to preach the message of love, humanity and togetherness because everybody is important irrespective of your status in the society.

“Every single child here is a gift to the world. All of you have beautiful destinies ahead because the future is bright.

“I have come here with these items in the season of Christmas to celebrate with you. This is Christmas period where we share love and kindness.

“Gov. Ben Ayade of the state is interested in gender issues. He is interested in the girl-child, widows and their welfare,” she said.

She assured that Ayade was committed to delivering the dividends of democracy to the people, adding that her office would continue to collaborate with partners for the interest of women, children and widows.

Ukpukpen, a former lawmaker in the Cross River House of Assembly, advised the women to always have positive outlook towards life, adding that her office was open to all complaints and suggestions.

The aide, in collaboration with the Medical Women’s Association of Nigeria, Cross River Chapter, offered free medical outreach to the children in the camp.

Speaking, Dr Bassey Nakanda, President of the Association, told NAN that over 100 children were de-wormed, while anti-malaria drugs were given to the women.

Nakanda said that the outreach was timely in order to prevent the children from measles in view of the dry season period, adding that Vitamin A was also administered to the children to boost their immunity.

Responding on behalf of the women, Mrs Felicia Umoh, thanked Mrs Ukpukpen and the medical team for their show of love during the Christmas period.

One of the camp leaders, Mr Aniekan Okon, commended Ukpukpen for her motherly role in remembering the children and showering them with food items and clothes.

Edited /Ismail Abdulaziz

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Religion

Christmas: Cleric tasks Christians on faith

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The Resident Pastor of Christ Foundation Bible Church, Olusegun Elijah, has urged Christians to use the Christmas season to build their faith.

Elijah, who spoke on the significance of Christmas, told the Nigeria News Agency in Ilorin on Monday that Christians must use the period to reflect on Jesus Christ as a man of great faith.

“Christmas is not just for holiday and feasting, it is a period of angelic visitation, the Christmas season is not over yet, so anybody can still experience miracles.

“It is a period whereby God glorifies himself in our lives and covers man with glory.

“It is a time of divine encounter, a period of peace, reconciliation and good will as the Bible says we should follow peace with all men.

“Christmas is period of faith and not fear. At a time like this we should do all we can to build up our faith.

“It is at Christmas that some people begin to fear what would be in the coming year, which is not right for a believer in Christ.

“The Bible says faithful is He that called us and he will do it, so I want to encourage everyone that things can only get better if we trust in God,” he said.

(Edited by: Gregg Mmaduakolam/Mufutau Ojo)
(NAN)

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Defence/Security

NSCDC commends Jos-Bukuru residents for peaceful conduct at Christmas

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The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC),Plateau Command, has  commended residents of Jos-Bukuru metropolis for conducting themselves peacefully during the Christmas festival.

Obasa Tanimu, the command’s Public Relations Officer, made the commendation in an interview with Nigeria News Agency on Monday in Jos.

Tanimu said the command recorded a peaceful celebration within the metropolis and commended the residents for their cooperation during the festive period.

He urged them to sustain the gesture and desist from indulging in nefarious activities capable of jeopardising the peace being enjoyed in the state.

He,  however, said that some suspected hoodlums tried to disrupt the peace at Apata and Jenta areas in Jos North metropolis , but that the attempt was foiled by security operatives.

The spokesman said the command had deployed its officers and men to work with other security agencies in the state to ensure a peaceful New Year celebration.

He called on parents and guardians to warn their children and wards to desist from any act that could breach the peace.

He also urged residents to go about their legitimate businesses and report any suspicious movements by groups or individuals to NSCDC or other security agencies.

Edited by: Razak Owolabi and Abdullahi Yusuf
(NAN)

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Economy

Rep. empowers 100 indigent Abia widows at Christmas

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Rep. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, representing Isuikwuato/Umunneochi Federal Constituency of Abia, has donated empowerment items and cash to at least 100 indigent widows in the constituency, in the spirit of the Christmas season.

Speaking while giving out the items to the women at Isuochi, the headquarters of Umunneochi council area on Sunday, Onyejeocha said that the gesture was intended to make them economically self-reliant.

She advised them to strive to be less dependent on man but to “always look unto God for their sustenance,” assuring them that “the God of the widows will not forsake you.”

She further encouraged them to resist amorous advances from unscrupulous men, saying that they should shun acts that could debase their moral and spiritual life.

The lawmaker expressed concern over the wanton abuse and enslavement of children of unsuspecting widows, given out as house help and admonished widows to be circumspect while giving out their children.

“You should resist the persuasion to give out your children to people who promise to help you train them in the city.

“Most times, these people do not mean well. They come on the pretence that they would train them in better schools in the township.

“Rather than put the children in school, they either use them for child trafficking or deploy them in pitiable child labour.

“I encourage you to stay together with your children. Send them to community schools and not jeopardise their future by giving them out as house help.

“It is better you stay with your children and send them to community schools where they will be safe than give them away to those who will turn them to slaves in the city.

“Some of us also attended village schools, in spite of the obvious challenges and today those who were trained in private schools in the city are not better than us,” Onyejeocha said.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the empowerment items included sewing and grinding machines, freezers and motorcycles worth millions of naira, in addition to rice, wrappers and cash.

The legislator also extended similar Christmas largesse, including bags of rice and cash, to scores of traditional rulers and clergymen in her constituency.

She implored them to continue to pray for the All Progressives Congress-led administration of President Muhammadu Buhari and other political office holders in the country.

The Deputy Chief Whip further spoke on some of her achievements so far, including attracting the construction of 11.5 km Obilo-Nneato Road and Amiyi-Amigbo Road, renovation of some schools and supply of school desks.

She further said that she had helped to secure employment in some federal establishments for many youths in her constituency, among others.

Onyejeocha, who is doing her fourth term in the house, assured her constituents of more dividend of democracy and federal projects in the area in the coming years.

Responding on behalf of the beneficiaries, the Presidents-General of Umuanyi Uturu, Ndiawa Isuochi and Nneato autonomous communities, Chief Celestine Orji, Chief Daberechi Ogbuagu and Chief Solomon Ihewu, respectively, expressed profound gratitude to the lawmaker for her kind gesture.

They extolled her spirit of philantropy and investment in human capital development and promised their unflinching support to her future political aspirations.

(Edited by: Sam Oditah)
(NAN)

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Metro

Foundation organises Christmas party for centenarians, widows, seeks government support

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Touch of Love and Lifting Hands Foundation, an NGO,  during its fourth Social Intervention Programme on Friday in Lagos organised a Christmas and charity party for the elderly,  the needy and the  physically challenged in Lagos.

 

The Nigeria News Agency who covered the event reports  that two centenarians  were  specially  celebrated with dancing, cutting of the  cake  and the rendition of thanksgiving songs.

 

Also, widows, widowers, the physically challenged,  the less privileged and other elderly citizens were treated to music, drama presentation and served refreshments in the spirit of the Yuletide.

 

NAN also  reports that  guests went home with packs of rice, garri, salt, processed tomatoes and other staple food stuffs alongside cooked food and drinks provided by the NGO.

 

Mrs Atinuke Owolabi, the Chief Executive Officer ( CEO)  of the foundation, in  her speech said it was the organisation’s fourth Social Intervention Programme.

 

She said that the  event was tagged “Widows and Aged People Inclusiveness In Economic and Social Activities; A Panacea to an Improved Standard of Living Condition For The Abandoned Vulnerable People”.

 

Owolabi said that the foundation had carried out three major Social Intervention Programmes since its  inception in 2017.

 

She listed them to include the distribution  of food, drugs, free medical treatments and the organisation if  vocational opportunities for the elderly and vulnerable people in the society.

 

She said that  she began the foundation because she understood the consequences of boredom and loneliness on mental health of widows and senior citizens who had lost their partners.

 

She said that the Foundation  had also been taking care of the abandoned aged people, widows, widowers, the physically challenged and vulnerable girls in the society.

 

She said that it was doing that  by providing them free medical check-ups, drugs recreational facilities and food.

 

She added that they were usually given welfare packages during festivities and given  skills and vocational opportunities through which they  get empowered.

 

She expressed appreciation to the Special Adviser, Lagos State Office Of Civic Engagement, Princess Aderemi Adebowale , for  her special interest in the plights of  vulnerable widows and aged people in our society.

 

“Ma, your gestures of getting some of the very old people to meet with the governor during the Civic Week Launch Of “Sanwo-Olu Cares” some days ago will remain a day of joy throughout their lives and as long as the cord of their memories  can lengthen.”

 

She also commended  her  for ensuring that some members of the foundation benefited from the “Sanwo-Olu Cares Social Intervention Program StartUp Kit” to start their own businesses.

 

She sought the  continued support of the state government in improving   the welfare of the  elderly, the physically challenged and the less privileged in the state.

 

“Finally ma, we are seeking a robust relationship between our foundation and your office   in the Year 2020.

 

” Such will  bother on policy formulation and implementation, human capital development and expanded base of the social intervention programmes of the Sanwo-Olu Cares in every part of Lagos State, especially,  the Lagos Ghettos,” she said.

L-R: A centenarian, Pastor Oluwole Onipade, of the Cherubim and Seraphim Church, Mrs Atinuke Owolabi, CEO/founder, Touch of Love, Lifting Hands Foundation and another centenarian, Pa David Ogunleke during the foundation’s  Christmas/ birthday party on Friday in Lagos

 

One of the centenarians that was celebrated, Pastor Oluwole Onipade, from the Cherubim and Seraphim Church, Oke Ayo in Okearo, a boundary community between Lagos  state and Ogun, commended the initiative.

 

Also, a nonagenarian, Mrs Felicia Sodeinde,   a resident of Oke Aro told NAN:  “I just joined them this year and they are trying, the crowd is much that is why government must support”.

 

NAN also  reports that  the Ifako Ijaye Youth Initiative; a progressive youth group, gave Owolabi an award in appreciation of her total commitment to widows, the physically challenged and community service and development in the council.

Edited by: Peter Dada
(NAN)

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Contact US: editor @nnn.com.ng, nnnnews247 @gmail.com

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