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Cleric urges Nigerians to imbibe virtues of forgiveness, love



Rev. Fr. Anthony Orioha, the  Chaplain of St. Rita’s Society in the Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos , on Thursday urged Nigerians to imbibe the late saint ‘s virtues of forgiveness and love.



The cleric said that such virtues would promote peaceful coexistence among the people and discourage all ungodly habits.



Orioha said this during a news conference organised  by the society ahead of its forthcoming 60th anniversary.


It was held at the Lay Apostolate Centre, Oyingbo, Lagos.


The theme of the programme will be: “St. Rita, 60 years and beyond: Impossibilities made possible”.



He said that Nigerians had been experiencing ungodly habits like strive, envy, wickedness and all manner due to lack of brotherly love and forgiveness.



According to him, individuals must be willing to exhibit the spirit of love by encouraging the homeless, helping the jobless and generally giving helping hands.



“We will be celebrating the 60th anniversary of St Rita in Lagos State soon. But, the number of years does not matter to us; we only want more people to live sacrificial lives like the saint.



“ People should be able to forgive one another and accept that we are bound to offend one another.



“ The saint during her life time never enjoyed her marriage but made Jesus her role model.



“That made her to survive all struggles in her life time, we should emulate same too to conquer life’s challenges,” he said.



Orioha said that Nigerians must be able to impact on one another positively as the society intended to impact more lives in subsequent years through the saint’s life history.



He said that the society had embarked on impacting on the homeless at orphanage homes, prisons and hope to do more.



Also, Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Ibe, the Director, Lagos Lay Apostolate Centre, urged parents to stay prayerful for children to possess Christ-like nature.



He said that individuals in the society should be able to intervene in family crisis, visit orphanages and prisons to encourage inmates there and expose them to the saint’s virtues for emulation.



“We must all continue from where St. Rita stopped in trying to unite people.



“The celebration will be an eye opener for people to ensure the assignment the saint started are    achieved for individuals to achieve greatness,” he said.



Mrs Olubukola Owonifari, the Vice President of the Society in the archdiocese stated that the programme of events would include a Novena Mass at St. Michael’s Catholic Church, Lafiaji, Lagos.



She said there would be spiritual talk, seminar, free health clinic and a reception at Leo’s Catholic Church, Ikeja car park.


Mr Tony Udom, the president of the society said that the saint might be dead physically but still alive spiritually as he recounted her history.


He said Christian faithful must continue from where the saint stopped years back and ensure the society remained sane for people to live.


He said that the society had experienced 60 years of impossibilities which was made possible by imbibing the virtues of the late saint.


The News Agency of Nigeria reports that St. Rita of Cascia was an Italian widow and Augustinian nun venerated as a saint in the Roman Catholic Church.


She is remembered for her Christian virtues such as being a dedicated house wife and a mother who made efforts to convert her husband from his abusive behaviour before his death.


NAN also reports that the society was introduced into the country by the late Msgr Patrick Somide.




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Death: Cleric admonishes Nigerians to live exemplary lives 



A cleric in Nasarawa State, Rev. Anthony Aya, has admonished Christians and other Nigerians to live exemplary lives in order to inherit the kingdom of God.

Aya, the Reverend in-Charge of ERCC Ami-Abma Ezzen, Nasarawa State, gave the advice on Thursday while presiding over the funeral service of Mr Danladi Bala at ERCC Mada Station, Agidi Development Area of the state.

The News Agency of  Nigeria reports that Danladi is a staff of Agidi Development Area and an elder brother of Mr Abel Bala, member representing Nasarawa Eggon West constituency at the state legislature.

The man of God said that if Christians and other Nigerians live a life worth of emulation, it would not only enable them to inherit the kingdom of God but it will also promote peaceful co-existence among the people in the country.

He added that there is life after death for those who believes in Jesus Christ, hence the need of his call.

The Bible said for does not know when it will occur, so who can tell him when it (death) will occur.

“No one has power over the spirit to retain the spirit and no one has power in the day of death, so let’s get prepared because death can come at any time,” he said.

He urged Christians and other Nigerians not to sin in order to inherit the kingdom of God, adding that one day those who refused to repent, God would would expose their sins and their will be judgement after death.

The cleric alsod to grant the entire family and the  ERCC family  the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss. 

Speaking during the funeral service, Mr Abel Bala (PDP-Nassarawa Eggon West) described the death of his elder brother as painful, urging people to pray for the reposed of his soul and other deceased persons.

“My elder brother had left good legacies, he is a man who always stand by the truth, he is a straight forward man.

“Death is inevitable for all humans, but it is painful. May the soul of my elder  brother and the souls of other departed souls rest in peace with the Lord,” he said.

The lawmaker, who is the Minority Whip of the House, appreciated all those who attended the funeral service and urged them to continue praying for the family to succeed.

He thanked the Speaker of the assembly, Alhaji Ibrahim Abdullahi, members and entire staff and people of the state for identifying with them at this trial moment.

NAN also reports that Danladi’s body was immediately buried in his house at Mada Station after the funeral service amidst tears by families, friends and political associates.

NAN also reports that the funeral had in attendance Mr David Umbugadu, 2019 PDP governorship candidate in Nasarawa State; Sen. Philip  Gyunka; politicians, traditional rulers and religious leaders, among other sympathisers.

NAN recalls that Danladi died on May 29, 2019, in a hospital in Lafia at the aged of 54 after a brief illness.

He was survived by a wife and children.

Edited By: Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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Reopening of worship centres: Cleric advises religious leaders to obey govt. order



Pastor Timothy Olajide of the Christ Glory Church, Ilorin, has advised religious leaders in Kwara to ensure compliance with the government directives as worship centres set to re-open on Friday,

Olajide gave this advice on Thursday while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria .

NAN reports that the Kwara Government had on Wednesday, announced the opening of worship centres from Friday with some safety conditions to guide worshippers.

“We, as leaders, must lead by example. Be you Pastor or Imam, and both the Church and Mosque executives must enforce members’ cooperation by doing what is expected of us.

“We have waited for long to witness the re-opening of worship centres. Thank God our prayers are answered. Let us not abuse the privilege by violating government order.

”I urge religious leaders to ensure that members obey government safety directives.

“Members’ safety should be our priority. There is no need spending time during services. Let us just do the necessary things and avoid repetitions,” he said.

NAN reports that the conditions highlighted by the state government were that each attendant  should observe one metre away from the next person.

Also, each worship centre should make provision for hand washing sanitisers, and infrared thermometer.

The government has also made the use of face masks mandatory for all worshipers and there should be no hand shaking or hugging among them.

Other conditions are; children remain restricted from worship centres, people above 65 or persons with underlying health conditions should stay away.

For Muslims, they should perform ablution from their own house while the women are to stay away from Mosques.

The government also directed every worship centre to dedicate a few minutes before service or prayers to educate attendants about COVID-19 and its dangers.

It directed worship centres to adequately ventilate, as Response Team would conduct random visits to take samples and do temperature checks among others.

NAN, however, reports that the Kwara Government, has vowed to hold any religious leaders responsible for non-compliance with all COVID-19 related safety measures in their worship centres.

The leadership of religious communities agreed that any worship centre that violated these provisions would be shut and its leadership strictly held accountable.

Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Yemi Idris-Aduloju (NAN)

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Cleric wants entrepreneurship training programmes in orphanages 



Mr Silas Olarotimi, Presiding Preacher (Pastor), Anointing of Grace Church, Ilorin, has called for the establishment of entrepreneurship programmes in orphanages in the country.

Olarotimi, who made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Ilorin on Thursday said that such gesture would equip the kids with skills for productivity and self-reliance.

He expressed worries that many orphanages were mainly equipped with with food items and other welfare packages, saying “there is need to inculcate training into their operations”.

“Many orphanages are only stocked with foodstuff, they have no standard training centres, there is need to secure the future of these kids,” he said.

He urged government at all levels to partner good spirited private individuals to make the orphanages more productive and rewarding to the society.

“Our donations should not be limited to welfare packages such as food, clothing and medication, let us help them build careers.

“It is everybody’s responsibility to support the orphanage, we  cannot abandon them, they deserve to live, survive and make impact in our society,” he said.

Olarotimi said that with proper mentoring, many kids would leave the orphanage fully equipped for a rewarding and fulfilling life.

Edited By: Azubuike Okeh/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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Children’s Day: Pray for end to COVID-19, Cleric urges children



The Senior Pastor of Global Harvest Church, Ado-Ekiti, Pastor Dotun Oyawoye, has urged children to pray to God to put an end to the coronavirus pandemic current ravaging the world.
Oyawoye stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday in Ado-Ekiti.
According to him, God loves little children and harkens to their prayers, hence the need for them to beseech Him to be merciful to Nigeria and the entire world.
He enjoined children not to indulge in any act capable of tarnishing the good name of their parents and the society at large.
Oyawoye also called on them to shun social vices, which could jeopardise their future.
“Be good ambassadors of your parents; shun immoral acts and be of good behaviour so that you can achieve the future of your dream,” he counseled.
The pastor also called on parents and governments at all levels to always live up to their responsibilities towards the children to guarantee them better future.

Edited By: Abiodun Esan and (NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq

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Eid-el-Fitri: Return to Allah in prayer to end COVID-19 – Cleric 



The Chief Imam of Hosanna Mosque, Abakaliki in Ebonyi, Alhaji Ishaq Adamu has admonished Muslim faithful to continue offering prayers to end COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.

Adamu made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria after observing Eid-el-Fitri prayers in Abakaliki on Sunday.

The Imam said that Muslims have had the opportunity to return to Allah during Ramadan and prayers to end the scourge.

“The pandemic is a sign that Allah wants both Muslims and Christians to get closer to Him through prayers to end the virus.

“I advise people to keep washing their hands, use sanitisers and face masks as directed by the government.

“The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) team were at the Eid prayer grounds to observe the level of compliance and they were satisfied,’’ Adamu said.

He also urged the Muslim faithful to sustain lessons learnt during the Ramadan while they should extend palliatives supports to poor in the society.

“Some faithful have done well in reaching out to the poor in Onueke, Afikpo-North and Ohaukwu Local Government Areas with rice and money to cushion the effect of the pandemic and to enable them to celebrate Eid-el-Fitri with others.’’

Also, the Chief Imam of Central Mosque, Ogbe Hausa in Abakaliki, Alhaji Muhammad Labaran said the period required all to be patient, unite and support the governments.

Labaran, represented by Secretary of the central mosque, Usman Adam, was optimistic that the COVID-19 had increased mutual understanding among the people.

He urged the faithful to understand that the preventive measures ordered by the government were for safety and enable people to stay alive.

He promised to continue to enlighten people on the need for adherence.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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Cleric charges media practitioners on stories that will promote harmony, peace



Bishop  Peter Odetoyinbo of  the Catholic Diocese of Abeokuta  has advised media practitioners to focus more on writing  stories that will  promote harmony, unity and peace in the world.


Odetoyinbo gave  the advice on Sunday in Abeokuta in his message as the Catholic Church worldwide  mark the 54th World Communications Day.


He charged media practitioners to focus more on stories that build up, not tear down; stories that would help mankind to rediscover their roots and the strength they  needed to move forward together.


“Media practitioners should shun all forms of bigotry, discrimination and exploitation with the use of the media, which may lead to chaos and destruction.


“”The World Communications Day is set aside to celebrate the progress and achievements of the communication media, and to focus on how it can be harnessed to promote the gospel of peace and harmony in the world,’’ the cleric said.


He said that the media should do more stories weaved around the love and the life of Jesus, the Son of God.


“We should tell more of the stories of hope and solace, of sharing and love; stories that remind us of Jesus’ life, death and the resurrection; all geared toward  saving the world.


“In every of our experiences, God always has a good story for us. One of our good stories from  the experience of COVID-19 is the opportunity given to individual families to flourish.

“Many families can now share from their rich encounters of Jesus in their own homes,” Odetoyinbo said.


The cleric appreciated media practitioners for their tireless efforts in ensuring that all are well-informed and carried along in the fight against the Coronavirus disease.


He urged that the media should portray the good sides of the Coronavirus disease’s experience, the care and concern of the government and families to the society.


Odetoyinbo noted that before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, stories in the media were characterised by ingratitude and wastefulness, adding that the media exploited the earth and all its resources.


He added that previously,  the media devalued human life and made a cheap commodity of it, saying that media stories were not all good but it could be better.


The cleric encouraged media practitioners to tell stories of love that reached out to people, and stories of the need to sacrifice oneself in place of another, by so doing creating a beautiful love story.


He charged media practitioners to write reports that would inspire coming generations to also love like Christ, adding that it was the only way to understand that human stories are in a certain sense, divine stories.


“What will our stories be like at the end of the current world crisis? Will it be like Jesus’ story? Would we have re-enacted the Good Samaritan episode?


“Would we still care for the handshakes and hugs, the visits and long conversations or would love die in us?


“Would we show the earth more care and tenderness or continue to exploit her? Would we rewrite our stories for good?


“Definitely, we will re-write our story and love and care for each other better, and the earth and heavens will rejoice at humanity coming together,’’ Odetoyinbo said.

Edited By: Oluyinka Fadare/Peter Dada (NAN)

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Eid-el-Fitr: Pray to end COVID-19, Cleric admonishes Muslims



The Chief Imam of Gwallaga Friday Mosque, Bauchi, Ustaz Ibrahim Idris, has admonished the Muslim faithfuls to offer special prayers to end Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Idris made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria after observing two raka’at prayers at the Eid ground in Bauchi on Sunday.

He said Muslims have the responsibility to pray fervently and support the government on its efforts to tackle current challenges, including insecurity and COVID-19.

“I am calling on all of us to continue supporting the government in its effort to overcome the dreaded pandemic that brought untold  hardship in the society.

“Government will do the needful and we support it with prayers to see to the end of the COVID-19.”

He cautioned against immoral celebration of Sallah amidst the global fight against Coronavirus that need prayers to get out of it.

Idris therefore urged Muslims to celebrate with caution in their homes and families as stipulated by Islamic injunctions,saying going beyond that will provoke Almighty Allah.

Idris however enjoined the general public to continue observing the rules of managing the pandemic.

He also called for maintaining the preventive measures, such as maintenance of physical distancing, regular hand washing and use of facemask, among others.

He explained that Ramadan is a time of complete and sincere submission to the will of God as it serves to purify our souls and make us conscious of our Creator.


Edited By: Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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Cleric focuses sermon on indecent dressing by woman, social-distancing in prayer



A cleric in Dutse, Jigawa, Imam Baba Waziri, on Sunday focused his Eid-el-Fitri sermon on indecent dressing among Muslim women, especially those working in public places.

Waziri also encouraged all Muslims to comply with social distancing in prayer, in line with the government advice and NCDC’s guidelines in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic.

The Imam, who led the Eid prayer at the Tatur Adua in the Commercial Secondary School, Tatur side in Dutse, cautioned Muslim women to fear God and His chastisement against violating the commandments.

Waziri said Islam is a complete way of life and doesn’t support women, irrespective of their status, to dress indecently.

He said that Islam encourages women to always wear Hijab that would cover the whole body, noting that women’s body is not meant for the public show but for their spouses.

On social distances in prayer, the Imam said it was Islamic that those who are infected by any infectious diseases are not allowed to mix with others in prayers, whether in the Mosque or any other social gathering place.

He also called on Nigerians to avoid spreading fake news capable of causing civil unrest in the society on social media.

Instead of spreading fake news, he urged people to engage in prayers for the wellbeing of the country and to overcome the challenges of COVID-19 pandemic.

The Imam said that it was duty bond on every Muslim to comply with the government regulations in the fight against the novel coronavirus disease.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that early morning rainfall, however, prevented the Chief Imam of Dutse, Dr Abubakar Sani, from leading the prayer at the state Eid praying ground.

The Imam, instead led the prayer inside the Central Mosque with the Deputy Governor, Alhaji Umar Namadi and other residents in attendance.

In his sermon, Sani urged Muslims to comply with the government guidelines in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic.

The Imam appealed to Nigerians to pray for country to get out of the pandemic.

NAN reports that the state government had directed all Muslim residents to observe their Eid prayer in their respective localities as against the traditional congregational Eid praying grounds across the state.

Muslims in Duste had complied with the government directives in observing the Eid prayers in their various localities.

Majority of the faithful were seen wearing face masks as instructed by the government while in the praying ground

Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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Eid-El Fitri: Cleric urges Muslim faithful to imbibe teachings, lessons of Ramadan



An Islamic cleric, Sheik Abdul Isola, has enjoined Muslim faithful to imbibe the teachings and lessons of Ramadan, and depart from evil.
Isola, the Chief Imam of the Islamic Centre, Uwani, Enugu, stated this while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria on Saturday in Enugu.
NAN reports that Ramadan, which is the ninth month in the Islamic lunar calendar, is a period when all Muslims are expected to observe a compulsory one-month fast.
The cleric noted that “most times, the hardship and sudden calamities that befall men are as a result of sin and lack of fear of Allah in the way they carry on with their lives.
“The Holy Quran and Islamic scholars have taught us through the television, radio and other electronic platforms to strive to shun evil, embrace Allah and live in accordance with His divine instructions.
“We should not make any mistake about it; there is always repercussion for sins and evil doings; if it is not here on earth, it will be during the judgment day,’’ he said.
Isola, who is the Chief Missioner of the centre, also urged Muslim ummah to strive to live in peace with their neighbours, which he said, Islam, as a way of life, was noted for.
“We must also strive to live in peace with others, as exemplified by the Holy Prophet Mohammed,’’ he said.
The cleric advised Muslim faithful, especially the wealthy ones, to pay their Zakkat (compulsory religious alms giving) and provide for the poor within their neighbourhoods during this season.
“There is the need for wealthy Muslims to provide for the less-privileged and the poor around them so that they too could share in the joy of the season,’’ he said.

Edited By: Vivian Ihechu and (NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq

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