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How Ekpu, others brought new Catholic church era to Nigeria – Onaiyekan

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How Ekpu, others brought new Catholic church era to Nigeria – Onaiyekan
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How Ekpu, others brought new Catholic church era to Nigeria – Onaiyekan

The former Archbishop of Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja, His Eminence John Cardinal Onaiyekan, Wednesday poured encomiums on Archbishop emeritus, Most Rev (Dr) Patrick Ekpu and six others who he said laid the foundation for the modern Catholic church in Nigeria. He said some of the others were Archbishops Joseph Ukpo, late Ephraim Obot late Alexius Makuoze among others.

Delivering a homily at a service to mark the 50th Episcopal anniversary and 90th birthday of Ekpu at St Paul Catholic Church in Benin City, Onaiyekan said the era coincided with the Nigerianisation policy of the country in the early seventies and at a time the Catholic was also undergoing reformation which gave room for Nigerians to take over the leadership of the church.

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He said: “The year 1971 was a tremendous year for the church in Nigeria when seven young Nigerian priests were appointed bishops.

“Our young bishop took the helms of leadership of their dioceses at a delicate period in the history of the church, it was just a few years after the end of the second Vatican council, a period of uncertainty and instability as the church groped her way to implement the truly revolutionary changes that the council had decreed very significant among such changes was the need to adapt the church to the realities of our times and the realities of our native laws and customs in every aspect of church life.

It was also the era of local music and instrument, it was the era of review of the administrative structure, the bishop had to ensure that all these were done without departing from the essence of our catholic faith and tradition we can now safely say that our young bishops proved themselves better qualified to do this than any foreign born.

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How Ekpu, others brought new Catholic church era to Nigeria – Onaiyekan

“The young bishops were plunged into a challenging socio-political period many wise men in the world’s way but of little faith did not expect them to successfully cope with the demand of their high office but God’s ways are not our ways looking back now, 50 years down the line we can see that the Holy Spirit did not make a mistake they have led the churches entrusted to their care successfully until their meritorious retirement at the full age of 75. Not every former office holder deserves the title emeritus.”

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Earlier in his welcome address, the Archbishop of Benin Diocese and president Conference of Catholic Bishops, His Grace, Dr Augustine Akubeze said Ekpu invested in human development and the growth of the people of God.

On his part, Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki described Ekpu as one who served in various local communities as a young priest understanding the customs of the people and bringing them to God describing as “We will continue to tap from wisdom to guide us as we pass through difficult times. He was a great patriot, a pious priest, visionary bishop, a rare archbishop, a living legend, a modest teacher, an audacious founder.”

Vanguardngr.com

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See What Pastor Adeboye Said When Asked To Predict Next President 2023

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See What Pastor Adeboye Said When Asked To Predict Next President 2023
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See What Pastor Adeboye Said When Asked To Predict Next President 2023

The General Overseer of Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, E.A. Adeboye on Sunday, revealed his conversation with an undisclosed person on who would succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in the forthcoming 2023 general elections.

The renowned clergy who spoke during a sermon at the church’s National Headquarters, Ebute Meta, Lagos State, said some desperate Nigerians are already planning how to kill themselves to win political elections in 2023.

Adeboye said while some of the politicians are lost in the pursuit of election coming 2023, they failed to consider whether the country’s corporate existence would remain till the election time.

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He said, “Someone asked me, who do you think is going to be President in 2023 and I said President of where? He said Nigeria. I said how are you sure there will be Nigeria in 2023. I pray there will be, so don’t misquote me but are you sure?

“Jeremiah 45:5, 2 Chronicles 26:3-22. Some people want fame, they want power – political power. This is 2021 some people are already getting ready to kill themselves over 2023.

“They don’t even know whether there will be 2023. If there is 2023, whether they will still be around. There is nobody who can say for sure that they will still be around tomorrow. It is God who decides who will be around in 2023”.

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Pastor kidnaps Catholic priest, begs God for forgiveness

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Pastor kidnaps Catholic priest, begs God for forgiveness
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Pastor kidnaps Catholic priest, begs God for forgiveness

The operatives of the Imo State Police Command have arrested one Pastor Izuchukwu Anoloba, 35, and others for kidnapping a Catholic priest, Fr Fidelis Ekemgba.

Parading the suspects and others, the state Commissioner of Police, Rabiu Hussaini, said that the suspects held the priest for over seven days and made him to pay a ransom of N5 million to them.

The CP, who disclosed that the syndicate was a deadly one, disclosed that the pastor was arrested in Lagos following intelligence gathering by men of the anti-kidnapping unit of the command.

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He disclosed that the priest, 45, in charge of St. Peters Catholic Parish in Umunohu Amakaohia in the Ihitte/Uboma Local Government Area of the state, was double-crossed and whisked away by his abductors.

Commending his men for an excellent job, the CP said that he would continue to make the state uncomfortable for criminals.

Speaking to journalists, Anoloba said that he got N1.5m from the ransom the priest paid them.

He said, “I am a pastor with Apostolic Church of Christ in Lagos. I got N1.5 million from the kidnap of the priest. I never knew I would be arrested. I regret my actions because I am now a disgrace to the body of Christ and my family.”

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Threat: No Christian should be killed in Zamfara, CAN warns

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Threat: No Christian should be killed in Zamfara, CAN warns
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Threat: No Christian should be killed in Zamfara, CAN warns

The Christian Association of Nigeria has warned that no Christian should be killed in Zamfara State, just as it asked security agencies to protect all churches in the state and prevent terrorists from carrying out their threats against Christians.

The Association stated that the threat against Christians and churches by the terrorists is a divisive strategy against the effort of Christian and Muslim leaders towards ending criminalities in the North-West.

CAN also called on the Department of State Security and the Inspector General of Police to investigate those who are speaking for the terrorists with a view to unmasking their sponsors and beneficiaries of their criminalities.

This was contained in a statement titled, ‘No Christian Should Be Killed in Zamfara – CAN Warns,’ signed by the General Secretary, CAN, Barr Joseph Bade Daramola.

According to CAN, “The State Police Command has reportedly confirmed that a threat letter was sent to the Christians in the state asking them to stop worship and to close down churches or risk their violent attacks. We also learnt that it was the Police that even informed the state chapter of the Association about the threat.

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“We know that all kidnappings and other criminalities being perpetrated in the North-Western part of the country are the handiwork of terrorists who either migrated from the North-East or those who were released under the purported rehabilitation programme of the Federal government.

“Now that a Federal High Court has labelled those criminals terrorists, we call on the Police, the military authorities and other security agencies to rise up to the challenge of the terrorists who have turned kidnappings into the biggest business venture in the geopolitical zone.

Threat: No Christian should be killed in Zamfara, CAN warns

“The way and manner by which our security agencies have been handling those criminals are totally unacceptable, reprehensible and unprecedented. Criminals are criminals irrespective of their religious, political and ethnic affiliations and they should be treated as just. We also called on the Department of State Security and the Inspector General of Police to Investigate those who are speaking for the terrorists with a view to unmasking their sponsors and beneficiaries of their criminalities.

Zamfara police arrest woman who supplies arms, ammunition to bandits in Northwest
“The leadership of the national Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in our recent visit to Sokoto and Kebbi states was alarmed, surprised and shocked by the record of those criminals who are killing and kidnapping with impunity in the area as if there was a pact between them and the security agencies. Now that both the leaderships of Christianity and Islam in the country are working together on how to stop their criminalities in the Northwest, they are now trying to introduce divisive ways by declaring war against Christians and churches in the zone especially in Zamfara State where they are gradually turning into their strongholds.

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“We have no problem with Islam or with our Muslim brothers and sisters but with the handful fanatics and their financiers who have declared war against Christianity. We appeal to all peace-loving Muslims to speak against those who are painting Islam what is not. We know that there is no right-thinking Muslim leader who will be happy with the killings of Christians.

“We call on President Muhammadu Buhari to sanction any Commissioner of Police or Zonal Police Commanders and the Director of State Security Services wherever kidnappers operate in the country henceforth. This will go a long way in reducing the menace as we are approaching the Yuletide season. We have never had it this bad. We also called on the Federal government to refund all the ransom paid for the release of those who were abducted in the last five years. We reiterate our quest for the State Police in order to reduce the security burden on the Federal government-controlled Police. The Police have been overwhelmed with the menace of insecurity in the country.

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“President Buhari should also direct the Police to arraign all suspected kidnappers, bandits and terrorists in their custody with a view to stopping those who are perpetrating the atrocities. Failure to do this will force the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to ask our members to embrace the principle of self-defence wherever the security agencies appeared compromised. Up till today, the perpetrators of the genocide in the Southern Kaduna are still walking freely despite the killings of hundreds of our members. We cannot be reduced to refugees in the country that belongs to us again.

“Finally, we call on all Christians and peace-loving Muslims to pray against their threats and for our security agencies to be able to stop all criminalities in the country. Enough is enough.”

Punchng.com

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