Wike Condemns Political Patronage In The Church

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Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has condemned sermons which he described as “praise singing” of the works of the governor to get favour or in whatever guise, instead of majoring on truth and sincerity.

The governor was speaking at an inaugural service held on Sunday at the Government House Chapel of Everlasting Grace, months after it was launched.

He said the church was built strictly for the worship of God, noting that nobody is allowed to use its premises as a place for political horse-trading and seeking political patronage.

“This is a place of worship for top government officials, leaders of the state, those who work in Government House and invited guests,” Wike said.

In what sounded like an advice to the chaplain, he said the society would become better if religious leaders speak the truth no matter who is on the receiving end.

He warned that the operation of the church should not be regulated by his attendance, noting that the chapel must function to the Glory of God, even in his absence.

“This place will operate like every normal church with the chaplains controlling proceedings. I urge the chaplains to preach the word of God and not resort to praise-singing,” the governor said.

In his sermon, Bishop Winston Iwo emphasised the importance of worshipping God in an assembly, saying it promotes the growth of Christianity among other benefits.

He asked Christians at the Government House to take advantage of the chapel to worship God and work for the growth of the state.

Politicians Must Shun Culture Of Self Enrichment – Bishop Kukah

Mattew Kukah, PoliticiansThe Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Most Reverend Matthew Kukah, has called on Nigerian politicians to place service above personal benefits.

He says politicians have continued to undermine the interest of the ordinary Nigerian who gave them the opportunity to serve through the ballot.

The clergyman spoke to Channels TV on Sunday, after a church service to celebrate Fathers’ Day in Lagos State, southwest Nigeria.

“We still have not moved away from the culture of people who mistake public service for opportunities for self-enrichment.

“The reason why people asked to be elected is not to make money for themselves, they asked to be elected so that they can serve us and serve our country,” he said.

Bishop Kukah also said he doubts if the current crop of politicians would give Nigeria the required leadership to take it to the next level.

“You have so many people going to church and going to mosque and yet criminality, violence, corruption are all on the increase in our society.

“This is evidence of some of the things that are eroding our Christian values,” he said.

“When I hear politicians say we cannot develop in an environment of violence or in an environment that is volatile, politicians don’t understand that it is their irresponsible behaviour that is creating the tension and the anxiety,” he added.

Tunisia Launches Security Clampdown After Attack

tunisiaA day after a deadly attack at a beach resort in Tunisia, the government has deployed extra security to tourist sites and vowed to close down mosques accused of inciting violence.

Tunisia’s Prime Minister, Habib Essid, said army reservists would be deployed to archaeological sites and resorts.

He also said that about 80 mosques accused of “spreading venom” will close within a week.

Yesterday, a gunman went on rampage at a holiday resort, killing 38 people.

Authorities said most of the victims in the attack near Sousse were Britons.

It was also recorded that the suspected gunman was later shot dead.

According to Media reports, the health ministry said, eight Britons, one Belgian and one German had so far been identified among the dead.

One citizen of the Irish Republic has also been confirmed dead.

It was the second major attack on tourists in Tunisia since March, when militants killed 22 people, mainly foreigners, at Bardo museum in Tunis.

Christian Group Tasks Kaduna Governor-elect, Deputy On Campaign Promises

el-rufai Kaduna Governor The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has admonished the Kaduna State Governor-elect, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai and his Deputy, Barnabas Bantex, to deliver on their campaign promises to the electorates.

The Chairman of the Kaduna State Chapter of CAN, Bishop George Dodo, gave the admonition on Sunday at a Thanksgiving Service ahead of the May 29 handover. The Service was held at the Evangelical Church of West Africa (ECWA) in Kaduna.

He also urged the elected representatives to be fair to all and also run an open-door policy if they must make progress as leaders.

Bishop Dodo told the elected officials that the people would hold them accountable for their actions and inaction while in office and, therefore, urged them to do what was right before God and man.

The church service was part of the inauguration programme lined up for the May 29 handover.

‘Tough Decisions’

Although the incumbent Governor, Mukhtar Yero, lost the April 11 governorship election to the former Federal Capital Territory Minister, Mallam El-Rufai, both men had continued to work closely for a smooth transition.

Addressing the congregation, the Deputy Governor-elect, Barnabas Bantex assured them that the incoming administration would take some tough decisions for the interest of the people.

He also explained that the incoming government would take all decisions in-line with the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution, and however assured the Christian community of equity and fairness.

Mr Bantex also told the Youth that the El-Rufai Government would provide massive jobs for them, and solicited for prayer from the Church to enable them succeed.

On his part, the outgoing Deputy Governor, Nuhu Bajoga, who represented Governor Yero, thanked the people for their support to the outgoing administration and urged them to extend similar support to the incoming government.

Gaise Set To Bring Ebenezer Obey & Fela Kuti Together For The Youths

Gaise, Coded TunesFast rising Afro-fusion artiste, Gaise recently signed to Id Cabasa’s Coded Tunes Entertainment and from all indications the rapper is set to take his music to new heights.

Having grown up in a typical Yoruba family in Ile Ife where he was exposed to local lifestyles – climbing trees and rolling tyres as pastime – Gaise has learned to appreciate life and philosophy on a deeper level.

Like most singers, his passion for music started out in the Church and the desire to be original in content and delivery led him to become a song writer.

In an interview with Channels Television’s Entertainment News, Gaise shared some of his thoughts on the music scene in the country, laying out his plan to bring options to Nigeria’s youth.

“I feel that young people, children and those who are at the mercy of the music that is available deserve an alternative,” he said.

According to him, “there is too much of a kind of music right now and I’m not talking of style. I’m talking of content.

“It (music available) is pretty much about body parts and affluence – flexing and clubbing. I feel that there should be more mentally stimulating music – music that you hear and it makes you think.”

Gaise Coded Tunes

The rapper whose song ‘Little Drops’ gained impressive airplay told EN his music addresses issues and everyday living.

“Like I did with little drops and I was talking about Nigerians and the fact that with our actions, words and the things that we do, we actually influence the state of the nation

He further explained his opinion saying the floods in Lagos could not be blamed on the government but on citizens who litter the roads with waste.

“We are 20 million in Lagos, so if just four million of us are doing that, we have millions of litter blocking drainage. Of course, there’ll be flood.”

Although his music comes with a religious bias for Christianity which forms the boundaries for his content, Gaise admits that the late Afrobeats legend, Femi Anikulapo Kuti influences him – but only as regards delivery and style.

I am “considerably liberal. So I’m open to ideas. I’m open to learning…. so I expose my mind to those who have gone before (me)”

He adds that he will listen to rich music, even those that do not originate in Church,

“Any musician will be deceiving himself or herself if you do not give regard to the music that Fela did. I personally like the boldness with which he sang.”

Ebenezer Obey and Tope Alabi are some of the other musicians who inspire him.

“I want to do the Ebenezer Obey type of content with the Fela type fearlessness”.

Lagos Churches Packed Full For New Year Cross-over Service

Christian faithful trooped out in their numbers to different churches in the city of Lagos to observe the cross-over service in anticipation of the new year.

Correspondent, Olu Phillips went about town to speak with spiritual leaders and church members on their expectations for the new year.

Several of them expressed gratitude to God for making them see the end of 2013 and expressed hopes that 2014 would be better than 2013.

At the Tafawa Balewa square in Lagos, a large congregation massed to give thanks to God for seeing the end of 2013 and to seek God’s involvement in their lives in 2014.

 

Obi To Develop Rural Maternities With Churches

The Governor of Anambra state, Peter Obi has revealed plans to commence the construction of maternity centers in rural communities of the state in partnership with churches.

While laying the foundation stone of an ultra-modern Pharmacy and Diagnostic Center at the Holy Rosary Specialist Hospital and Maternity, Waterside, Onitsha, the governor stated that partnering with the church is yielding positive results.

He added that being among the six states that won the Bill Gates award on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) related projects, the state government intends to invest in rural maternity centers.

The governor expressed satisfaction with the successful partnership between the state and the church while inspecting the construction of the hostel block project which began last year.

He also presented a cheque of N10 million to the church.

He noted government will expand its collaboration with the church to initiate more projects and that the maternity centers will scale up interventions towards achieving the MDGs.

The state government said repositioning the hospital and setting up the new maternity centers will go a long way in serving the people better and help actualize the MDGs before the 2015 deadline.

The Catholic Archbishop of Onitsha commended the governor for his sustained efforts towards uplifting the lives of the people.

 

 

Cardinals Head To Conclave, Church Beset By Woes

Roman Catholic cardinals gather under the gaze of Michelangelo’s “Last Judgment” on Tuesday to elect a new pope to tackle the daunting problems facing the 1.2-billion-member Church.

The secret conclave, steeped in ritual and prayer, could carry on for several days, with no clear favorite in sight to take over the reins from Pope Benedict, who abdicated last month saying he was not strong enough to confront the Church’s woes.

In a process dating back to medieval times, 115 “Princes of the Church” from 48 countries will shut themselves in the Vatican’s frescoed Sistine Chapel on Tuesday afternoon after a public Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica in the morning.

They will emerge from their seclusion only when they have chosen the 266th pontiff in the 2,000-year-history of the Church, which is beset by sex abuse scandals, bureaucratic infighting, financial difficulties and the rise of secularism.

“We are ready to enter the conclave and it will be longer than the last one,” South African Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier told reporters on Monday, referring to the 2005 election of Benedict, that was wrapped up in 24 hours after four ballots.

“It will last a few days. Maybe four or five,” he predicted.

The average length of the last nine conclaves was just over three days and none went on for more than five days.

Vatican-insiders say Italy’s Angelo Scola and Brazil’s Odilo Scherer have emerged as the men to beat. The former would bring the papacy back to Italy for the first time in 35 years, while the latter would be the first non-European pope in 1,300 years.

However, a host of other candidates from numerous nations also have been mentioned, including U.S. cardinals Timothy Dolan and Sean O’Malley, Canada’s Marc Ouellet and Argentina’s Leonardo Sandri.

CONSERVATISM AHEAD

All the red-hatted prelates closed in the Sistine Chapel were appointed by either Benedict or his revered predecessor John Paul, and the next pontiff will almost certainly pursue their fierce defense of traditional moral teachings.

But Benedict and John Paul were criticized for failing to reform the Vatican bureaucracy, battered by allegations of intrigue and incompetence, and some churchmen believe the next pope must be a manager or put a good management team in place.

Vatican insiders say Scola, who has managed two big Italian dioceses, might be best placed to understand the Byzantine politics of the Vatican administration – of which he is not a part – and therefore be able to introduce swift reform.

The Curia faction is said by the same insiders to back Scherer who worked in the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops for seven years before later leading Brazil’s Sao Paolo diocese – the largest diocese in the biggest Catholic country.

With only 24 percent of Catholics living in Europe, pressure is growing within the Church to see a pontiff from elsewhere in the world who would bring a different perspective.

Latin American cardinals might worry more about poverty and the rise of evangelical churches than questions of materialism and sexual abuse that predominate in the West, while the growth of Islam is a major concern for the church in Africa and Asia.

The cardinals are expected to hold their first vote late on Tuesday afternoon – almost certain to be inconclusive – before retiring to the Vatican hotel for the night.

They hold four ballots a day thereafter until one man has won a two-thirds majority – or 77 votes. Black smoke from a makeshift chimney on the roof of the Sistine Chapel will show no-one was elected while white smoke and the pealing of St. Peter’s bells will announce the arrival of a new pontiff.

As in medieval times, the cardinals will be banned from communicating with the outside world. The Vatican has also taken high-tech measures to ensure secrecy in the 21st century, including jamming devices to prevent eavesdropping.

70th Birthday Ceremony of Josephine Olusola Falade

On Metrofile, Josephine Olusola Falade was full of joy and thanks to the Lord Almighty as family,relatives,friends and well-wishers joined her in celebrating her 70th birthday.

Suspected ‘Price Tag’ settlers desecrate church in Jerusalem

Vandals daubed “Death to Christianity” on a Jerusalem church on Monday (February 20) in the second such attack in the holy city this month.

The words “Price Tag”, a slogan used by ultranationalist Jewish settlers, were also scrawled on the walls of the Baptist Narkis Street Congregation in a quiet residential neighbourhood in Jewish west Jerusalem.

The graffiti also included profanity about Jesus, and the vandals slashed the tyres of several cars parked in the church compound.

The “Price Tag” term refers to retribution settlers say they will exact for any attempt by the Israeli government to curb settlement in the occupied West Bank, an area Palestinians seek as part of a future state.

Two weeks ago, similar graffiti was scrawled on the 11th-century Monastery of the Cross which is also in west Jerusalem but no suspect have been arrested, according to the police.

“Price Tag” attacks have in the past targeted mosques, Palestinian homes and Israeli military installations in the occupied West Bank.

Reuters