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EASTER CELEBRATIONS: Churches under lock and key in Abuja, Kaduna, Kwara. … Jam-packed in Kogi

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It was an unusual Easter celebration due to the coronavirus pandemic which has confided worshipers all over the world and, essentially in Abuja. Various worship centers in Abuja have complied to the directives of the federal government and and advice of the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to remain at home amdist the lock down so as to contain the spreed of coronavirus.

At the branches of the Mountain Of Fire Church, there were no worshippers except the security personnel guarding the premises. According to the gaurds, everyone was in their various homes celebrating the easter, listening and watching the service on line.

At the Redeemed christian church of God Kubuwa, it was the same situation as services were conducted online just like the Catholic Church Kubuwa, which on a normal day, would have witnessed heavy traffic. The church premises was empty just the security was in the compound and a priest who were inside the church offering prayers to the lord. Lastly the living faith church wasn’t left out as all services were conducted online while food items were shared to members to enable them stay at home and enjoy the festive season.

Following the total lockdown imposed by the State Government to check the spread of coronavirus pandemic, Churches in Kaduna State were on Sunday shut despite the celebration of Easter.

Journalists who went round the state capital, observed that only the security guards of churches were outside the gates to prevent desperate worshippers from gaining entry.

At St. Andrew Catholic Church, Kakuri the security man on duty told our correspondent he has been instructed not to open the church for any worshipper.

According to him: “Yes, it is Easter period but, but the church leadership has instructed me not to open the Church to anyone, except the senior Reverends who may come to do one thing or the other and the woman who comes around to sweep the Church premises.

“This is the third week now the Church has not had service because of coronavirus. We don’t want to endanger the lives of worshippers.” He explained

It would be recalled that the Kaduna State Government had partially closed markets and prohibited all forms of gatherings, including church and mosque congregations.

The Government had threatened any group, church or mosque that violates the order prohibiting gathering of large crowd will have its property demolished, land title revoked and people involved prosecuted.

Some Christians who spoke to our correspondent said, they have been told by their pastors to celebrate Easter at home and pray that, God ends the coronavirus pandemic.
many churches in Kwara state on Sunday conducted online services for Easter.

In Kwara State, Churches complied strictly with Government announcement of a total lockdown from 6pm on April 10 after two comfired cases of COVID-19 in the state.

One of the major churches in the state, the Living Faith Church (LFC) aka Winners Chapel had directed its members to observe the Easter Sunday service at their respective homes, while it admonished members to hook up to the headquarters and watch the service online.

In the same vein, the Supervising Pastor, Pastoral Council of the Cherubim and Seraphim Movement Church Worldwide, Ademola Popoola, charged Christians to emulate virtues of humility, perseverance and compassion exhibited by Jesus Christ.

He urged his online congregation to continue to live in peace and harmony with believers in other faiths, adding that good neighbourliness, selflessness and patience were among the lessons taught and exemplified by Jesus Christ.

The Cleric further advised Nigerians to reflect on how best to positively impact the lives of their neighbours and family members through love, kindness and care for one another as the world fights against COVID-19.

Prophet Emmanuel Alonge of the Christ Apostolic Church, Oke Imole, Ogidi Oloje headquarters, Ilorin called On Nigerians to be full of prayers and imbibe Christ-like sacrifices as exemplified by Jesus Christ during the season of Easter.

……KOGI CHURCHES JAM-PACKED

Meanwhile, in contrast to what obtained in other states, most churches in Kogi state were jam-packed for Easter celebration following relaxation of the lockdown order on Sunday.

Governor Yahaya Bello had on Thursday lifted the ban on religious congregations imposed in the aftermath of the Coronavirus pandemic.

The Winners Chapel, Phase 1, it was a full house as worshippers thronged the Lokoja church headquarters without any fear of contracting the much-dreaded coronavirus.

At the Catholic Cathedral Lokoja, attendance was more controlled with the entrances along the Hassan Katsina road under strict control.

The Evangelical Church, also in the Lokongoma Phase 1 area, long rows of vehicles on both sides of the road in front of the church premises; attested to the volume of worshippers that braved the Covid-19 lockdown for the Easter Sunday service.

The State government had in its statement, enjoined religious adherents to do so responsibly as they continue to observe social distancing and other personal hygienic practices.

The statement which was signed by the Commissioner for Information and Communication, Mr. Kingsley Fanwo, also said it was to allow religious bodies have their normal worship and services.

Some residents of the state interviewed, expressed consternation on the decision of the state government to allow massive congregation of worshippers at a time the scourge of the coronavirus was on the increase.

“It is not a time to play to the gallery or seek to please some interests when the general wellbeing of the citizens is at stake” said a respondent who chose to remain anonymous.

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Electoral Ammendment Bill : NASS Succumbs To Buhari

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Removes Direct Primaries Clause

Nigeria Senate on Wednesday removed the clause that makes direct primary mandatory for the election of candidates in political parties from the electoral amendment act.

The Senate in late 2021 passed a version of the bill and transmitted it to President Muhammadu Buhari who declined assent to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.

Buhari said that the mandatory use of direct primaries for all political parties in the country will be too expensive to execute, saying that it will put a financial burden on Nigeria’s slim resources.

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Labour Of Our Heroes Won’t Go In Vain,’ Govs Celebrate Armed Forces Remembrance Day

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Governors across states of the Federation have joined in the celebration of 2022 Armed Forces Remembrance Day.

The Federal Government had earlier ordered the closure of parts of the roads accessing the arcade of the federal secretariat complexes and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Abuja to mark the event in the Federal Capital Territory.

In the South-West, Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde at the event held on Saturday at the Remembrance Arcade, Government House, Agodi, Ibadan, promised to keep encouraging and working closely with members of the armed forces and the survivors of the fallen heroes

He commended the officers and men of the security agencies for their efforts in battling insecurity in the state, urging them to continue to do their best to ensure that peace reigns in the state and the country at large.

Governor Seyi Makinde

“For Nigerians, some people made sacrifices for us to be where we are right now and also paid the ultimate price.

“So, I believe we should not allow their toil to go in vain,” the governor said.


In Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital, it was a solemn moment as the state governor, Dapo Abiodun joined other dignitaries which include the heads of security agencies, traditional rulers to lay the wreath in remembrance of the Nation’s fallen heroes at the arcade ground in the state capital.

The 21-gun salute was also shot in memory of the fallen heroes and the supreme price they had paid for the unity and peace of the country.

Governor Dapo Abiodun

 

The governor who also inspected the parades and the colour party called on Nigerians to sustain the quest for unity, peace and progress of the country, for socio-economic development and progress.


In the Eastern region, Ebonyi State Governor David Umahi led other members of the state executive council to the event held at the Unity Square in the state capital.

Security Agencies represented at the event include the Nigerian Army; the Nigeria Police Force; the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC); the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA); and the Nigeria Immigration.

Governor David Umahi

The Nigerian Legion Ebonyi State chapter at the event called on both the state and Federal Government to make available enhanced welfare packages as well as provision of job opportunities to the children of servicemen and women who have paid the supreme price defending the country.


Also in Imo State, resident joined their counterparts in other parts of the country to mark the Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration.

The event which took place at the Ndubuisi Kanu square in Owerri, the Imo state capital, witnessed match past by the armed forces and security operatives as well as the presence of top government functionaries in Imo State.

Governor Hope Uzodimma

Delivering his speech, Governor Hope Uzodimma asked Nigerians to take the opportunity of the Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration to reflect more on the meaning and importance of sacrifice as it affects the interest of the Nation.

He described the military as the noblest and patriotic profession.

In the South-South, Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa represented by his deputy Kingsley Otuaro led top military and para-military officers to lay wreaths at the statue of the unknown soldier.

The event was held at the cenotaph where the governor inspected the guard of honour mounted by the Nigerian Army, Navy, Airforce and members of the Nigerian Legion.

Governor Ifeanyi Okowa

 

A minute silence was observed while a 21-gun salute was taken in honour of the departed heroes.

Some widows of the fallen heroes also used the opportunity to ask the Federal and State Government to look into their plight and provide support for them to be able to fend for themselves and their families.

Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki in his address held in Benin, the state capital said unguarded talks about Nigeria’s unity will cost lives and the efforts of fallen heroes would have been in vain.

Governor Godwin Obaseki

 

He also disclosed plans to include wives of the fallen heroes in the state’s welfare programmes, adding that some of the legionnaires have already been integrated into the security architecture of the state.


In Akwa Ibom State, Governor Udom Emmanuel called on Nigerians to embrace dialogue in resolving thorny issues in the country.

Governor Udom Emmanuel

 

The governor said most of the circumstances that caused bloodshed in the country’s history would have been settled peacefully if the key players embraced dialogue and peaceful resolution of conflicts.

In Kwara State, Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq urged Nigerians to continue to provide information to the military in order to end the insecurity in the country while also urging the country to appreciate the sacrifices being made to keep the country together.

He also commended the efforts of the Federal Government in enhancing their welfare.


Meanwhile, Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambuwal appealed to the Federal Government to sustain the payment of pension and gratuity to retired military personnel.

While laying a wreath at the 2022 Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration in Sokoto, he said this will enable the retired personnel to live well and take care of their needs and it will also serve as an encouragement to the serving personnel to do more in the service of the nation.

He said their services in unquantifiable in ensuring the unity of the nation by laying their lives for the service of the nation.

However, Katsina State Government restated commitment to restore peace and normalcy in the state with several strategies, approaches and mechanisms been introduced by the state to eradicate terrorism in the state.

Governor Aminu Masari during the 2022 Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration held at the Katsina Peoples’ Square said the relative peace currently being enjoined in the state is due to the dedication, competence and discipline of the troops and other sister security agencies.

He commended the army for the untiring sacrifice towards securing the lives and property of Katsina citizens.


In Niger State, Governor Abubakar Bello said the security agencies should remain resolute to end the security challenges in the country.

Bello disclosed this at the 2022 Nigeria Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration held at the Permanent Cenotaph, Minna.

He also commended the efforts of the Federal Government in enhancing their welfare.


Meanwhile, Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambuwal appealed to the Federal Government to sustain the payment of pension and gratuity to retired military personnel.

While laying a wreath at the 2022 Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration in Sokoto, he said this will enable the retired personnel to live well and take care of their needs and it will also serve as an encouragement to the serving personnel to do more in the service of the nation.

He said their services in unquantifiable in ensuring the unity of the nation by laying their lives for the service of the nation.

However, Katsina State Government restated commitment to restore peace and normalcy in the state with several strategies, approaches and mechanisms been introduced by the state to eradicate terrorism in the state.

Governor Aminu Masari during the 2022 Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration held at the Katsina Peoples’ Square said the relative peace currently being enjoined in the state is due to the dedication, competence and discipline of the troops and other sister security agencies.

He commended the army for the untiring sacrifice towards securing the lives and property of Katsina citizens.


In Niger State, Governor Abubakar Bello said the security agencies should remain resolute to end the security challenges in the country.

Bello disclosed this at the 2022 Nigeria Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration held at the Permanent Cenotaph, Minna.

He commended the men of Nigeria Armed Forces and other security agencies for protecting the lives of the people especially in dealing with insurgency and criminal elements, urging them not to relent.

The governor urged them to continue to protect the integrity of the nation, promising the support of the state government towards ending the insecurity.

“My call is on the military to remain resolute. Today is a special day where we come to remember our fallen heroes that have lost their lives in wars and in the course of their assignments”, he said.

Highlights of the event were the release of pigeons as a symbol of peace, exchange of pleasantries with the widows of the fallen heroes and members of the legions as well as the inspection of the guard of honour by the Governor.

Taraba State Governor Darius Ishaku in his address urged the Nigeria Army to sustain the momentum against insecurity and ensure that peace reigns across the country.

He said his administration will not relent in supporting the military and other security agencies to ensure that criminal elements are wiped out of the state, as well as avert the recurring herders, farmers clashes and communal crisis.

The governor, who was was represented by his Deputy Haruna Manu assured of prioritising the needs of ex-servicemen and fallen heroes families.

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Former Oyo State Governor, Alao-Akala Passes On

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Otunba Adebayo Christopher Alao-Akala, a former Governor of Oyo State, is dead.

Details of his death are sketchy but sources close to the politician confirmed the tragic incident to SunriseNigeria.

The politician, who had been battling terminal ailment for a while, died in his Ogbomoso country home, on Wednesday morning, according to sources.

A top source in the All Progressives Congress (APC) who confirmed his death to Daily Trust on Wednesday morning, said he died in his room.

“It is true that Oga is dead. He died in the early hours of Wednesday in his room in Ogbomoso. He was full of life last night. In fact, I head he was playing with his children before he went to bed. We are in a mourning mood now,” he said.

Akala was the governor of the state between 2007 and 2011.

Born on June 3, 1950, at Ogbomoso in the Ogbomoso North Local Government Area of Oyo State, Alao-Akala had his elementary school at Osupa Baptist Day School, Ogbomoso before proceeding to Kamina Barracks Middle School, 5th Battalion of Infantry in Tamale, Ghana.

This is the third known death of a prominent Ogbomosho native in a month.

On December 12, 2021, Oba Oladunni Oyewumi, the Soun of Ogbomoso, passed on.

On January 8, 2022, Prof Taibat Danmole, his daughter who was a lecturer at the Lagos State University (LASU), also died.

The deceased, who was a professor of education was married to another university don, Prof. Hakeem Danmole, who is the Dean College of Humanities and Social Sciences at the Al-Hikmah University, Ilorin

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