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



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.


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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Nigeria Air: Civil Society Group Tackles NASS



Says Committee Chairman’s declaration amounts to ‘giving the dog a bad name in order to hang it’

A civil society group, The Concerned Civil Society Advocacy Group has taken up the outgoing Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation, Nnolim Nnaji on his recent declaration that the national carrier project was a fraud.

According to the group, the declaration, coming in the wake of the recent exhibition of one of aircrafts of Nigeria Air in Abuja, amounted to “giving the dog a bad name so that it can be hanged”

In a statement to the media in Abuja on Wednesday,and signed by the Group’s National Coordinator, Bako Barkindo and National Secretary, Julius Adaji, it described the sustained plot to ensure the failure of the national carrier project as a disservice to the Nigerian people who stand to benefit from its establishment.

Former Aviation Minister, Senator Hadi Sirika

The Statement read:

“The media has been awash with reports that the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation has declared the national carrier project a fraud after a hastily organised ‘public hearing’ whose outcome was obviously predetermined.
As usual, many gullible Nigerians have been deceived through deliberate misinformation by opponents of the Nigerian Air project who have been masquerading their real intentions as national interest.
Everyone knows what the benefits of a national carrier are, and they include; competitive ticket prices, direct flights to international destinations, national pride etc. We therefore wonder why the concerted efforts by some people to ensure that the project fails.

“As a group that believes that Nigeria deserves a very robust national carrier that is private sector-driven (bearing in mind the issues that led to the death of defunct Nigeria Airways), we have followed the process through which the project had passed, from the appointment of transaction advisers up to the announcement of Ethiopian Airlines as the Strategic partners and other private sector investors before the court injunction obtained by some domestic airline operators. It is therefore surprising that the Chairman, House Committee on Aviation had to come up with such a declaration shortly before the Committee’s tenure ends.

“We are therefore constrained to raise the following questions:
1.Has the Committee chaired by Nnolim Nnaji not been part of the whole process of establishing the airline, or they have been watching from the sidelines, unconcerned with such a flagship project in the sector?
2.Why wait till the wee hours of their departure from the national assembly to hold a make-believe public hearing where the Chairman acted as a sole administrator and did not allow those in charge to make contributions but went ahead to declare the national carrier project a fraud, a position that at variance with that of Senate?
3.Is the Committee not aware of the fact that government equity in the airline is only 5% and the remaining 95% belongs to the strategic partners (Ethiopian Airlines) and other private investors; and that even if government withdraws from the venture, the owners of the 95% will carry on?
4.On the use of the Ethiopian Airlines plane, why didn’t the Committee highlight the 49% ownership of Nigeria Air part of which includes the provision of aeroplanes for take-off?
5.Can the Committee invalidate an Executive Council-approved project that was midwifed by the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) and approved by the President?
6.Why are some members of the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) so vehemently opposed to the national carrier project, if not for the sole purpose of continuous exploitation of air travellers? Should Nigerians be subjected to whims and caprices of these airline operators who have made air transportation in the country unaffordable to the average Nigerian?
7.Why would the Association also claim that they were not carried along in the process when every stage was advertised in most national dailies and some international publications as well as the electronic and social media? Moreover, all the information regarding the airline has been available on websites of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) and the Ministry of Aviation. Wherein lies the the much-vaunted secrecy?

“As concerned citizens we believe that the establishment of the cational carrier will be of immense benefit to Nigerians with the provision of competitive rates for both domestic and international routes.
It is our belief also that there’s more to this seeming gangup to truncate the project than meets the eye, especially with the close relationship with the major actors in the plot to deprive Nigerians of the inherent benefits.

“We conclude that all the negatives being spread about the Nigeria Air project is only to ‘give a dog a bad name so they can hang it’.

The group appealed to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to ensure the take-off of the airline which,according to them was at that stage before the change of government.

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Jibrin Condemns Destruction of Political Activist’s Hotel in Kogi



Accord Party Candidate in forthcoming gubernatorial election in Kogi State, Admiral Usman Jibrin (rtd) has condemned the attack and wanton destruction of a hotel belonging to a political activist Hon. Kabir Bala aka Okwo’ located at Ejule in Ofu Local Government Area of the state.

Reports have it that the hotel, said to be one of the best in the area, was attacked and completely razed down Wednesday night by people yet to be identified.

Admiral Jibrin in a statement to the media in Abuja, said the attack on the hotel was not only condemnable, but dastardly and unwarranted.

According to the retired Chief of Naval Staff, people should imbibe the spirit of politics without bitterness and eschew the recourse to needless violence in aspiring for positions of power.

He called on the state security apparatus to ensure an urgent and independent investigation and communicate their findings to the public to douse the tension that is building up in Kogi East.

Admiral Usman Jibrin (rtd)
Accord Party Governorship Candidate, Kogi State

The Governorship hopeful, while also calling on the State Governor, Inspector-General of Police and the Department of State Services to quickly take steps to ensure that the electioneering period leading to governorship election is devoid of all forms of criminality.

Admiral Jibrin, popularly called ‘Akpabana’ promised to bring his experience, extensive knowledge of security and universal contacts to bear on ensuring that the people of the state are safe and secure when he takes over the mantra of leadership of the state.

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President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has announced the appointment of Speaker of House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila as Chief of Staff, and Sen. Ibrahim Hassan Hadejia, a former Deputy Governor of Jigawa State, as Deputy Chief of Staff.

Sen. George Akume

A statement by the State House Director of Information, Biodun Olajundoye said President Bola Ahmed Tinubu confirmed the appointment on Friday during a meeting with the Progressives Governors Forum (PGF),

Oladunjoye further stated that the President also named former Governor of Benue State and immediate past Minister of Special Duties, George Akume as the new Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF).


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