Love, unity, modesty •Clerics preach at Easter

We must remain resolute in prayers for genuine love and unity —Archbishop Ademowo

The Diocesan Bishop of Lagos and Dean Emeritus, Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Most Reverend (Dr) Ephraim Adebola Ademowo, has called on Christians to remain resolute in their prayers for the country, as they celebrate the resurrection of Christ today.

This was contained in the Easter message signed by the cleric and made available to TribuneChurch.

While lamenting the state of the economy, which he said, called for concern, he appealed to government to look critically and decisively into the economy, stating that “we believe things can be done better than they are now.”

“Christ’s resurrection is the model and source of our future resurrection because “Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep” 1Cor.15:20-22. Christ resurrection is our resurrection. Therefore the victory of Easter should lead us to face the perplexities of life with fortitude holding up our banner with the assurance that because He lives, we too shall live. And it shall be well with our souls. We must remain resolute in our prayers for genuine love and unity in our country. I wish all Nigerians happy and peaceful Easter celebrations,” he stated.

On corruption, the cleric, who noted the country’s grapple with public service corruption, which he said “is only distinguished by its lack of political will to crush it,” observed that  “a new culture of accountability should replace the prevailing reign of impurity of and sleaze. A major component of the war on corruption should be cleaning up of the civil service, whose operatives remain in place to build or ruin amid the endless flowing stream of political office holders. The Financial Intelligence Bill that has been curiously stalled in the federal legislature should be passed into law to assist in acquiring legal teeth to help financial intelligence and follow the money trail the country. The most critical assignment before the present government is how to institutionalise the war on corruption through public sector finance reforms.”

He condemned the proliferation of illegal arms and ammunition, stating that “Government should find lasting solutions and go beyond the routine to stamp out illegal arms in the country. Government must be serious about border patrol and ensure that the nation’s porous borders in the air, sea and land are well manned by patriotic, conscientious and ethical officials. Legal dealers should be tracked to ensure that arms do not get into the wrong hands.

“Also, government should audit licensed gun holders and encourage those who care possessing unregistered arms to declare them within a specified period. The military should be sterner in monitoring their men, especially those fighting insurgency and on peace-keeping operations in order to ensure full compliance with military ethics.”


Bishop Akinfenwa urges Christians to eschew all form of extravagance

The Bishop of Ibadan Anglican Diocese, Most Reverend Joseph Akinfenwa, has urged Christians to eschew all forms of extravagance, and to spend within their means during the festive season, just as he lamented that the rising level of poverty in the country.

He advised Christians to celebrate with modesty, and avoid going into debt.

“Instead, our surpluses should be channelled into providing succour to the needy. Most importantly, let us all seize the occasion of this season to draw closer to God and to know Him better through His Son, Jesus Christ.

“As Nigerians celebrate Easter in the midst of excruciating economic pain and under great anxiety over insecurity and political persecution, our nation is witnessing an economic downturn of monumental proportions, with a decline in the value of the Naira that is unprecedented in our history. Nigerians need to pray more. We admonish the three arms of government in this nation to urgently bury the hatchet and begin to work together in the overall interest of the masses.

“As we celebrate Easter, therefore, we appeal to feuding elements in the three arms of government to consider the interests of poor Nigerians over and above their narrow personal interests,” he said.

He stressed further that “Jesus Christ laid down his life for the salvation of our souls. In doing so, he left us an example of how leadership should be exercised for the pursuit of the good and wellbeing of others. Let us all reflect on this lesson as we celebrate, and leaders and the led should resolve to shun selfish, self-centered lives henceforth. A major lesson of Easter is that we must all learn to live ‘for others.’”


Trump ’ll disorganise the world —Primate Ayodele

Founder and spiritual head of INRI Evangelical Spiritual Church, with headquarters in Lagos, Primate Elijah Ayodele, has called on Nigerians to pray that God would help the nation’s President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption war, insisting that there are more cabals that would not want the anti-corruption crusade to succeed.

This was contained as part of the cleric’s Easter message made available to TribuneChurch. The cleric, who earlier predicted the attacks in Syria, fire outbreaks in some of Nigeria’s airports, the new management in CAF, all contained in the most recent edition of his collection of prophecies, Warning to the Nations, also called on the family of President Buhari to take good care of him, considering his present state of health.

According to him, “The President’s family must take care of him. This is very important. President Buhari should go and rest. He should take care of his health. He should leave power to Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.”

On the state of the nation, the seer said: “Nigeria’s economy will be unstable. We should pray that the nation will not disintegrate by 2043. We should not joke with those who are clamouring for Biafra. Those who surround the presidency are working against the president. The cold war between the Senate and the presidency will get messier. Former governor of Delta State, James Ibori, will take over the political leadership of the Niger Delta.”

The cleric called on security agents not to rest on their oars because terrorism had not stopped waging war, just as he stated that “ISIS is forming some pacts to carry out fresh attacks on airports and possibly on Abuja. We should pray against jailbreak. I do not know when, but the Federal Capital Territory will be relocated from Abuja. The joint treasury of the Federal Government will collapse. A bill will be sponsored for local governments to have separate accounts.

“The Senate will still fight against the confirmation of Magu. Except they take care of the judges, corruption will affect President Buhari’s administration. Only God can help Buhari’s anti-corruption war. The governor of Kaduna State, Nasir el-Rufai, will be confronted by many problems. Buhari is not coming back in 2019. The South East will not have the presidency in 2019. The person who would be the next president will shock Nigerians. There will be cracks in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). This will lead to some governors in both parties leaving to form another party.”

At the global scene, he revealed that “China and Russia will have issues with the United States of America. Britain will go back to the European Union. There will be crises in Cameroon, the United Kingdom and the United States. Donald Trump will mess up the world.”

Speaking further, he called on the embattled founder of Omega Fire Ministries, Apostle Johnson Suleman, to be more focused and refuse whatever distractions that might affect him. “He is a man of God. He should not be distracted. The sex scandal that is presently rocking him is a ploy of the devil to distract him. He should ignore the allegations. The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) should also be more focused.”

As part of the church’s Easter programme, Primate Ayodele added that about 500 widows would be empowered. “Aside the empowerment of the widows, we are going to build a church and a mosque, side by side, for inter-religious mediation,” he said.


Use the period to pray for Nigeria —Pastor Olaiya

The pastor in charge of Christ Apostolic Church, Gbaremu Centre, Pastor Adebayo Olaiya has called on all Christians to use the period of Easter to pray that God would reconstruct the country and deliver it from the evil manipulations.

He stated further that the season was of freedom from the power of sins and Satan.

“Christ’s death and resurrection brings grace, mercy, kindness and forgiveness which gave birth to our redemption. He won the battle and took the mantle of this world from Satan, our accuser, at the garden of Gethsemane,” the cleric said.

Adebayo added: “I’ve never seen any religious leader, who can do what Christ did for humanity; that’s why all power belongs to Him.

“I congratulate you for this season; this is another season to renew your faith, power, confession and to tell the world the truth that Christ is only  ‘way’ to God’s eternity; any other way leads to ‘hell,’” he stated.


We must discourage the growing trend of suicide and despair —Bishop Badejo

Catholic Bishop of Oyo Diocese, Bishop Emmanuel Badejo, in his Easter message made available to TribuneChurch, called on Christians not to despair.

According to him, even in the face of many challenges, the Easter message of hope is very significant.

“The message of Easter Sunday for Nigerians is that no one should ever despair of our situation. The Son of God went into the deepest abyss of suffering and disgrace, crucified like a common criminal, but at the end, he was given in his resurrection, a name that is greater than any other name.

“We must sympathise with and must support all who are most hit by the current woes of Nigeria and we must discourage the growing trend of suicide and despair. Negativity rather compounds the problem. If the Virgin Mary had committed suicide on Good Friday, she would never have become Mother of the Redeemer.

“We must caution the institutions of society who teach that poverty, hardship or illness occur only because of sin or because one is out of favour with God. Sin and crime, of course, should be condemned and abandoned, but there is no need to breed despair in people. We must give each other hope especially in God’s goodness and His power to turn things around when we all work with him. There can always be a better tomorrow when we all do what is right. Then God will turn our race to grace. That is the authentic Christian and resurrection spirit!” he stated.

Noting that Easter, as the feast of Christ’s resurrection, is a time for renewed hope, he urged Nigerians not to see the resurrection of Jesus as an isolated event of history, but to believe in the message of hope that it represents.


Power of resurrection‘ll restore Nigeria’s lost glory —Bishop Atere

The Bishop of the Diocese of Awori (Anglican Communion), Right Reverend (Dr) Johnson Akin Atere, has called on Nigerians to believe in the power of the resurrection of Jesus Christ in order for God to restore the nation’s lost glory.

Atere, who made this remark during a sermon at the special Good Friday service, held at The Cathedral of St. James, Ota, Ogun State, appealed to every Nigerian to allow the resurrection of Jesus Christ to rekindle their hope of the resurrection of the nation’s ailing economy, values, justice system, healthcare delivery system and the education sector, hitherto considered dead.

He noted that the ills bedevilling the nation, such as the growth of terrorism, spate of insurgency, widespread corruption, insecurity, kidnapping, assassinations and violence, were because the country had sinned against God.

He stressed that God was not happy with the nation and the only thing left for Nigerians was to have faith in Jesus Christ, whom through his death, the nation could resurrect.

The bishop further noted that for the country to be better, Nigerians should be righteous, steadfast, be humble before God, live holy lives, cleanse their hearts of sins and iniquities and desist from going back to their sinful ways of life after the Lenten period.

The cleric charged Christians to appreciate the gift of grace promised by God, with Jesus Christ leaving his exalted position in heaven to come and suffer here on earth in order to take away the sins of man and the penalties of those sins.

Atere, however, advised the government, in the spirit of the death and resurrection of Christ, to find a way to make life more meaningful for Nigerians, by improving the welfare of the people, through provision of employment opportunities and other basic social amenities, such as uninterrupted power supply, good road network and security of lives and property.


Let there be peace, Lagos Catholic Archbishop advises Nigerians

The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, His Grace, Most Reverend Alfred Adewale Martins, in his Easter message during the Chrism Mass held at the Holy Cross Cathedral, on Thursday said that the message of Easter is forgiveness and love.

While calling on all Nigerians to shun violence and embrace peace through regular forgiveness, he said: “we can only give peace if we learn to forgive. At the critical moment of our nationhood where there is violence crime on a daily basis, Christians should learn to embrace the message of love and peace so that the world will be a better place because no nation can survive without peace.”

Priests from all over the Lagos Catholic Archdiocese renewed their vows and made the promise to be loyal and committed to their priesthood, while the archbishop urged all Catholics to pray for leaders at all levels.