Okowa charges clerics to stop preaching materialism
By Gistflash News
July 11, 2021
Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta on Sunday, charged clergymen in the country to preach the word of God always and not earthly materialism to entice men.
The governor gave the charge at the consecration of two Bishops-Elect and the Presentation of Archbishop of Niger Delta at the Cathedral Church of St. Peter, Bishop’s Court, Asaba.
Okowa, who took the first reading at the service, congratulated Primate of Nigeria, Archbishop Henry Ndukuba on his successful ordination and the Niger Delta Archbishop, Most Rev. Blessing Enyinda and the two new bishops.
“Preachers must resist the ever-present temptation to resort to enticing words of man’s wisdom in a vain attempt to make the gospel appealing and acceptable to the secular mind.
“Happenings in our contemporary world and the church are a fulfillment of Paul’s prophecy that the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears.”
He said that their elevation was an affirmation of God’s anointing upon their lives, their spiritual characters and pedigree.
Okowa said that God’s desire was for all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of truth, adding that hell was not created for man but for the devil and his angels.
He called on clerics and Christians to constantly go on their knees to intercede for sinful humanity and intensify the drive for missions and evangelism.
He urged the Bishops-Elect, Rt. Rev’d Victor Okporu, consecrated as Bishop of Western Izon Diocese and Rt. Rev’d Nneoyi Egbe, Diocese of Calabar, not to follow the crowd or the trend but the righteous path.
“You must stay true to your calling by preaching the undiluted word of God. Every God-ordained preacher of the gospel is not at liberty to exchange God’s truth for his opinions, traditions or philosophies of men.
“The word of God is supposed to change us, not men changing the word to suit their circumstances.
“Hence, the man of God must be diligent to present himself as approved to God – a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly preaching the truth.
“The preacher of righteousness must be prepared to answer the call to duty at any time, not only when it is easy, profitable or convenient.
“The true man of God will answer the call to duty regardless of his/her personal circumstances and no matter where he is sent to; in other words, he should be ready to carry out the Father’s business whether he feels like it or not.
“The preacher must also be very patient with people and persist in delivering God’s message with the sincere hope that people will change and embrace a life of righteousness and holiness.
“He must not be quick to jump to conclusions and write them off,” the governor said.
Earlier, Archbishop Ndukuba commended Okowa for his commitment to the church and for his outstanding accomplishments in the governance of Delta.
He said that he was not surprised that Delta was peaceful “because when the righteous is on the throne, the people rejoice.
“We are proud of you because you are indeed the people’s governor and a true servant of God.
“The Lord will continue to bless and protect you and make his countenance to shine upon you”.
In his homily, Bishop of Ilesa Diocese, Rt. Rev. Samuel Sowale, admonished the clergy to flee from covetousness and follow righteousness, Godliness, faith, love, patience and meekness.
He stated that they were called to guide the faith, unity and leadership of the church, adding that a good Bishop was a source of strength and inspiration to his people.
“A good Bishop sets the tone in their words and in their actions and is charged with a daunting role and therefore, must strive hard to protect the integrity of the church at all times,” he said.
Forum distributes N9m Zakat to 135 indigent Muslims in Oyo
By Gistflash News
Sept 19, 2021
The EIders Consultative Forum of Supreme Council of Shariah, Oyo State, on Sunday distributed Zakat worth N9 million in cash and other valuable items to 135 indigent Muslims in Oyo State.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the beneficiaries selected from across the 33 local government areas of the state include: 21 students, 21 artisans and 93 indigent Muslims .
The items distributed include: domestic and industrial sewing machines, generators, grinding machines, deep freezers, 50 kg gas cylinders, vulcanizing machines and cash.
Speaking during the 9th Zakat distribution of the forum in Ibadan, the Chairman, Alhaji Lasun Sanusi, SAN, said that the initiative was due to the level of poverty in the society, especially among the Muslims.
Sanusi, represented by the forum’s Secretary, Malam Ismail Saka, said that Zakat being one of the five pillars of Islam would help to alleviate the financial difficulties being experienced by indigent Muslims.
The chairman called on wealthy Muslims to comply with Allah’s injunctions by paying Zakat to the needy.
This, he said, was in order to provide lasting solution to restiveness, banditry kidnapping and other crimes in the society.
“It is our belief that if the institution of Zakat is properly harnessed and utilised in accordance with the teachings of Islam, the country will be more comfortable for living for all and sundry,” the chairman said.
Sanusi appreciated those that had contributed to the success of the programme and prayed for Allah’s continued support and blessings upon them.
In his lecture, Dr Ibrahim Uthman, a lecturer in the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies, University of Ibadan, emphasised on the need for wealthy individuals among the Muslims to pay Zakat.
Uthman said that it was obligatory on wealthy Muslims to pay Zakat which would be distributed to indigent Muslims in society in order to achieve its purpose of eradicating poverty among them.
The chairman of the occasion, Asiwaju Adini of Oyo State, Alhaji Mutiu Oladejo, called on the beneficiaries to judiciously utilise the cash and items given to them.
Oladejo said that the proper utilisation of the Zakat by the beneficiaries would make them give back to the society and also become Zakat givers in the future.
Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Hassan Abdulkareem, commended the organisers for the invaluable gesture and prayed Allah to abundantly replenish the contributors of the Zakat.
Kaduna board refunds Hajj fare to 620 intending pilgrims
By Gistflash News
Sept 16, 2021
The Kaduna State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, says it has initiated refund of the 2021 Hajj fare to 620 intending pilgrims who indicated interest to collect their deposits.
The Acting Overseer of the board, Hajiya Hannatu Zailani, made the disclosure at the presentation of cheques to the intending pilgrims, on Thursday in Kaduna.
Zailani said that 620 of the 3,938 intending pilgrims applied for the refund of their deposits.
According to her, the refund is sequel to the cancellation of the 2021 Hajj exercise for foreign nationals by the Saudi Arabian authorities occasioned by COVID-19 pandemic.
She said that the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), had directed ingending pilgrims willing to collect their deposits to do so throught their respective state pilgrims boards.
“Some 620 intending pilgrims applied for the refund. We eqully wrote to the Kaduna State Government for approval to start payment of those who want the refund.
“Those seeking for the refund should handle their cheques with care, be law abiding and observe COVID-19 protocols during the exercise,” she said.
Zailani said that the exercise would be conducted in batches to facilitate its smooth conduct, adding that, “We have three zones, A, B and C. Today we are starting with zone C- Southern Kaduna.”
She advised the remaining intending pilgrims that they could deposit with the board for the 2022 Hajj exercise.
This, she said, would give them advantage over those who registered fresh.
She further advised intending pilgrims to ensure safe keeping of their COVID-19 vaccination cards for future use.
Yobe Hajj Commission refunds N700m to 557 intending pilgrims
By Gistflash News
Aug 13, 2021
Yobe Hajj Commission says it has refunded over N700 million deposits to 557 intending pilgrims for the 2021 Hajj exercise.
Alhaji Bukar Kime, Executive Chairman of the Commission, stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Friday in Damaturu.
Kime, who is also the Aji-Sudan of the Damaturu Emirate Council, said the figure represented the total refund made as at Aug. 11.
NAN reports that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia had earlier cancelled 2021 Hajj exercise for International Pilgrims including Nigeria, to stem spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kime urged intending pilgrims wishing to make deposits for the 2022 Hajj exercise, to be patience as the Commission was awaiting further instructions and guidelines from the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON).
He also advised intending pilgrims, especially low income earners, to open saving account with the newly established Jaiz Bank, Damaturu.
“Jaiz Bank is a non-interest bank which partners with NAHCON because it operates under Islamic banking principles.
“Civil servants, small scale traders, artisans and other low income earners can leverage on the opportunity to open an account with the bank and save their Hajj fares in instalment,” Kime said.
The Chairman thanked Gov. Mai Mala-Buni for his overwhelming moral and financial support to the Commission which facilitated effective discharge of its duties.
He further called on the general public to pray for an end to the COVID-19 pandemic to fast track resumption of the normal Hajj activities.
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