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Bishop declares fasting, prayer after Mbaka supporters’ attack

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The Catholic Bishop of Enugu Diocese, Most Rev Callistus Onaga, on Thursday, described the attacks on his house and Holy Ghost Cathedral by supporters of Rev Fr. Ejike Mbaka as sacrilegious.

Onaga said that by the attack the holy altar of sacrifice had been desecrated.

Angry supporters of Mbaka on Wednesday visited the Bishop’s Court and Holy Ghost Cathedral with violence after Mbaka’s followers declared him missing barely 24 hours he was summoned to a meeting by the bishop.

Mbaka, the Spiritual Director of the Adoration Ministry, Enugu, Nigeria, later appeared and addressed his followers saying he would have been kept incommunicado by those he that held him but for their protest.

But the Church in its official reaction, called for a prayer of “Atonement and Reparation” for desecration of “the holy altar of sacrifice” by the protesters.

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Onaga in statement he personally signed called on all parishes, chaplaincies and religious houses in the Catholic Diocese of Enugu to embark on the prayer.

The statement reads partly, “On 5 May 2021, the followers of Fr. Camillus Mbaka of the Adoration Ministry Enugu, Nigeria, violently broke into the diocesan cathedral church and desecrated the holy altar of sacrifice. Over and above this, they brutally vandalised the diocesan bishop’s residence, the cathedral parish house and the secretariat building complex.

“Therefore, I hereby declare and call for a one week union of prayer in atonement for this heinous act against our central place of worship and the sanctity of the Church. The prayer begins from Friday, 7th May to Friday, 14th May 2021. Every parish, chaplaincy and religious community in the diocese is obliged to participate in this holy activity.”

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Leadership

Eid: Buhari asks Nigerians to pray against banditry, kidnapping

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The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Wednesday asked Nigerians to pray against kidnapping, banditry and blackmail.

According to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the President made the call in his Eid-il-Fitr message.

The statement was titled ‘On the occasion of Eid, President Buhari calls for unity and solidarity’.

Shehu quoted the President as saying, “On this blessed occasion, I wish that the Eid festival brings with it peace, safety, security, brotherhood and love amongst all.

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“Unity and solidarity among all citizens, Muslims and Christians are imperative especially at a time when our country is faced with multiple challenges which are surmountable only when we come together as one.

“It is important that we remember how we share, through our faiths, common bonds that should serve to unite us and not allow ourselves to succumb to those who seek to divide us, using our two great religions, for their own selfish advantages.

“We should jointly pray against the tragic incidents of kidnapping and banditry and the desperate quest for political power expressed through blackmail against the existence of our country as a united entity.

“We must resist the temptation to retreat into our communities. I urge our political and religious leaders as well as traditional rulers to encourage our citizens to turn towards one another in love and compassion.”

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Religion

Osun mosque shut, sallah prayers banned as imams battle for seat

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The Osun State Government on Tuesday announced the indefinite closure of Inisa Town Central Mosque, following the inability of the Muslim community in the town to install a new Imam for the mosque.

A statement by the Deputy Chief of Staff to the governor, Abdullahi Binuyo, said the closure was part of the measure to forestall crisis.

Binuyo also said policemen had been deployed to ensure compliance with the closure and ban on Eid Prayers, adding that the directive would be in place until reconciliatory process towards amicable resolution was concluded.

The statement read in parts, “Governor Adegboyega Oyetola, as part of efforts to ensure security of lives and properties in that area of the state, directed that the Central Mosque be shut indefinitely to forestall further religious or communal crisis.   Already the mosque has recorded the death of two Imams in quick succession.”

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Recall that Eesa of Inisa town,  Chief Enoch Ajiboso, took ill and died last December while presiding over a peace meeting at the palace of Olunisa of Inisa, between groups involved in tussle for the post of Chief Imam of the town.

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Religion

Moon not sighted, Ramadan continues today – NSCIA

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The President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs who is also the Sultan of Sokoto?  Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, has declared Thursday as Eid-il-fitr.

He said since there was no proven report of the sighting of the crescent of Shawwal on Tuesday, Ramadan fast would  continue on Wednesday.

Abubakar disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday by the Deputy Secretary-General, NSCIA, Prof Salisu Shehu, titled ‘Shawwal 1442 AH Press release.”

It read, “The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs – under the leadership of its President-General and Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Alh. Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, CFR, mni – wishes to inform the Nigerian Muslim Ummah that there was no proven report of the sighting of the crescent of Shawwal, 1442 AH on the 29th of Ramadan, 1442 AH.

“Ramadan fast will therefore continue tomorrow, Wednesday, May 12, 2021 as the 30th day of Ramadan.

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“Consequently, Thursday, May 13,  2021 is hereby declared as 1st of Shawwal, 1442 AH and the day of Eid-il-fitr.

“The council prays that Almighty Allah accept our fasting and other virtuous acts in Ramadan and grant us all peaceful and blissful Eid celebrations.”

Recall that the Federal Government had declared Wednesday and Thursday as public holidays to mark the Eid-el-Fitr.

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