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Gov Soludo, Archbishop Okeke At Fr Ebube Muonso’s Mother’s Funeral Mass

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By Chuks Eke

His Grace, Most Rev. Valerian Okeke, the Catholic Archbishop of Onitsha, Onitsha Archdiocese, and Metropolitan of Onitsha Ecclesiastical Province, has taken issue with Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, the governor of Anambra State, for threatening to fine the Obimma family for holding Ezinne Grace Obimma’s funeral ceremonies in a flamboyant manner at her country home, Nkwelle-Ezunaka Oy Local Council Area.

 

During yesterday’s Requiem Mass for Ezinne Grace Obimma, mother of Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Obimma (also known as Fr. Ebube Muonso), Spiritual Director of Holy Ghost Adoration Ministry, Uke in Idemili South Local Government Area also of Anmmbra state, who passed away at the age of 88, Archbishop Okeke and Governor Soludo exchanged these words.

After Prof. Soludo placed the blame on the Obimmas, especially Charles Obimma, a member of the State House of Assembly, who signed the State Burial Law into law in 2019 to cap funeral expenses, Archbishop Okeke responded.

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By revealing that his late father Pa Simeon Soludo’s meek, Iow-keyed funeral procedures were child’s play in comparison to the late Ma Obimma’s exuberant and flamboyant funeral, Soludo had opened a can of worms.

However, Archbishop Okeke chastised the Governor for invading territories that were not under his purview and urged observance of jurisdictional limits.

The Cleric said, “In the separation of power, you don’t make laws for the church on how to bury the dead because it’s bound to fail.

“It’s not the duty of the governor to make law on how Christian burials should be done because there are more serious things the government should do. Any law that is impossible to keep or enforce should be considered unjust maw.”

According to him, the church can only make a law where it has exclusive ecclesiastical paw, but not for the government because they’re two separate jurisdictions.

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He pointed out that the church made suggestions on how to cut expenses during burial, but noted the choice of celebrants to decide whether to spend hugely or meagrely, stressing Soludo chose to use and blow siren at his father’s burial out of choice.

Before the mass, the late Ma Obimma led a life that was worthy of being emulated, according to the presiding cleric, Rev. Fr. Dr. Prudentius Aroh, the Chancellor of the Onitsha Archdiocese and Peter Obi, the Labour Party presidential candidate in the most recent general election.

Rev. Fr. Obimma, the founder of Holy Ghost Adoration Ministry Uke, expressed his gratitude by noting that his mother, whose life is firmly anchored in Christ, passed away on All Saints Day, November 1st, a sign that heaven had received a saint.

As the parish priest of Blessed Iwene Tansi Catholic Church in Umudioka, Dunukofia Local Council Area, Rev. Fr. Obimma made hints about the philanthropic activities of his late mother, saying that she was “rooted in love and passion for people who with nobody to help them especially the widows and less privileged.”

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West African Traditional, Faith Leaders, Others Gather In Abuja To Combat SGBV

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First class and respected traditional rulers in attendance

Traditional and faith leaders from across West Africa, government officials, and international organisation representatives have gathered in Abuja for the first Annual High-Level GBV Prevention Summit.

Many forms of gender-based violence in Africa are justified by culture and tradition. Violence against women and girls is perpetuated by harmful gender norms and practices that stem from traditional customs and religious misconceptions.

Traditional and religious leaders’ authority and platforms are thought to be useful in addressing the root causes of GBV, such as patriarchy and gender stereotypes, by mobilising communities to effect change. Recognising this, UN Women, with support from the Ford Foundation, organised a GBV prevention summit to assess the accomplishments of leaders in their respective jurisdictions and provide a forum for sharing critical and inspirational insights.

Ms. Beatrice Eyong, UN Women Representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS, expressed her heartfelt gratitude to the Ford Foundation for their unwavering support for the Traditional and Cultural Leaders for Ending GBV by Advancing Advocacy, Policy, and Social Norms Change in Nigeria and West Africa (LEAP) programme.

She emphasised that this initiative recognises the critical role of traditional and religious leaders in challenging harmful social norms that perpetuate GBV, particularly violence against women and girls.

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She emphasised the importance of challenging societal norms that condone violence, pointing to Africa’s rich cultural heritage while acknowledging the need to confront practices that violate human rights and dignity. Ms. Eyong also emphasised the pervasive nature of GBV, stating that “GBV is not just against our women and girls; it is also against our economic growth, stability, and emergence to become a continent that has everything it needs to be great and prosperous.”

His eminence, Alhaji (Dr) Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, the Sultan of Sokoto and President General of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, also spoke at the event and urged traditional and religious rulers to work together to end all harmful practices against women and girls, saying, “We are 100% behind you in this fight.

His Imperial Majesty, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, the Ooni of Ife, reiterated his commitment, urging traditional rulers to ensure that the summit is outcomes are implemented in their respective communities.

Mr. Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation, who was also present at the summit, emphasised the importance of continuing to invest in GBV prevention in order to create a more equitable society for Nigerian women and girls. Mr. Walker was also recognised as a He4She for his efforts to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in Nigeria and West Africa.

Despite some progress, disparities persist, with West Africa experiencing high rates of child marriage and female genital mutilation. To put an end to violence against women and girls, radical shifts in mindset are required, which can be accomplished through dialogue and knowledge sharing among distinguished leaders from Nigeria, Niger, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Ghana.

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The summit is an important milestone in the ongoing fight against GBV in Nigeria and throughout West Africa. It builds on the momentum of previous initiatives such as the Spotlight Initiative and the LEAP project, focusing on improving traditional leaders’ skills and partnerships to prevent and shift harmful social norms and practices.

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Emir Of Kano Prays For Peace, Stability In Nigeria, West Africa

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Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, the Emir of Kano, has prayed for peace and stability in Nigeria and throughout the West African region.

The Emir offered the prayer when Senator Barau Jibrin, the Deputy President of the Senate and Acting Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, led the delegation from the regional legislative arm to his Palace as a courtesy.

The Emir thanked the parliamentarians for their visit and prayed for a successful extraordinary session of the parliament.

The Emir, while thanking the Senate’s Deputy President for arranging for the session to be held in Kano, urged parliamentarians to explore business opportunities in the state.

Senator Jibrin stated during the visit that Kano was chosen for the second extraordinary session to bring the ECOWAS Parliament closer to the people.

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He stated: “This will bring the ECOWAS Parliament closer to the people on the ground. It will also provide a platform for interactions and business relationships. Our founding fathers envisioned ECOWAS as a way to bring us together.

“The emir is the guardian of our traditions and religion. We are here to seek his blessings and express our admiration for the emirate and the emir. “Your Royal Highness, we also ask for your prayers for the event’s success,” he said.

The extraordinary session has been called to consider and approve the rule of procedure and strategic plan for the sixth legislature, as well as the 2024 work programme.

Parliamentarians from 12 countries, including Nigeria, Benin Republic, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote D’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and the Republic of Togo, are attending the parliament’s second extraordinary session.

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Innovation Interventions To Be Adopted At NESREA, Says Barikor

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Dr. Innocent Bariate Barikor, the Director General of NESREA, has stated that he will implement innovative interventions to address the country’s environmental problems.

Dr. Barikor made the promise on Monday while speaking to the agency’s management and staff on his first day in office in Abuja.

He stated, “We will deepen the mandate of this Agency, explore the full potentials of the NESREA Establishment Act 2007 (as amended), and ensure we provide more innovative approaches, so that we use the opportunity given to us to do the right thing, not just for ourselves, but for the nation and posterity.”

“We will increase our capacity for public orientation, increase revenue generation for the government, and collaborate with our external partners to achieve the Agency’s mandate,” he stated.

Barikor thanked the President and Commander – in- Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu (GCFR) for the confidence reposed in him, and assured that under his administration, the Agency, will exceed expectations of Nigerians in terms of safeguarding the environment.

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The NESREA boss also urged the Agency’s management and staff to collaborate with him in realising the vision of a clean and healthy environment for all Nigerians, which is consistent with President Ahmed Bola Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda.

While handing over to Dr. Barikor, the Director, Inspection and Enforcement, Mr. Abdusalam Isa pledged the support of the Management and Staff for the new Director General.

Dr. Innocent Bariate Barikor was appointed the 4th Director General of NESREA by the President. Barikor thanked the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu (GCFR), for his trust in him and promised that under his administration, the Agency would exceed Nigerians’ expectations in terms of environmental protection.

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