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BackOurGirls Campaigners Issue a Press Release

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#BringBackOurGirls Statement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

‘Mr President, time to act is now’
12 October 2017

A. Introduction
Today is day 1,277 since schoolgirls of Government Secondary School, Chibok were abducted in their school, and day 847 under President Muhammadu Buhari’s watch. It is 1,262 days of consistent #BringBackOurGirls advocacy, sadly 113 of our girls are still in captivity.

B. Our Demands

In a little over 2 months our specifics demands have been:
A. The federal government must redouble efforts to immediately rescue or secure the release of our remaining 113 #ChibokGirls. Whatever it chooses to do to bring back the rest of our girls cannot be further delayed and any relapse to inertia, complacency and indifference is unacceptable to our movement.
B. The FG should immediately send a high-powered delegation to Chibok to reassure disconsolate parents of our remaining girls that are still in captivity. The obvious and painful empathy-deficit approach in which the parents have thus far been managed is undesirable. It must end NOW.
C. The federal government and the Nigeria military should immediately provide the public with factual and accurate details on the missing Lassa women and the NNPC exploration team. The opaqueness surrounding these two tragedies have created room for unhealthy speculations and must be urgently addressed.
D. The federal government should immediately invite the affected families of the victims of the Lassa women and the soldiers- NNPC-University of Maiduguri lecturers and staff killings and abduction for a full briefing on the tragedies that befell their relatives. The FG should have already taken full ownership of the tragedies and presented families with persuasive and comforting plans for the immediate rescue of their relatives. (Some of the families have actually reached out to our movement formally and shall be receiving our support going forward.
E. The FG as we have constantly and consistently demanded must now set up the structured systems of public reporting on each specific abduction case, the general management of our IDPs as well as the entire prosecution of the counter insurgency war. Citizens have a right to know. Even more so, families of victims of abduction have an immediate right to know status of their missing relatives. The FG alone cannot successfully win the counter terrorism war. It must mobilize the citizens and this is only possible when it trusts the people with factual updates relevant enough to build public support.
F. Finally, we call for an urgent revamping of counterterrorism operational strategy by the Nigeria military. We also urge the military to overhaul its Communication approach and strategy to become more transparent and engaging with immediate communities and the citizens at large.

At our last march to the State House 10 weeks ago on Tuesday 2 August, the presidency through Babatunde Ojudu, the special adviser to the president on political affairs took our message, conceded on some issues the state had previously denied, and expressed the federal government’s commitments. Our movement received the message in good faith, but insisted that we shall only be persuaded of the federal government’s sincerity by their actions. [See report of what transpired here: http://www.bringbackourgirls.ng/?p=2846]. Most regrettably, we have no evidence of anything being done on any of the issues and are still where we were on that day 2 months ago.

C. Matter Arising from President Muhammadu Buhari’s Independence Day Address

President Muhammadu Buhari in his Independence Day speech on 1st October again restated his government’s commitment to rescue our missing 113 #ChibokGirls and all others in captivity. Our movement opines that beyond words, more verifiable action is need to be seen.

Second, our movement notes that the president did not mention the University of Maiduguri lecturers and their others including members of our armed forces who were kidnapped whilst on national duty, an oil exploration mission for the federal government in the Lake Chad Basin area. Also on 20 June, exactly 115 days ago today 14 women and children and 2 men (16 in all) from Lassa (which included police service women) also kidnapped on Borno-Adamawa road whilst on a mission to bury a deceased police service personnel. The expression ‘Chibok girls and all others’ when first used by Mr President referred to our #ChibokGirls and the thousands of others in captivity whose identities are not clear. The victims of these 2 kidnappings cannot therefore be lumped into the ‘others in captivity’ label as they and everything about them is known and on the record.

Not specifically mentioning them tends to deny their kidnap and continued captivity, which sadly is what happened with our #ChibokGirls who when abducted in their school were not promptly rescued, today makes it 1277 days 113 of them have been in captivity. We will not accept a repeat of what happened to our #ChibokGirls.

Among this batch of kidnapped women was a young lady, Jummai Ibrahim a corps member undergoing her National Youth Service Scheme (NYSC) serving with Universal Basic Education (UBE) in Borno, another, Sarah John a 300-level undergraduate of the University of Maiduguri, as we have been informed by their families.

In light of the president’s Independence Day address, our movement temporarily suspends our earlier announced marches to the State House every 3 working days beginning today for another 30 days to monitor the federal government’s actions following the said address. If we do not have evidence of the federal government’s responsiveness in meeting our named demands within this time we shall commence our marches on Tuesday 14 November, 1 month and 2 days from today.

D. Other Matters Arising
Last year before our girls began coming back news broke of a girl who self identified as a #ChibokGirl in Cameroon, it turned out that she wasn’t among our then missing 219#ChibokGirls. Her name and that of her associate they were found together were never released, nor has anything been said of them since then. We are interested and want full disclosure of their status, whereabouts, and welfare.

In the same manner, Sarah Luka was found shortly after Amina Ali (the first #ChibokGirl to return), she was first reported to be among our 219 missing girls but she was not. We are interested and want to know where she is, the state of her rehabilitation, reunification with family, reintegration and if she is back in school. All lives matter equally.

E. Conclusion

Two days ago our courageous troops successfully repelled an attack of the insurgents to take over Gwoza. We commend our men and women in uniform as well as the Civilian JTF for their gallantry and service. Your labour shall never be in vain. You are always in our thoughts and prayers.

‘MR PRESIDENT!’
‘NO MORE EXCUSES!!’
‘MR PRESIDENT!’
‘NO DELAYS!!’
‘MR PRESIDENT!’
‘NO DECIDE NOW!!’
‘MR PRESIDENT!’
‘ACT NOW, WE WANT MORE RESULTS!!’

‘THREE YEARS TOO LONG!’
‘NO MORE EXCUSES!!’

Thank you.

For and on behalf of #BringBackOurGirls

FLORENCE OZOR
OBY EZEKWESILI

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Religion

Nigerian-owned Church Probed by the UK Gov

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The United Kingdom Government, through the Charity Commission, has opened an inquiry into the activities of Nigerian-owned church, SPAC Nation, various online media platforms have reported.

According to reports, the church is run by 39-year-old Pastor Tobi Adegboyega, a Nigerian who took up residency in Britain in 2005.

According to the Evening Standard, Adegboyega once shared a room with his cousin, Star Wars actor John Boyega, after moving to London from Nigeria; adding that the pastor “works with young people who have been involved with gangs and street crime.”

The church is being investigated over allegations that pastors were pressuring young people in the congregation to sell their own blood to raise funds, Mail on Sunday has reported.

“The Charity Commission said it has opened an inquiry into SPAC Nation to probe financial and safeguarding concerns after claims emerged that pastors had encouraged worshippers to take out loans in order to pay for the church’s lavish spending,” the medium claimed.

The commission described SPAC Nation as “a charity set up to ‘advance Christianity,’ noting that it works “particularly with young people.”

It has, meanwhile, ordered the church to deposit all its money in the bank while the investigation lasts.

While the Scotland Yard is said to be reviewing the complaints against the SPAC Nation, Labour MP Steve Reed, who is also the Shadow Children’s Minister, told the Mail On Sunday that the allegations he had received about SPAC Nation were “truly disturbing.”

SPAC Nation has since denied all wrongdoing, Huffington Post said.

Trouble allegedly started after the Huffington Post alleged in a report that some members of SPAC Nation had been taking teenagers to donate blood for medical trials in a practice known as “bleeding for seed.”

The Mail On Sunday had alleged that parishioners were encouraged to raise £100,000 a week; while HuffPost UK alleged that young church members claimed that some members go to donate blood and are paid up to £100 by medical trial companies.

“This money is then handed by the young people over to the church’s pastors,” HuffPost UK said.

The reports further alleged that while members were told to raise “the seed” through whatever means — including if they had to “beg, borrow or steal,” pastors in the church cruise around town in £150,000 Rolls-Royces and a Lamborghini with personalised number plates such as ‘Pastor R.R’ on a Rolls Royce allegedly owned by a pastor.

In a series of links on the SPAC Nation’s website, various media reports had earlier focused on the activities of the church and its lead pastor, Adegboyega.

The BBC in a February 1, 2018 report had described SPAC Nation as “The church where drugs and knives are left at the altar;” while The Sunday Times of August 11, 2018 sees it as a church that uses “‘Demonic’ drill rap used to spread the gospel.”

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Four Enugu Pastors jailed for Conspiracy, Forgery

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Four pastors in Enugu state have been convicted for forgery and conspiracy by the Chief Magistrate of the states magistrates’ court, J. O. Umezulike.

The convicted pastors include the General Overseer, Christian Charismatic Movement, Dr Sabinus Onuigbo, for forgery and conspiracy.

While delivering judgment on Wednesday in a suit with no CME/56C/2017, the chief magistrate sentenced Onuigbo to seven years imprisonment without an option of fine, while his conspirators – Pastors Tony Chukwu, Chukwuma Victor and Nick Nwoye – were handed three years jail term each with an option of N20,000 fine.

 Enugu State Police Command had arraigned the convicts:  Onuigbo, Ojukwu, Victor, Nwoye and one Tony Ike before the magistrates’ court in 2017 for alleged forgery and conspiracy.

Onuigbo and the three pastors were said to have forged the signature of one Pastor Sunny Ndolo of the same church who resigned in 2011, in the minutes of the church’s meeting held on July 14, 2014.

Angered by the development, one Mr Innocent Ngwu reported the case to the police. After investigation, the convicts were charged.

 Delivering the judgment on Wednesday,  the court held that the prosecution proved its case against the four pastors beyond a reasonable doubt. He, however, acquitted Ike.

 The judgment read in part, “The sole issue for determination was the forgery of Rev. Sunny Ndolo’s signature. The defence did not debunk or contradict it all through with their defence. As Lord Denning would say, ‘you cannot put something on nothing and expect it to stand.’ The prosecution proved their case beyond a reasonable doubt.”

 Magistrate Onuzulike held that the defence resorted to underhand tactics to undermine the judgment of the court, The Chief Magistrate said,  “As the proceeding was ongoing, there was intermittent interference. But facts before the court found four of the accused guilty while the fifth accused was not a party to the allegations.

“Nevertheless I convict the 1st – 4th accused persons for the offence of forgery and conspiracy as in SS. 495(a); 443(1); 449 and 453 of CC Laws of Enugu state 2004 and sentence 1st accused to seven years in prison; 2nd to 4th also accused to three years in jail or option of fine of N20,000 each excluding the 1st defendant.

 “The 5th defendant is not a party per se in the entire transaction. He is an innocent passerby. In accordance with S.386 of ACJL he is discharged and acquitted.”

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Religion

The World Mourns as Bonnke Dies at 79

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The wife of a German television evangelist, Reinhard Bonnke, Annie, in a statement on Saturday announced the passing of her husband at age 79.

“It is with sorrow that the Bonnke family would like to announce the passing of our beloved husband, father, and grandfather, Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke. He passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family, on December 7, 2019,” it stated.

Bonnke was born on April 19, 1940, and was known for his gospel missions throughout Africa since 1967.

He was credited with the conversion of over 75 million people.

Mourning the passage of the German televangelist, the Christian Association of Nigeria described his death as a colossal loss to the body of Christ all over the world.

The CAN President, Rev Samson  Ayokunle, in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media and Communications, Pastor Bayo Oladeji, described Bonnke as “one of the greatest generals of the gospel of eternal salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ on earth.”

He noted, “CAN and the entire Christian communities in Nigeria join the rest of Christians all over the world to mourn this fiery preacher and teacher of the Gospel and mentor to several evangelical leaders all around the world today.”

“Reinhard Bonnke has reached Africa and countries of the world through his ministry called Christ For All Nations preaching the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ through which millions of souls were saved into the Kingdom of God or received their healings,” the CAN president added.

The statement further maintained that the body of Christ had lost one of its greatest assets.

It prayed to God to comfort his widow, Anne.

Also, the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria has expressed sadness over Bonnke’s death, saying millions of Nigerians would miss him.

PFN National President, Rev Felix Omobude, in a statement, commiserated with his family and all members of Christ for All Nations.

He said, “Even though it is a transition to glory, as humans, we are sad to see the departure of a man who made such a tremendous impact in Nigeria through his evangelical work spanning over five decades.

“Bonnke truly impacted his generation and the Church in Nigeria will always be grateful to him for the work God used him to do in our country.”

In recognition of his extensive evangelical work in Nigeria, the PFN recalled that it presented Bonnke a lifetime achievement award during his last crusade in the country in 2017.

Also, President Muhammadu Buhari has mourned the death of the renowned evangelist. He described the evangelist as “a great loss to Nigeria, Africa and the entire world.”

The Presidency said Buhari joined Christendom in recalling the good deeds of Bonnke, particularly his numerous crusades in Nigeria, Africa and the whole world to spread the message of Jesus Christ.

A statement released by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, read in part, “The President condoles with the government and people of Germany, family and friends of the great preacher and teacher of the Bible, and all his co-labourers in the vineyard, praying that the good Lord will comfort all those that mourn him.

“President Buhari affirms that Bonnke’s crusades in Nigeria, across Africa and the globe strongly accentuated the message of Jesus Christ, and his vision and zeal for the salvation of souls helped the world in understanding the power of love and kindness as a universal language.

“The President prays that the Almighty God will accept the soul of the departed preacher, believing that his legendary contributions to the body of Christ in teaching and writing will always be remembered by posterity.”

I’ve no desire to fill Bonnke’s shoes – Kolenda

Meanwhile, Daniel Kolenda, the successor to Bonnke, has said he does not desire to fill the late evangelist’s shoes.

Kolenda, who is the President/CEO of CFaN, said he desired to fill the shoes God ordained for him.

But his successor, Kolenda, said he did not desire to fill the CFaN founder’s shoes, saying, “I had no desire to fill Reinhard Bonnke’s shoes. I always have the desire to fill the shoes God has assigned to me.

“In those shoes, there is grace, there is anointing, and I can say by the grace of God, we have seen an increase since Reinhard Bonnke handed over the ministry to me. There has been an increase because nothing diminishes in God.”

Kolenda stated this on Friday at the ongoing crusade in Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State. CFaN organised the crusade in conjunction with various Christian bodies, including the Christian Association of Nigeria

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Religion

Two Pastors: Two Videos, Same Woman and Same Miracle!

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Social media has been proven to be the fountain of revelations. Recently a woman seen in two different videos experiencing the same miracle from two different pastors in each video.

The founder of Mountain of Liberation And Miracle Ministry, aka Liberation City, Dr. Chris Okafor, has come under fire on social media after a video clip showing him performing what appeared like a miracle created a controversy.

The video, posted by Instagram user, nvoguhair, started with a woman saying she needed healing for her stunted right arm.

Okafor told the congregation that the woman saw three people, who pushed her in a dream and when she woke up, she developed the problem.

He asked that the camera focused on the arm, adding that the woman had been told there was no bone in her arm.

“If witches can do this, my God can do better than witches,” he added.

The woman shed tears of pain from the injury, while Okafor said he was retrieving the bones from “the household of witches.”

“Give me the bone; give me her bones,” he said and made some signs while making a gesture for the hand to return to normal.

As the woman stretched her shrunk hand, the congregation went into jubilation with songs of worship.

However, the same woman was shown in another video clip claiming she had the same problem as another unidentified pastor prayed for her in public.

In the second video, the pastor laid hand on the woman and prayed for her while a crowd supported the prayers with heavy music playing in the background.

As the music turned acrobatic and the prayer intensified, the woman stretched her shrunk hand. Everyone was in awe of the miracle.

The videos went viral on Thursday and attracted various reactions from many Nigerians.

Some people said the woman had a peculiar “gift” and she was only making money from it.

Popular comedian, Brodashaggi, said the woman was enjoying church contracts.
.
A man who claimed to be Okafor’s publicist and identified himself as Sunday Adeyemi asked that the report be dropped, a request our correspondent declined.

He said the woman at the center of the drama would be in the church on Sunday and invited our correspondent, refusing to respond to the allegation.

Later, Adeyemi asked that our correspondent write an official letter to the church for its reaction to the video.

However, an official who did not want to be quoted confirmed that it was the same woman in the two videos.

“The woman was in our church really. But you know in this issue of deliverance, some people could be delivered here and then go back to where they stayed before and the attack would return. That was what happened to the woman,” he said.

He noted that the woman had been “completely delivered” after Okafor prayed for her and she would be in the church on Sunday.

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