Why Does Jesus Tell Us to Surpass the Pharisees?


Talk show hosts make a living on it. Show after show, they bring before our eyes stupid, unjust and wasteful situations in order to produce outrage. We love to listen and get ourselves all worked up. Our indignation keeps us tuned in and the show’s ratings high. It’s easy to focus on the outrageous things that others do.  It’s …

Source: Why Does Jesus Tell Us to Surpass the Pharisees?

President Buhari suspends National Broadcasting Commission Director-General


Ayodeji AdegboyegaDirector General of NBC, Ishaq Modibbo KawuThe Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, Ishaq Kawu. [Photo credit: THISDAYLIVE]

After several months of being investigated on allegations of corruption, the Director-General, National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Modibbo Kawu, has been suspended with immediate effect.

This is coming months after the anti-graft agency, ICPC, urged the federal government to suspend the Mr Kawu, and 32 other public officers/civil servants undergoing corruption trial at the time.

A source at the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) confirmed that Mr Kawu was given the letter of suspension Thursday, pending the conclusion of investigations into the allegations against him.

Another source at the NBC confirmed that Armstrong Idachaba, the present director, Broadcast Monitoring, was handed a letter to proceed as the acting DG of NBC.

Also, sources at the ICPC confirmed that they have been told that Mr Kawu has been suspended until the conclusion of his trial.

He may be reinstated if he is cleared of the allegation.

Efforts to reach Mr Kawu on Friday were not successful. He did not return calls nor respond to a text message sent to him.

When contacted, Antia Ekanem, the spokesperson to the NBC, said she was not aware of the development. Also, Willie Bassey, the spokesperson to the SGF, said he was not aware of such suspension.

‘In the storm’s eye’

ICPC said it is prosecuting Mr Kawu for “using (his) position to confer corruption advantage.”

The Commission on May 2 arraigned Mr Kawu and two others, Dipo Onifade and Lucky Omoluwa, over alleged N2.5 billion fraud.

READ ALSO: NBC grants broadcast licence to Bayero University

The trio, who are being prosecuted on 12-count charges, allegedly conspired with each other to use the position of Mr Kawu to confer a corrupt advantage on Mr Omoluwa, his friend and associate.

The allegations also roped in information minister, Lai Mohammed.

Mr Kawu allegedly asked Mr Mohammed to approve payment of N2.5 billion to Pinnacle Communications Ltd owned by Mr Omoluwa as “Seed Grant” under the Digital Switch-Over Programme of the federal government.

Mr Mohammed had admitted in a PREMIUM TIMES exclusive in April that he did not follow due diligence before signing off on the controversial payment.

The anti-graft agency charged Mr Kawu for allegedly ‘deceiving’ Mr Mohammed to sign the deal.

The court later granted Mr Kawu and his co-defendants bail the same day after they pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

Army Chief orders evacuation of stranded passengers on Maiduguri-Damboa road in Borno, Boko Haram Hotbed


Agency ReportChief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai. [PHOTO CREDIT: Official webpage of the Nigerian Army]Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai. [PHOTO CREDIT: Official webpage of the Nigerian Army]

Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, a lieutenant general, on Friday, ordered his convoy to evacuate some passengers whose vehicle broke down along Maiduguri-Damboa road in Borno State.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Mr Buratai who was en route at the time, ensured that all passengers in the vehicle were evacuated into one of the vehicles in his convoy.

The action was borne out of the fact that the road was recently reopened by Nigerian Army after over a year of closure.

The passenger vehicles were usually escorted in convoy by team of security agencies to and from Maiduguri to their destinations.

The driver of the vehicle, Emmanuel John, told journalists that he was part of the passenger vehicles’ convoy from Maiduguri on Friday morning before he lost its shaft along the road.

Mr John said he and his passengers were in confusion and fear before the arrival of Buratai’s convoy, adding that the gesture was a prayer answered for them.

He commended COAS for his commitment to the safety of citizens as well as the army for their service to humanity in Borno and the nation at large.

The driver said he intended to manage his vehicle to the nearest military checkpoint and wait for incoming vehicles to help him tow it back to Maiduguri.

“I ply this road everyday to Chibok and back to Maiduguri,” he said.

NAN reports that the road is the shortest route from Maiduguri to different parts of the state like Damboa, Biu, Chibok and part of the neighbouring states.

During the closure of the road, commuters had to spend about eight hours through other routes to get to their destinations.

While on the route, Mr Buratai visited various troops locations and Headquarters 25 Task Force Brigade in Damboa.

It’s One of the Saddest Valentines Ever


Cheche February 14, 2020

It’s One of the Saddest Valentines Ever. I really hope yours was a better one than mine. In Kenya, we failed to stop the disturbance in one of our amazing national parks, Hell’s Gate National Park. One place that truly gave me a clear vision of my love for wildlife. A place that literally shaped my wildlife career. Where I spent nights learning and observing wildlife. It’s one of my greatest heartbreak. I am even doubting i I really did enough, and it’s just giving me nightmares.

Using wildlife home for partying and bragging about it.

Since we knew about this heartbreaker party in Hell’s Gate, several groups, organizations, and even individuals. Did they best to make it stopped? One of the conservationist, even went ahead to seek Court’s help after the organization meant to protect wildlife failed to offer solutions. Instead, they gave us reasons to justify this heartbreaking event.

The court did the same, and our “enemies” told us to go to hell. No sugar coating or remorse, but just as it is.

Their headline read: To Hell with Kahumbu: Koroga Festival to proceed in Hell’s Gate after court dismissed her case

Not only is the headline out of line, its like rubbing salt on a fresh wound. Like showing us, there nothing much we can do about it.

This s a well know and established media house that we are to rely upon to help the public appreciate and protect its environment and wildlife. Do you see how lost and screwed we are?

As I write, the party has already started and it feels like we failed our voiceless wildlife. Just thinking about this line, makes me wonder between humans and wildlife, who is humane. Do we still have souls attached to our bodies, or we are empty body masses moving around. It’s painful.

Don’t pretend to care, you have ruled our valentines

After bragging to our faces and the public reacted, they decided to pretend to care. And tried to explain how their intrusion won’t cost wildlife or the environment anything.

Do you expect zero plastic pollution where we have Coca-cola products? They broadly and publicly admitted that they have no plans to do away with single-use plastic anytime soon.

Here it is: Coca-Cola says it won’t ban plastic bottles because its customers still want to use them

I am still wondering how they will control noise despite being given directions that will avoid any noise pollution. We are talking about a drunk crowd comprised of mostly youth at night.

If they truly cared about wildlife, they would have taken specialist advice seriously and look for an alternative venue. Unless whatever being contributed to this park during this party, it is paid for their damage.

Conclusion

As I drown in my sorrows and heartbreak, I hope the damaged cause will not be irreversible. May mother nature be able to repair itself and our endangered species see the light of day next week. I hope everyone who causes wildlife harm knowingly, gets the worst nightmares that they will never manage to get out of. Unless they change their heart and recognize that wildlife existence matters too.

For now I will cuddle my lovely snow and hope for the best. Enjoy your Valentine.

Snow
Snow

THIS DAY IN HISTORY FEBRUARY 14


FEATURED EVENT

Khomeini, Ruhollah

1989 – Fatwa issued against Salman Rushdie On this day in 1989, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini of Iran issued a fatwa and offered a bounty for the assassination of author Salman Rushdie, whose novel The Satanic Verses (1988) Khomeini denounced as blasphemous.

Alexander Graham Bell.

1876 – Alexander Graham Bell applied for a patent for the telephone. Test your knowledge of inventors and inventions

ENIAC

1946 – The first general-purpose high-speed electronic digital computer, the ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer), was demonstrated to the public by its creators, J. Presper Eckert, Jr., and John W. Mauchly. Discover how well you know computers and operating systems

Bringing the Blessed Sacrament to the Battlefield


It may be time for a more radical response to diminishing belief in Eucharist

Tom Nash 2/13/2020

For years, the Lord God accompanied his Chosen People in a special way in the wilderness—a tabernacle that he overshadowed (Exod. 40:34-35)—which eventually became the most important part of the Temple in Jerusalem. At the heart of the tabernacle, in the holy of holies, God manifested his presence most intimately—and powerfully—atop the Ark of the Covenant, telling Moses,

And you shall put the mercy seat on the top of the ark. . . .There I will meet with you, and from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim that are upon the ark of the testimony, I will speak with you of all that I will give you in commandment for the people of Israel (Exod. 25:21-22).

Apart from Moses, with whom God sealed the Old Covenant (Exod. 24), only the high priest could go beyond the sacred veil into the holy of holies, and only once a year on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). To do otherwise would result in death for the high priest or anyone else (Lev. 16:1–2; Num. 3:10; 18:7). And yet, in traveling through the wilderness to the Promised Land, God permitted the Ark to be brought outside the tabernacle to show forth his power.

For example, when the priests who carried the Ark dipped their feet into the River Jordan, the waters of the Jordan miraculously parted and the Israelites passed through the river bed—on dry ground, no less (Josh. 3:14-17). Soon after, the walls of Jericho would fall on the seventh day, after the people had circled them seven times with the Ark (Josh. 6). Earlier in salvation history, a group went up to the hill country God had promised Israel, but they did so without the Ark, and they were defeated by the Amalekites and the Canaanites (Num. 14:39-45). The Philistines later discovered that capturing the Ark from Israel was a short-lived celebration (1 Sam. Ch. 5,6).

Where is the power of the Ark in the New Covenant, including the present? If the face-melting blast portrayed in Raiders of the Lost Ark isn’t quite available to us, how can we bring God into battle today amidst a culture of death that seeks to destroy the Catholic Church? In an important sense, the Blessed Mother is the New Ark, because in her womb “the Word became flesh” (John 1:14), Jesus the God-man who, in offering himself for our sins, tears in two—from top to bottom—the Temple curtain that enclosed the holy of holies, symbolically demonstrating that mankind could now draw near for intimate communion with the Almighty (Matt. 27:51).

Jesus continues to be with us, especially in the Holy Eucharist, which means that every church tabernacle, wherein our Lord resides under the appearances of bread and wine in consecrated Hosts, is a New Covenant analogue to the holy of holies.

The reverence the ancient Israelites had toward the holy of holies should give us pious pause in how we approach our Eucharistic Lord, especially in receiving him in Holy Communion, lest we “eat and drink judgment upon” ourselves, as St. Paul warns (1 Cor. 11:27-30).

Given the great power of the Blessed Sacrament, how can we marshal the might of this great divine gift in our troubled society beyond our personal witness? St. Paul also says that our ultimate fight is not “against flesh and blood,” but rather “the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12).

In other words, we are foolish not to take full advantage of the offensive weapons God gives us in our battle in advancing his kingdom, namely himself, and in the preeminent sacramental way he promised to be with us until he returns at his Second Coming to judge the living and the dead (see Matt. 28:20).

In raising awareness about the Blessed Sacrament’s power and combating the forces of evil in the process, I suggest we begin with young adult Catholics, the age group that polls show are least likely among Catholics to participate in Sunday Mass.

A good place to start is where young adults gather annually in great numbers, unwittingly collaborating with the forces of evil in a vain attempt at self-fulfillment via alcohol, drugs, and sexual misbehavior. That is, spring break, which begins later this month and lasts for several weeks at numerous sunny locales.

As with the Ark, wonderful things can happen when we bring Catholics and others into protective proximity of Christ’s Real Presence: “For though we live in the world we are not carrying on a worldly war,” St. Paul proclaims, “for the weapons of our warfare are not worldly but have divine power to destroy strongholds” (2 Corinthians 10:3-4).

Local dioceses and parishes could get permits to have Eucharistic processions on the streets and/or sidewalks near the beaches and other locations where young people congregate, and schedule associated Eucharistic adoration—preferably with exposition—at nearby churches. And dioceses with spring-break destinies could inform dioceses elsewhere to let their young people know—through parish announcements and texts—about these edifying resources when they make their winter-break sojourns.

“The Gospel is for everyone!” Pope Francis proclaimed early in his pontificate. “We must go there! . . . All the peripheries, all the crossroads on the way: go there.”

At the heart of the Gospel is an intimate encounter with Jesus, and what better way to encounter Jesus than through the intimacy of his Real Presence? Eucharistic adoration has long been a featured and fruitful part of World Youth Day celebrations, and there are no impediments for Catholics and non-Catholics to connect with our Eucharistic Lord via adoration, which can lay the groundwork for fruitful reception of Holy Communion (see 1 Cor. 11:27-30).

Indeed, such spring-break efforts could foster greater participation in the sacraments, especially Confession and the celebration of the Eucharistic Sacrifice at Mass, “the source and summit of the Christian life” (CCC 1324).

Several years ago, Catholic young adults stepped forward at Harvard University, as the power of the Blessed Sacrament shined forth in a twilight procession to counter a scheduled Black Mass. The procession “stretched for several blocks,” veteran Catholic journalist Phil Lawler recalls. “At Harvard, St. Paul’s church was packed, with many people standing outside the doors, for an hour of adoration ending in Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.”

“A Boston Globe photographer captured an image of the crowded church, and several moving shots of the procession,” Lawler adds. “The young people kneeling on the stone steps, the reverent hush in the church, the booming resonance of the Tantum Ergo all radiated the vigor and joy of the Catholic faith. . . . We didn’t merely win a battle in the spiritual combat; we launched an offensive.”

Given the state of our Church and society, especially among Catholic young adults and their peers, the scope of that offensive needs to be widened dramatically. Spring break is an ideal time and place to bring our Eucharistic Lord to the battlefield, and similar forays can follow in due time.