BY CHIBUZO UKAIBE After a three- year leadership legal tussle, the 83- year- old Assemblies of God Church finds peace with the Supreme Court judgement.  For members of the Assemblies of God Church, Nigeria, friends and stakeholders, the era of crisis in the church is over; now is the time for unity and reconciliation after the  leadership crisis that had rocked the church for a long time. For three years, the church had been turned apart between the suspended general superintendent of the  church, Reverend Paul Emeka, and the general council of the church represented by elected General Superintendent, Reverend Chidi Okoroafor a development which had pitched members loyal to both leaders among themselves. But with the recent Supreme Court judgment which reportedly favoured Rev Chidi Okoroafor as the authentic leader of the 83-year- old denomination, members are now calling on the other group to put the past behind them and join...
About two million pilgrims from all over the world were on the plains of Mount Arafat, yesterday to observe the most essential rite in Islamic Hajj pilgrimage. Prophet Muhammad had underscored the importance of Arafat in the annual Islamic pilgrimage when, according to his companions, proclaimed that any pilgrim unable to make it there cannot be said to have observed Hajj. The head of Nigeria’s national medical team, Ibrahim Kana, said due to the central place of Arafat in Hajj rite exercise, the Saudi Arabian authorities ensured that all sick pilgrims were transported there via special arrangement to enable them to observe the rite. “Saudi Government working in collaboration with all countries ensured that all pilgrims receiving treatment in various Hospitals were brought to observe Arafat,” Dr. Kana said. “Several Nigerian pilgrims including three women, who are on admission at a Hospital in Madinah were in Arafat via a special ambulance arrangement. “The ill...
By Patrick Ochoga, Benin City Catholic Bishops of Nigeria in collaboration with the high powered delegation of Pope Francis converged Friday in Benin, the Edo state capital for the three day Centenary celebration of appearance of the apparition of Mary, the Mother of Jesus Christ at Fatima, in Portugal. The eminent heads of the faithful drawn from the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, said the event remains unique and special for the unity, peaceful coexistence, progress and development of the various component units and people of the nation. This is as the Benin monarch, His Royal Majesty, the Ogidigan, Oba Ewuare 11, also yesterday tasked the Catholic Bishops, the faithful and entire citizens to pray fervently for President Muhammadu Buhari and other leaders as well as for the unity and peace of the country. Oba Ewuare 11 said peace and togetherness of all segments of the...

Those Who Can Afford The Journey

Islam is built on five pillars one of which is pilgrimage to the House for those who are able to undertake the journey. Hajj is obligatory on Muslims once in a life time. The Ancient House, The Ka’bah, is situated in Makkah of the present Saudi Arabia. The original building was destroyed by the Flood of Prophet Noah (Nuh), may Allah’s peace be upon him. Allah then appointed it, showed and guided His Prophet, Ibrahim, alayhis salaam, to rebuild it, sanctify it for those who compass it round or use it as a retreat, or bow, or prostrate themselves therein in prayer. Allah, moreover, made it a place of assembly, a well-deserved United Muslim-Nations General Assembly, where adherents of Islam converge annually for worship, to compare notes on the situation of their brethren around the world in the economic and political spheres. (Al-Baqarah, 2:125,198) Isma’eel (Ishmael) assisted his father Ibrahim (Abraham)...

No Chief Imam For The National Mosque

I will break off from my article on the Independence Day Celebrations for a rather important piece. I shall continue with it next Friday week, insha Allah, please bear with me. The Abuja National Mosque does not have a new Chief Imam as widely rumoured in the social media. That position ceased with the demise of Sheikh Musa Muhammad, (may Allah relent towards him), the first and only Chief Imam of the Abuja National Mosque. Perhaps he was used to reciting the same supplication as the Prophet, Sulaiman (Solomon) who supplicated thus, “…My Lord, forgive me and bestow on me a dominion, which shall behove none other after me, for You are The Bestower” (Saad Q38:35) The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) held its 6th meeting of the Extended General Purpose Committee on October 9th, 2017 at the National Mosque under the chairmanship of the President-General and Sultan of...
By Abubakr Siddeeq Muhammad In the audio clip of his interview with the BBC which he sent to me Sheikh     (Prof)  Makari said in answer to the question on Saudia’s effort in preventing extremists from using Hadeeth texts in justifying terrorist activities, 1) that  ‘in recent years Saudi Arabia is trying to strengthen its relations with the West, while the West is calling for reforms of policies within the Kingdom that are advancing the cause of extremism in Islam’; 2) that ‘Saudi Arabia spearheads the spreading and teaching of extremist ideologies that have triggered intra-religious strife among the adherents of Islam, as well as inter-religious conflicts between Muslims and followers of other creeds’; 3) that ‘if Saudia wants to satisfy the conditions stipulated by the West on the desired reforms it could do so without encroaching on the sanctuary of the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) as there is...
By Winifred Ogbebo, Abuja The Nigerian Christian Pilgrimage Commission (NCPC) has called on church leaders to set up pilgrimage committees in their various churches. Speaking at a meeting of key church leaders and pastors in Abuja, recently, the executive secretary, NCPC, Rev Tor Uja said with the committee in place, it would be easier to liaise with them on pilgrimage matters. Stressing that the committee members should be made up of committed men and women in the church, he also canvassed that some of the church leaders should serve as Pilgrimage Action Committees (PAC) which would soon be set up by the commission across the country. Uja equally tasked the church leaders to consider setting up a Christian Pilgrimage Operators in their churches which would be registered with the Commission so that they could participate in the pilgrimage process. He further enjoined them to participate fully in all the pilgrimage programmes of the commission. He...
By Adebayo Waheed, Ibada Following the controversy trailing the increase in the fares for this year's hajj in Mecca, Saudi Arabia for the intending pilgrims, the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCA) has blamed the federal government for the purported increase. The NSCA President and the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammadu Abubakar Sa'ad in a statement issued by Ustaz Isa Okonkwo, Director of Administration said government involvement was responsible for the high cost for obvious reasons. According to him, the  committee set up by the NSCIA under the leadership of Gen. A.B. Mamman (Rtd) to work out the modus-operandi of transfer had not been given the required support ,particularly in the area of statistics by National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON). He said hajj should not be commercialised at the expense of the masses who are struggling to fulfill their religious obligation, hence the need to explore the cheapest cost for a...
By Ustaz Abubakr Siddeeq Muhammad This will likely run into a series, I should warn from the outset. It will also contain some bitter truths. The objective is not to let you taste the bitterness but to take the truth, regardless of its taste. I will also start by making full disclosure: some of the people I will mention here are well known to me; friends, even. The Executive Chairman of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Barrister Abdullahi Mukhtar Mohammed was my school mate; we both studied Law. At one point, as juveniles are wont to do, we were ‘enemies’. That was many years ago. In Abuja, after we met again, in his capacity as the Commissioner, Operations of the Hajj Commission, maturity overruled all that and we became friends again. Not close friends, but friends enough to visit each other once in a while in private capacities. Another disclosure...
Last week, I stopped at the third allegation of Ibrahim Sulaiman Yusuf’s group; the Nigeria Arewa Foundation against the Executive Chairman of the National Hajj Commission (NAHCON). Today, we shall examine more of the allegations before looking at the other related allegations from another group. The motive seems quite related, but I digress. The fourth allegation was that in the last two Hajj Operations, the Chairman of NAHCON misled some State Pilgrim Welfare Boards (SPWBs) to pay money meant for the hadaya (animal slaughtered on the 10th Day in the month of Hajj) into “a particular bank Account with Jaiz Bank under the pretext that his led Commission would make the sacrifices on behalf of the Pilgrims and that the meat would be preserved and transported as donations to Nigeria internally displaced Persons”. They went further to allege that only a few States revolted against the Chairman as most states...