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Amotekun will not be allowed to cover Osun election, INEC, Police say

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THE Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the police authorities have insisted that the South-West Security Network, also known as Amotekun, will not be permitted to monitor the Osun State governorship election.

This clarification came in response to complaints  that the Osun State government is planning to intimidate agents of opposition parties during Saturday’s election.

The INEC deputy director of Election and Party Monitoring, Shehu Ahmed Mohammed, told freelanews that the Commission did not include Amotekun in the list of security agencies that will monitor the election.

“INEC will not use Amotekun in the election monitoring. Where you see them, please challenge them. They must not be seen around polling units.”

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The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Osun State Police Command, Opalola Yemisi, also confirmed that Amotekun is not part of the monitoring team approved for the elections.

Earlier, a civil society organisation, YIAGA Africa had warned against the engagement of the personnel of the Amotekun in the Osun governorship election.

“Amotekun will have no role since it is not a member of the Inter-Agency Committee on Election Security. It is necessary for the Nigerian Police as the lead agency in election security to ensure the Amotekun are not recruited or engaged in any aspect of the election,” YIAGA stated in its pre-election observation report. 

Osun Amotekun Commander insist on monitoring election

Meanwhile, the Amotekun Commander in Osun State, Shittu Amitolu, in a phone interview with freelanews said the local security outfit is planning to deploy 650 personnel for the election.

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“We are yet to make any deployment. But we intend to deploy 650 personnel,” he said.

When asked if Amotekun plans to defy the INEC and police directive, Amitolu said: “This is our state, the law that established us is the law of Nigeria. We did not create ourself.”

He said whoever declared Amotekun   unqualified to monitor the election must be living in the reality of yester years.

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Religion

Celebrating Celestial Church of Christ at 75 …Let’s go within

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The Divine Order for the establishment of the Celestial Church of Christ Worldwide, was given to His Eminence, Saint Samuel Bilewu Joseph Oshoffa of blessed memory on Friday, 29th September, 1947, in Porto Novo, Republic of Benin. And today, Thursday, 29th September, 2022, it is exactly 75 years since that once-in-a-lifetime event occurred.

Today also, the journey that began 75 years ago in very humble, unusual and mysterious circumstances in the forest of Agangue, has metamorphosed into the existence of a religious body that is unarguably the largest white garment church that the world can presently boast of.

The Celestial Church of Christ came with a vision to cleanse the world through the proclamation of the Good News of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. The church was also raised to proclaim deliverance to those bound by the Shackles of Satan and bring healing to the brokenhearted, the sick and also restore hope to the hopeless.

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His Eminence, Reverend Emmanuel Mobiyina Oshoffa, Supreme Head, CCC Worldwide

In his good will message to the church at 75, from his New York base, where he is currently rounding off his pastoral working tour of the United States America, His Eminence, Reverend Emmanuel Mobiyina Oshoffa, Pastor and Supreme Head of the Celestial Church of Christ Worldwide says:

“As Celestians, all over the world, celebrate the 75th anniversary of the birth of our great church, it is important that we go within our individual selves and attempt to find answers to a number of pertinent questions, the most important of which are: ‘How well have you built on the outstanding legacies of the founding fathers of the church? Are you a scatterer or a gatherer? If the last trumpet sounds this moment, would you be found worthy of a place in eternity on the right side of the Most High God?’ Yes, it’s truly a time for celebration but it’s also a time for very sober reflection,” His Eminence concluded.

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CASON Confab proffers solutions to church killings, kidnaps, others

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Faced with the fact that over 6,000 Christians were bombed, beheaded or shot dead between January 2021 and March this year in Nigeria, and about 2,500 were kidnapped for ransom, the Church Administrators Society of Nigeria (CASON) hosted speakers to proffer solutions at its 9th annual conference tagged “The Church and the Challenge of Insecurity” in Lagos, this week.

Speaking at the confab, security expert and chief executive of Halogen Group, Mr. Wale Olaoye identified complacency and distraction as primary reasons why the unchurched and the un-discipled have foisted mayhem on Christians and the rest of the world.

He said, “Church leaders in Nigeria have become complacent. Rather than disciple the nations, they are busy acquiring wealth and building monuments, while their teeming followers idolize them. The truth is that the mark of great churches is not in their seating capacity, but in their sending capacity.

“Back in the day, Christians were eager to travel from the south to the core north on missions to win souls for Christ. But churches have stopped sending and funding missionaries. The alarming result of this is that out of 7.92 billion people in the world, Christians are just 2.26 billion. Amongst the unchurched, 5.27 billion are ISIS, ISWAB, Boko Haram and other terrorists who want to foist their extreme ideologies upon the world through violent bombings, killings, kidnappings, etc,” Olaoye explained.

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According to the CASON Vice President, Pastor Steve Akoni, church administrators and pastors must rethink the new normal “because we are faced with new realities. We invite people to come and worship the Lord in our churches, therefore we are obliged to do all that we can to keep them safe. Technology has made security easy, so let’s install CCTV cameras, train our ushers and gatemen to become security conscious, and raise the security awareness of our congregation.”

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Also speaking at the confab via a recorded video, Dr. Sam Adeyemi, Senior Pastor, Daystar Christian Centre, advised that church leaders must engage in scenario planning and prepare for all eventualities. He emphasised that such pro-activeness is faith-based and God-inspired because, “We need a combination of humanity and divinity to have security.”

Responding to questions, the CASON President and chief host of the confab, Pastor Seyi Oladimeji said, “The insecurity challenge dictates that every church leader today must create a secure but friendly worship facility and environment. We must leverage on both physical and virtual security structures, just as the bible instructs us to put on all of God’s armour so that we would all be able to stand safe against all strategies and tricks of Satan.”

In the heat of insecurity and ahead of the 2023 elections, all the speakers at the 2022 CASON Conference agreed that while all Christians in Nigeria must demand good governance and vote only for politicians with proven integrity, church leaders must look within and begin to do much more to erase ostentatious living, prevent stealing, fraud and fake lifestyles among their numbers.

In addition to this, churches in Nigeria are also encouraged to return to funding missionaries to reach and win the unchurched in order to breakdown the rage against Christianity.

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According to Olaoye, the main speaker, church leaders must be able to predict dangers, prevent them, protect their congregation and respond accordingly to all threats. “In addition to this, churches should begin to do proper risk assessment, background checks on key persons, invest in facility security systems, establish access control, emergency and lockdown procedures, etc. They must also invest in insurance and cybersecurity.”

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Pastor Wole Oladiyun, author, engineer, serial entrepreneur and Senior Pastor, Christ Livingspring Apostolic Ministry (CLAM) rounded off the conference with a fervent prayer session, while commending CASON for taking the initiative to train administrators for the Church in Nigeria, even in its ongoing collaboration with Babcock University.

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Burial programme for late AMSE Akingbulugbe announced

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The Celestial Church of Christ Worldwide and the entire Akingbulugbe Family at home and in diaspora announce the dates for the burial program of the late Shepherd in Charge of the Celestial Church of Christ, Olowu Cathedral, Lagos IslandAssistant Most Superior Evangelist Gbekeleoluwa Gabriel Akingbulugbe (JP, M.P.I.C.), who joined the saints triumphant on Sunday, 4th September, 2022.

BURIAL OUTLINE:

Monday, 10th October, 2022: Prophets/Prophetesses Prayer Night, 10.00 pm till dawn @ Celestial Church of Christ, Olowu Cathedral, Lagos Island, Lagos.

Tuesday, 11th October, 2022: Night of Praise @ Celestial Church of Christ, Holy Mary Cathedral, Alaba Oro, LagosTime: 4.00 pm.

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Wednesday, 12th October, 2022: Service of Songs @ Bell Events Centre, Opposite Island Maternity, Lagos. Time: 4.00 pm.

Thursday, 13th October, 2022: Body leaves for his home town, Ode Aye/, Ondo State at 7.00 am./ Wake Keep at his home town, Ode Aye, Ondo State @ 4.00 pm./ Music: 10.00 pm till dawn.

Friday, 14th October, 2022: Interment at 10.00 amOde Aye, Ondo State.

Sunday, 16th October, 2022: Thanksgiving Service @ Celestial Church of Christ, Olowu CathedralTime: 10.00 am.

May his soul find eternal peace. Amen.

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