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IN LOME, PRESIDENT BUHARI SEEKS REGIONAL SECURITY ARCHITECTURE FOR WEST AND CENTRAL AFRICA – BY GARBA SHEHU

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President Muhammadu Buhari in Lome, Togo strongly pitched for the setting up of a regional security architecture in the West and Central African sub-regions, giving clear indication that there is a convergence of strategic interests among the countries of the two sub-regions on security.
In his address at the three summits that took place between Sunday and Tuesday in Lome, these being the ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) and the ECCAS (Economic Community Of Central African States); implementation of Single Currency throughout West Africa by 2020; and the 53rd Ordinary Session of ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, President Buhari talked about the need for a united approach to contain terrorism and radicalisation in the sub-regions; asserted Nigeria’s leading role in political, social and economic matters; and reaffirmed the need for close collaboration in dealing with problems affecting their countries.
In a major speech at the ECOWAS-ECCAS summit, the President made clear Nigeria’s readiness in playing a major role in broader regional security framework along with all the countries in the sub-regions, in the hope of replicating the successful pentagonal security coalition in the Lake Chad area which led to the setting up of a Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) by Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroon and Benin.
According to him, “Nigeria wishes to encourage other Member States to intensify inter-regional collaboration on maritime security, fight against terrorism and other crimes through effective border control. Respect for rule of law, democracy and promotion of human rights are also vital as they are attributes of good governance, which would enhance the socio-economic development of the two regions.
“As you are all aware, the African Union (AU) has designated this year as the Anti-Corruption Year under the theme “Winning the Fight against Corruption: the Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation”. As Champion of the theme for the year, I call upon you to join hands in this campaign against corruption, as one of the root causes of conflict and other societal ills.
“Finally, let me reiterate that Nigeria will continue to support any effort directed towards peace building, security and stability, as well as the fight against terrorism and violent extremism in our two sub-regions and the world.”
The discussions focused on steps to further strengthen the comprehensive strategic partnership by expanding cooperation across all sectors, including, but not limited to:
Ø The promotion of peace and stability throughout the sub-regions;
Ø The setting up of national and sub-regional early warning response mechanisms to avert conflicts;
Ø The setting up of Eminent Persons Group to undertake preventive diplomacy, crisis management and mediation;
Ø Zero tolerance for corruption, coups, and the institution of free, fair and credible elections;
Ø Inclusive political participation;
Ø Empowering women and youths; and
Ø The institution of fair mechanisms of sharing resources.
The leaders of the sub-regions also agreed to security cooperation against transnational crimes such as terrorism, illicit trafficking in arms and drugs and ensuring the security of the water ways in the Gulf of Guinea.
They also agreed to the formation up of Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties in pursuit of judicial assistance to one another and to promote cooperation by their police.
Arising from their discussions, there will be a donor conference on security in the Gulf of Guinea. The Central African Countries have agreed to support the MNJTF in the Lake Chad basin area. To tackle the escalation in farmers-herders conflicts, the leaders have asked their ministers of agriculture and livestock, security and foreign affairs to meet every year to formulate solutions to common problems. The summit of the leaders will itself take place every two years to maintain the momentum of cooperation.
To give effect to all resolutions and decisions, a ministerial committee was set up, made up of ministers of foreign affairs, security and the secretaries-general of both sub-regional groups to report to the heads of state annually. There will also be a joint secretariat of ECOWAS and ECCAS.
The second summit, the one on Single Currency has outlined eligibility criteria and set targets for all the countries in West Africa. They call these convergence criteria that fix the ratios of deficit to Gross Domestic Product, GDP; annual inflation rates, limits to Central Banks’ financing, public debt-GDP ratios, rate of exchange and currency reserves.
What this meeting did was to charge all countries to aggressively work towards the take-off target of 2020 and Nigeria, with 65 per cent of ECOWAS’ cash reserves, the leading economy in the sub-region and the continent, was effectively put in the driver’s seat. Some likened this role by Nigeria to what Germany is to the European Union, EU. It is an enormous responsibility for which our leaders have expressed the readiness to effectively shoulder.
The third summit, the ECOWAS meeting went into extra time due to the long list of issues on the table. These ranged from regional integration to regional security and stability; customs union; agriculture and the tragic escalation of farmers-herders conflicts as well as the enhancement of social peace.
The meeting of the heads of state and government also received several reports on assignments earlier given. There were Reports on the implementation of ECOWAS biometric ID cards; African migrants in detention in Italy and Spain; the on-going restructuring of the ECOWAS secretariat; budget for the new financial year; and the political situations in the sub-region including The Gambia, the legislative elections in Guinea-Bissau, the elections in Mali, the maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea, the situation in Togo as well the setting up of national early warning centres.
What is left unsaid is that President Buhari’s engagements dealing with security and cooperation and the warm reception given him in Lome, by both ECOWAS and ECCAS have encouraged enthusiasm and speculative interest regarding Nigeria’s role in Africa’s security. We have our challenges quite alright, but that appear in no way to lower the high expectations by both domestic and international supporters about what Nigeria can, and should do.
The point above was underscored by the extraordinary decision of the ECOWAS leaders to, for want of a better word impose the leadership of the organization, against all protestations on the Nigerian leader.
Nigeria’s delegation to Lome had been briefed of the aspirations of Cape Verde, Sierra Leone and Ghana to assume the chairmanship of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government following the completion of Togo’s mandate.
As with others, Team Nigeria had debated the pros and cons of all three Candidate-nations and had, after considering the best possible interests of the sub-region, made a selection before the commencement of the summit.
As it turned out, the ECOWAS leaders had a plan unknown to Nigeria. Against the tradition of denying the chairmanship to leaders in an election year in their countries, President Buhari was asked to lead, and denied a chance to refuse to serve.
In the history of the ECOWAS, many of the region’s leaders including some from Nigeria had fought to serve, with many seeing the chairmanship as an added feather to the cap, if not an egotistic conquest of the space in a megalomaniacal sense. There are past Nigerian Presidents who had had multiple tenures as ECOWAS chairman. Unlike others, President Buhari, in his fourth year as leader, had never asked to lead.
In classic recast of the Biblical and Qur’anic proverb, that those who exalt themselves shall be humbled, while those who humble themselves shall be exalted, all three candidates were asked to step down, and the Nigerian President was called to come forward to lead. Given the times and the circumstances in the sub-region, the leaders know of course that they need President Buhari now, more than they did at any other time before.

Garba Shehu is the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity.

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‘Simply reality’: Public hits back at banning of ‘This is Nigeria’ music video

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‘This is Nigeria,’ a rap music video portraying the country’s problems, has been banned following accusations that it contains a “vulgar” line. The public has hit back, saying the video merely states the truth.
Nigeria’s National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) fined a Nigerian radio station for airing rapper Falz’s adaptation of Children Gambino’s ‘This is America.’ The video has already racked up 13 million views on YouTube.
It gives a depressing portrayal of what life is like amid corruption and violence in the west African country. NBC banned the song from being aired, claiming the line “This is Nigeria, everybody be criminal” is too “vulgar” to be publicly broadcast.

The cover of Gambino’s hit piece went viral as it was picked up by hip-hop mogul Diddy.

Despite its popularity, NBC doubled down on its ban, saying the song is “unfit” to circulate.
It also received criticism from Nigeria’s Muslim Rights Concern, who in June threatened to sue Falz if he failed to issue an apology and redact the song.
The group said it “demonized Nigerian Muslims,” and raised concern about female dancers wearing hijabs, as well as a man from the Fulani tribe purportedly attacking another man with a machete.
The organization said Falz’s work was “thoughtless, insensitive and highly provocative,” and had “the potential of causing religious crisis of unprecedented dimension.”
Falz, whose real name is Folarin Falana, responded to the ban saying: “I’m not happy that the NBC is preventing the people from listening to such strong messages that need to be heard,” CNN reports.
“There is a lot going on that needs to be talked about, even though a lot of people may not want to hear the truth.”
The ban stirred outcry on social media, with people saying it does nothing more than portray the reality of the third-world country.

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Nigeria’s State Owned Oil Company To Go Public

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation will float 40 percent of its stock on the local stock exchange once the President signs the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill, Nigerian media report. The PIGB is at the heart of an energy sector overhaul aimed at making the corruption-ridden state company profitable. To do this, NNPC group managing director Maikanti Baru said, the company needs to be more commercially driven. For this, it needs cash, which will be raised through the listing.
As part of the overhaul, the NNPC will be split into two: the Nigerian Petroleum Company, which will be an integrated oil company taking all assets of the NNPC with the exception of the production-sharing contracts, and the Nigerian Petroleum Assets Management Company.
NNPC’s existing stock will initially be split between the two state vehicles—Ministry of Petroleum Incorporated and Ministry of Finance Incorporated—with 40 percent going to each and another 20 percent held by the Bureau of Public Enterprises. In five to ten years, 10 percent of the initial stock plus a new batch of shares equal to 30 percent of this will be floated on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

Nigeria, Africa’s top oil exporter, has struggled to make its oil industry work in the last few years after the oil price plunge exposed the problems at the NNPC ranging from graft to mismanagement. Militant activity in the Niger Delta, pipeline vandalism, and the subsequent production outages did not help the company get back on its feet. The federal government, however, has thrown its weight behind the reform drive that should make the oil industry more efficient and more profitable.
Nigeria produced 1.67 million barrels of oil daily in July, below the 1.8-million-bpd quota it had agreed with OPEC after it joined the production cut effort that was reversed this June. The West African nation should only benefit from the reversal as it can now expand its production as fast as it wants, which should boost oil revenues that the industry overhaul will require.

 


Irina Slav
Irina is a writer for the U.S.-based Divergente LLC consulting firm with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.

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INEC gives notice of 2019 elections

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By Emmanuel Oloniruha

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Friday released the notice of activities for the 2019 general elections.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the notice was pasted at the Federal Capital Territory(FCT) office of INEC in Abuja.
Mrs Ndidi Okafor, Head of Voter Education and Publicity Gender and Civil Society Liaison of INEC , FCT told NAN that the notice was in accordance with section 30 of the Electoral Act 2010.
According to the notice, collection of nomination forms for national and state elections by political parties is fixed between Aug 17 and Aug. 24.
Collection of forms for FCT elections will take place between 3 Sept. and 10 Sept.
“The last date for submission of nomination forms by political parties has also been scheduled for Dec. 3 for presidential and National Assembly Elections and state elections Dec. 17.
“The collection of nomination forms for FCT Area Council elections would commence on Nov. 3 to Nov. 10, while the last date for the return of the nomination forms is Dec. 14.
“On Oct 25 INEC will publish the personal particulars of National election candidates on Oct. 25 and those of the state candidates on Nov. 9.”
Okafor said INEC has announced Nov. 17 as the last date for the withdrawal or replacement of candidates for president and National Assembly elections, and Dec. 1 for governorship and state houses of assembly elections.
INEC would on Jan. 2, 2019 publish notice of the polls, and on Jan. 7, 2019 publish official register of voters for the election, which will begin with the presidential and National Assembly elections on 16 February.

 

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Nigeria is home to 500+ kinds of graft. Here’s a new way to think about them.

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Corruption in Nigeria is complicated, far-reaching, and multi-faceted. A new taxonomy can help us make sense of it.

Corruption in Nigeria is complicated, far-reaching, and multi-faceted. A new taxonomy can help us make sense of it.

Corruption in Nigeria runs the gamut from the jaw-dropping, to the creative, to the mundane. It encompasses the oil minister who diverted billions of petrodollars in just a few years. It includes the local official who claimed a snake slithered into her office and gobbled up $100,000 in cash. And it involves the cop shaking down motorists for 25 cents apiece at makeshift checkpoints.
When former British Prime Minster David Cameron described Nigeria as “fantastically corrupt” in 2016, Nigerians may have been rankled that the offhand comment failed to recognise the UK’s own key role in allowing multi-trillion-dollar global corruption networks to flourish, but few thought his assessment was wrong.
It is widely accepted that Nigeria suffers profoundly from corruption. However, the practice is much more complicated and far-reaching than the familiar headlines suggest.
Economically, corruption stymies Nigeria’s boundless potential, hamstringing the petroleum, trade, power and banking sectors and more. In the defence sector, it compounds security challenges in hotspots like the Lake Chad Basin, Middle Belt and Niger Delta. In the police, judiciary and anti-corruption agencies, it undermines the country’s already-anaemic accountability mechanisms, thereby fuelling further corruption across the spectrum.
It also rears its head in politics through electoral manipulation and the kleptocratic capture of party structures. “Brown envelope journalism” undermines democratic norms and the media’s ability to hold leaders accountable. Meanwhile, it is Nigeria’s most vulnerable that are worst affected when graft, fraud and extortion permeate the educational, health and humanitarian sectors.
Corruption in Nigeria, and elsewhere, is highly complex. It can take a variety of different but inter-related forms. Its effects can span across several disparate sectors. Yet most existing frameworks for studying corruption share a common shortcoming: they conflate how corruption occurs (i.e. tactics and behaviours) with where it occurs (i.e. which sector). This can muddle our understanding of an already complicated issue and prevent policymakers, practitioners and analysts from thinking about Nigeria’s greatest challenge in more sophisticated and nuanced ways.

Making better sense of corruption
In a paper recently published by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, I propose a new framework – or taxonomy – for looking at corruption in Nigeria. Like the Periodic Table of Elements or the system used to classify animals and plants, this taxonomy aims to help make complicated and expansive topics more digestible.
The framework works by detailing twenty sectors that are especially vulnerable to corruption (such as media, infrastructure, and police). It also identifies eight categories of corrupt behaviour that cut across these sectors (such as bribery, subsidy abuse, and favouritism). These eight categories are further divided into 28 tactics, meaning that overall, the framework covers over 500 distinct kinds of corruption.
Among the forms of corrupt behaviour, the taxonomy includes “legalised corruption” and “deliberate waste”. These categories are not generally recognised as forms of corruption, but they make sense to include in the Nigerian context. These tactics include legislators’ exorbitant salaries (roughly $540,000 annually), vanity projects (such as one governor’s decision to erect multi-million-dollar bronze statues of South Africa and Liberia’s former presidents), and Nigeria’s three (yes, three!) expensive and unnecessary space agencies.
Using the framework to visualise different forms of graft is fairly straightforward. Take the dubious practice of the president or ministers waiving import duties for select companies. These tax breaks are typically granted to firms controlled by ruling party financiers and can be extremely costly. Between 2011 and 2015, Nigeria lost $2.8 billion in revenues to such import waivers.
Looked at through the lens of this taxonomy, we can see that this relatively intricate form of corruption is trade-related and takes the form of subsidy abuse as well as tactics such as favouritism and bribery. Unlike some simpler systems, this framework is flexible enough to recognise that corruption is not always clear-cut and limited in focus, but interconnected, involving a range of behaviours that cut across sectors.

How this new taxonomy can help
As an analytical tool, this new taxonomy is useful to researchers looking to compare the situation in Nigeria with conditions in other countries. Though Nigeria-specific, it is adaptable and could be applied to other countries too. Doing so could help answer a question much-debated among Nigerians: is corruption in their country somehow unique?
This framework could also help policymakers, diplomats, development professionals and private investors to more effectively navigate Nigeria’s complex and interconnected corruption landscape. Tailored to Nigerian realities, it supports the World Bank’s push to “do development differently” by forging more context-specific approaches to addressing development challenges.
It also offers international partners and Nigerian civil society groups engaged in anti-corruption work a better basis for conducting programmatic assessments and analysing the prevalence, impact, and multiplier effects of different forms of the practice.
Developing more sophisticated policies could yield advances against a problem that drains billions of dollars a year from Africa’s largest economy, weakens the social contract between government and the people, and impoverishes Nigeria’s resilient but long-suffering people. But it must begin from a nuanced and accurate understanding of the problem.

 


Matthew T. Page is a consultant and co-author of ‘Nigeria: What Everyone Needs to Know’ (Oxford University Press, 2018). He is a nonresident scholar with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, an associate fellow with the Africa Programme at Chatham House, and nonresident fellow with the Centre for Democracy and Development in Abuja. 

African Arguments

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In Photos/Videos : Happening Now – Presentation of Certificates of Registration to the newly registered 23 Political Parties by the Hon. Chairman INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu

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The Independent National Electoral Commission on Thursday presented Certificates of Registration to 23 new political parties in Abuja.
Photos and videos from the ceremony were shared on the Twitter handle of the electoral body, @inecnigeria.

The Commission has decided to extend the CVR to 31st August 2018. The exercise will continue in all the designated registration centres every day, including weekends, but excluding public holidays, between 9am and 5pm.

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Saraki yet to declare for 2019 Presidency – Aide

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The Special Assistant to the President of the Senate on New Media, Olu Onemola, has played down rumours that the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, will contest in the 2019 Presidential election.
In an interview with Bloomberg on Tuesday, Saraki disclosed that he is “consulting and actively considering” running for President, leading many to believe that he will vie for the country’s top job.
However, in a series of tweets today, Onemola asserted that the President of the Senate’s comments should not be assumed as a declaration to contest for the Presidency next year.
“Considering’ is not a declaration. At the appropriate time, the President of Senate will be specific about his aspiration for 2019. Moreover, the Bloomberg interview was 90% on the economy, and not politics.
“The President of the Senate has been clear that at the right time, Nigerian’s will know what his plans are,” he said.

Additional – OrderPaper

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Senate Asks INEC To Scrap “Smaller” Political Parties

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Nigerian lawmakers in the upper legislative chamber have asked the independent national electoral commission to “scrap smaller political parties to reduce the cost of 2019 general elections.

The lawmakers gave the advice as INEC chairman, Mahmoud Yakubu appeared before them on Wednesday to defend 2019 general election budget of 189 billion naira.
Nigerian lawmakers cut short their annual recess on Wednesday to attend to President Muhammadu Buhari’s budget – request for 2019 general elections.
Their return may have ended weeks of anxieties that the 2019 elections could suffer a setback unless the lawmakers reconvene.
INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu was around to defend the election budget which the INEC chairman put at189 billion naira.
The figure represents an increase of n69 billion from that of 2015 general elections.
Yakubu said the budget had to be increased because of the number of political parties.
The INEC chairman said his commission had registered a total of 91 political parties and that this number has affected the cost of the elections.
The lawmakers asked INEC to consider trimming down on the number of political parties even though what the president requested was the same in terms of figures with what INEC presented, there was a bit of difference in the manner the monies were to be released.
While INEC wants the sum of n189 billion approved in one trench, the president had requested the national assembly to give approval in two separate components in the 2018 and 2019 budgets.
Unable to reach a compromise on how the money should be approved, the meeting was adjourned till Thursday.

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In Pictures : Atiku Visits Imo and Enugu , Vows to Reposition Nigeria

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Nigeria’s former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, Wednesday said the desire to reposition Nigeria and move it forward was the greatest factor motivating him to keep seeking for the highest political office in country.

According to him, “patriotism is the key thing. It is the thing propelling my presidential ambition. I want to move Nigeria forward. Patriotism is needed to move Nigeria forward”.
He said he was in the South-East to consult with the leadership of PDP  ahead of the party’s presidential primary.

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2019 Elections: Buhari Fully Committed To Use Of PVC, Card Reader — Presidency

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The Presidency has condemned some newspaper reports insinuating that President Muhammadu Buhari had declined assent to the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, 2018, because of his objections to the use of card readers in 2019 elections.
Malam Garba Shehu, the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday, described the allegation as “wild and baseless’’.
He said that the president did not raise any objections whatsoever to the use of card readers, contrary to the stories being maliciously peddled by sections of the media and on the Internet.
The statement read: “Our attention has been drawn to incorrect and misleading reporting in several newspapers regarding the status of the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, 2018.
“The Presidency would like to set out the true status of the Bill.
“The Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, 2018, was sent by the National Assembly to the Presidency at the end of June 2018, for assent.
“Following extensive consideration, the Presidency engaged with the National Assembly to raise concerns regarding errors and inconsistencies found in the submitted version. Following this, the National Assembly, on July 24, 2018, met to review and correct the Bill.
“The Bill was given on July 24, 2018, a “clause by clause consideration” by the Senate.
“The Votes and Proceedings from the Senate on July 24, 2018, attest to this.
“The Senate resolved to rescind its decision on a number of clauses included in the version they had earlier sent for consideration by the President and to reconsider these clauses.
“According to the Senate Votes and Proceedings of Tuesday, July 24, 2018: “The Senate notes that in the course of final cleaning of the Bill as passed, some provisions were found to negate the essence of the amendment; [and] Resolves to: Rescind its decision on Clauses 3,5,8,11(2), 13(b), 14 (4), 15(3), 18,21,23,24,28,32 and 38 of the Bill as passed, and recommit same to Committee of the whole for reconsideration and passage.”
The presidential aide further explained that the re-considered Bill was passed by the Senate on July 24, the same day that plenary was adjourned to September 25.
He disclosed that the Revised Version of the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, 2018, with corrections by the National Assembly, and dated Aug. 2, was received by the Presidency on Aug. 3, 2018.
According to him, the President has 30 days from the date of receipt, to assent to or decline the Bill.
“The Bill is, therefore, still under consideration by the Presidency,’’ he added.
He condemned the insinuation that the President declined to assent to the Bill because of objections to the use of card readers, saying the allegations were wild and baseless. (NAN)

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Cardinal Francis Arinze as a brand of Anambra – By Uzor Maxim Uzoatu

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Cardinal Arinze in Nkwelle-Ezunaka

The rebranding of Anambra State as being undertaken by Governor Willie Obiano has arguably the best vista in the personage of Francis Cardinal Arinze. Mr. C. Don Adinuba, Anambra State Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, recently had a rewarding meeting with Cardinal Arinze in Nkwelle-Ezunaka, Anambra State, and he did not mince words in stressing that the cardinal’s high ranking amongst Anambra’s, nay Nigeria’s greatest gifts to the world.

Religious leaders all over the world do not come any more charismatic than our very own Francis Cardinal Arinze. In virtually all the continents of the world, Cardinal Arinze’s name became a household noun based on his ground-breaking work as President of Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue at the Vatican from 1985 to 2002. He thereafter served as the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.
It’s now a fulcrum of his storied life that he narrowly missed becoming the Pope after the death of Pope John-Paul II in 2005. Pope Benedict XVI who succeeded Pope John-Paul II appointed Arinze the Cardinal Bishop of Velletri-Segni.
The ever feisty Cardinal Arinze, a native of Eziowelle town in Anambra State, is still full of life in his well-deserved retirement after his esteemed work at the Vatican. The values that Cardinal Arinze has espoused all through his years of service ought to stand his native state of Anambra in good state now that he is very much around.

Towards his last years in the Vatican, the Cardinal Arinze essence could be gleaned from his carriage at the presentation in the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) Lagos of the book on him, Cardinal Francis Arinze: The Church Pathfinder of Dialogue and Communion written by Monsignor Dennis Isizoh.
Cardinal Arinze, being his usual humorous self, told the book presenters that he had no need for the money being donated because “the Pope gives me enough money for spaghetti!” He then capped his speech with the witticism that he did not want to sound like a speaker of whom the audience said: “He has finished but has not stopped!”

Cardinal Arinze

The guest speaker at the occasion, His Grace Most Rev. Ignatius Kaigama, delivered an impassioned expose on Christians/Muslims relations in Nigeria, given that Cardinal Arinze had played the pivotal role of getting late Pope John Paul II into a mosque as a part of worldwide religious dialogue.
Cardinal Arinze has literally moved mountains in striving to bring unity of purpose amongst the world’s religions made up of Christianity (33%), Islam (21%), Hinduism (14%), Buddhism (6%), Chinese traditional (6%), African traditional (6%), Sikhism (0.36%), Judaism (0.22%), and the Atheists (16%).
Dr ABC Orjiakor, who spoke on behalf of the Committee of Friends that put up the function, described Cardinal Arinze as “a profound prelate and apostle of the Christian faith, an ambassador of global peace, the world’s youngest Bishop in 1965, the first African Cardinal to head a Vatican Department, the people’s reverend, an accomplished clergy, a good shepherd…”

Professor Mike Kwanashie in his insightful review of Cardinal Francis Arinze: The Church Pathfinder of Dialogue and Communion pointed out the great irony that Nigeria is blessed with a man respected as one of the holiest of religious leaders all over the world even as the country wallows in sin and corruption.
A man of his words, Cardinal Arinze said: “There is no dogma that the organ or harmonium can be used in church, but not the drum.”

Cardinal Francis Arinze

On a personal note, I have known Arinze since my childhood days after the Biafra War at the compound of Christ the King College (CKC), Onitsha where he then lived in the Principal’s house and I lived with my uncle JO Aginam in the tutors’ quarters. The Archbishop’s house at Holy Trinity Cathedral had been destroyed during the war, and Arinze had to make do with living in the CKC quarters. As children, we always walked about with Arinze during his evening strolls and he always told us funny stories laden with morality. It’s a major highlight of my days as an altar boy that I served as a torchbearer when the then Archbishop Arinze inaugurated Christ the King Parish, Onitsha.
Commissioner C. Don Adinuba, himself a devout Catholic, sees Cardinal Arinze as the living embodiment of the Anambra ideal as “Light of the Nation”.

It is indeed remarkable that Arinze was baptized on his ninth birthday on November 1, 1941, by the then Reverend Father Michael Iwene Tansi who would later be beatified by Pope John-Paul II in 1998. Both the saint-to-be and the onetime “papabile” (Pope-contender) happen to be icons of Anambra State.

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118th OVALA FESTIVAL ( IDIGO DYNASTY )OF THE ANCIENT AGULERI KINGDOM THE ANCIENT AGULERI KINGDOM H

Minister Mary of Carnaby London delivering a bag to Biola Okoya, daughter of Razaq Okoya – the renowned Nigerian industrialist, owner of Eleganza Group of Companies and Aare of Lagos

Minister Mary of Carnaby London delivering a bag to Biola Okoya, daughter of Razaq Okoya - the renowned Nigerian industrialist, owner of Eleganza Group of Companies and Aare of Lagos

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Video : More Trouble as Dogara Storm House of Reps Amidst Hailing From PDP Reps Members

Home4 weeks ago

Senate angrily urges security operatives to vacate Ekweremadu’s residence immediately.

Home4 weeks ago

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala : Twitter appoints ex-Nigerian minister to its board

Home4 weeks ago

UPDATE: Melaye, Kwankwaso, 13 Other Senators Defect To PDP

Home4 weeks ago

Oshiomhole Threatens Ngige With Expulsion

Home3 weeks ago

GOVERNOR OBIANO PRESENTS CERTIFICATE OF RECOGNITION TO NEWLY ELECTED TRADITIONAL RULERS

Home3 weeks ago

Saraki, Dogara slam Ortom’s impeachment by 8 legislators

Home2 weeks ago

Press Statement By The President Of The Senate, His Excellency, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, CON, On July 31, 2018

Life & Style2 days ago

Picture of Rihanna and Donald Glover drives fans wild

Home3 weeks ago

President Muhammadu Buhari withholds Assent to Five Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Fourth Alteration) Amendment Bills

Home2 weeks ago

News Pictures Of The Day : His Majesty, Eze Eri 34th, Eze Aka Ji Ovo Igbo Visits Igbo Village & Museum in Staunton, Virginia, USA.

Home5 days ago

Obiano’s media aide found dead

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