The Associate Priest, Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Parish, Abuja, Rev. Fr. Aloysius Udo has said that an increasing number of young persons now show interest in religious vocations.
Udo who made the assertion in Abuja, Sunday, told newsmen that, “an increasing number of young persons have indicated interest to become priests and reverend sisters”.
Udo said the country was not facing any crisis in vocation unlike the declining figures of priest in the United States and Europe.
The priest said senior seminaries in the Archdiocese of Abuja were witnessing a rise in candidates interested in such vocations.
“There is a tremendous response to vocation by our youths, both boys and girls. In fact, we jokingly but emphatically say there is a vocation boom in Nigeria.
“In Africa, we have a tremendous response to vocation, to religion and priesthood, quite unlike in countries in Europe and the United States where vocation is minimal in religious congregations.
On celibacy, he said the position of the Catholic Church of Nigeria had not changed.
“The principle of celibacy is still maintained in the Western church to which Nigeria belongs.
“This is to give full attention to the mission of Christ, which is primary and uppermost in the mind of any candidate going into senior seminary information to be ordained into priesthood,” he said.
Udo, however acknowledged that he moderated growth in priestly vocations and the proliferation of churches did not mean that Nigeria was a religious nation.
A study had, more than a year ago rated Nigeria as the world’s most religious nation.
The church has been doing its best through sermons, prayers and fasting but without backing that up with change of mind and attitude, corruption will still continue.
The priest commended the efforts of the anti-corruption agencies such as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corruption practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), and implored Nigerians to cooperate with them in the effort to eliminate corruption in the society.
Udo, who was ordained as Catholic priest in 1984 launched a book entitled “The Golden Rule” on Saturday to commemorate his 25 years in the priesthood.
FG Vows To Check Modern Day Slavery
The Federal Government says it plans to check modern day slavery through awareness creation activities on the effects of illegal immigration, child labour, sexual abuse and other vices.
Director, International Cultural Relations, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Mrs Memunat Idu-Lah, stated this in an interview with The Tide source in Abuja yesterday.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), designated August 23 each year as the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition, and Nigeria is preparing to join other member countries to commemorate the day.
Idu-Lah said the ministry in collaboration with other relevant stakeholders would use the celebration to showcase the experience of victims of trafficking, to educate Nigerians on the tricks of potential traffickers.
She said: “We are looking at the effect of this slave trade on Africans and the effects of what we termed as modern day slavery.
“We have learnt in history about how people are enslaved; now we can see how people are being trafficked.
“There is illegal immigration where people are moving to locations they are not sure of their means of livelihood. Many of them die in transit, all those vices, child labour, sexual abuse, all sorts of things that are going on.
“We want to see how we can use this celebration to also reach out to people to create awareness, let them know that these things people are doing are another forms of slavery.
“And it means we are not yet out of slavery, as of those of us who went to school and study history, we learnt of Trans-Atlantic slave trade.
“We should be able to look at what is happening now and correct these modern day slavery.”
According to her, this is because generations to come will sit down and read what we did during our own time.
“It will be bad if we as educated as we are, cannot check this modern day slavery that is going on.
“One of the ways of checking it is through awareness because a lot of people don’t even know when they are being lured to be trafficked, they don’t know.
“Through this celebration, we can reach out; we might be having people who have experienced it,
“They will come out to tell people their experiences and alert people on the kind of languages traffickers use, how they lure them.
“People will get to know that when somebody comes and says those kinds of things they will know that this is a possible trafficker,” Idu-Lah said.
Imo Police Resist Armed Bandits’ Attack
The Operation Restore Peace team of the Imo State Police Command has repelled armed bandits attack at Njaba town in the Njaba Local Government Area of the state.
The Imo State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Abutu Yaro disclosed this in a statement issued by the Command’s Public Relations Officer, CSP Michael Abatham at the weekend.
According to him, the convoy of bandits was moving towards Njaba town to launch an attack but were intercepted by Operation Restore Peace team of the Nigeria Police , Imo State Command .
The Commissioner explained that during a fire fight which ensured immediately, one of their operational vehicles was de-mobilised and two of them neutralised while the remaining ones scampered into the bush.
According to the Commissioner, one Ak 47 rifle was recovered with ten rounds of live ammunition and a locally made double barrel pistol with two expended cartridges.
The Police boss stated that the team detonated an Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) into the parking lots of a nearby Njaba Police Station causing minimal damage.
Mr. Yaro said that cordon and pursuant exercise is on going in the area while advising members of the public residing in the area not to panic as the ongoing Police clearance operation is designed to root out violent criminals in that axis.
He appealed to them to avail Police information of persons seen treating bullet wounds or hiding within the community.
NDLEA Intercepts 35 Wraps Of Cocaine, Drugs En Route Italy, Turkey
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), says it has recovered 35 wraps of cocaine from a lady passenger at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), Ikeja, Lagos.
NDLEA’s Director of Media and Advocacy, Mr Femi Babafemi, disclosed this in a statement made available to The Tide source yesterday in Abuja.
Babafemi said that the suspect, Okafor Ebere Edith was arrested on July 31, during the outward clearance of passengers on Air Cotevoire bound to Monrovia Liberia.
He said the suspect, who tucked pellet of cocaine in her underwear to beat security checks at the airport, was however picked up for search.
This, he said, included questioning during which the wraps of the illicit drug were found on her.
“During preliminary interview, the suspect claimed that the desire to make money pushed her into drug trafficking,” he said.
Babafemi said the operatives arrested another suspect, Echendu Jerry Maduakolam, an intending male passenger going to Istanbul, at Gate A Departure hall of the MMIA on July 27.
He said the suspect was arrested during outward clearance of Egypt Airline bound to Turkey in possession of 78grams of Cannabis mixed with dried bitter leaf.
“On the same day another intending male passenger, Egbon Osarodion going to Milan, Italy was arrested at the airport’s Gate A Departure hall.
“This was also during outward clearance of passengers on Egypt Airlines with different quantities of 225mg Tramadol and Rohypnol concealed in foil papers wrapped in a polyethylene bag,” he said.
Babafemi disclosed further that NDLEA operatives, Kontagora Area Command, Niger State, raided a warehouse at Mailefe village in Kontagora Local Government Area of the state.
The spokesman said the operation was carried out on July 29, at a warehouse where suspected drug supplies for bandits operating in parts of the state were stored.
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