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Those Whose Prayers God May Not Answer 

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Spreading Coronavirus

 

 

Olusegun Fafore

 

 

With the public outrage following the flouting of government’s directives by some religious institutions last weekend over the number of worshippers that could attend mosques and churches for prayers in the face of the deadly pandemic ravaging the world, God may have nullified some supplications for putting His creations in danger.

 

The contribution of a South Korean Church to the Coronavirus spread, which represents about 60% of the country’s confirmed cases of over 4,000, motivated restrictions on the number of people who can congregate at places of worship at this time.

 

The restriction terms, which allowed 50 worshippers, was further revised to 20 people, with ample space between seats and individuals who must be at worship centres for their supplications to be heard by God or Allah.

 

As attendance at religious gatherings were monitored for compliance, social gatherings did not go off the sight of governments. This is because governors will be labelled as failures and ineffective if the ruthlessness of the virus overruns our communities.

 

At a speed matching the invasive tendencies of the deadly Coronavirus, governments across the globe made pronouncements and took decisions targeted at protecting their citizens, limiting the spread of the virus and managing the level of fatality.

 

In the city of Rome, the capital of Italy, a country that lost about 743 people to the Coronavirus outbreak in just one day, the lockdown forced churches to suspend Mass.

 

Meanwhile, before this outbreak, Rome was the downtown of Catholic worship. The Pope resides in the Vatican City, a sovereign City-State enclaved within Rome, which has been a center of Christian Pilgrimage for centuries.

 

With death in the air, excursion to the holy city stopped. Priests in the Vatican found other ways to reach their congregations since science has established that Coronavirus thrives amidst multitudes.

 

Perhaps this was why Saudi Arabia’s King Salman locked-down the country’s capital, Riyadh, and the holy cities of Mecca and Medina. Beyond this action, the country, which hosts millions of pilgrims annually, suspended all educational and Qur’anic activities at all Mosques, closed malls, restaurants, cafes and parks, and banned Muslim pilgrims from coming for Umrah this year.

 

These decisions, are not only unusual, but are far-reaching, and genuinely reflective of the value placed on citizens lives by the government of the county.  And the impacts of these decisions are evident in the containment effort of the State, which has limited casualty of the dreaded virus to only 1, out of the 767 reported cases, since the country confirmed its first case on March 2, 2020.

 

Public safety sentiment echoes across the globe. It is a critical index for measuring purposeful leadership at this unnerving period in human existence. So that you know, the time has gotten direr in Israel and the country’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to implement a total lockdown.

 

The number of sick Israelis infected by novel Coronavirus has climbed to 2, 369. And it is the responsibility of the State to cater for them and prevent them from adding to the number of deaths attributed to the pandemic.

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“These steps we have taken here in Israel are being taken all of the world; however, they are not enough because the number of patients is doubling every three days” said the Prime Minister who added that “in two weeks we are liable to find ourselves with thousands of patients many of whom will be in danger of death”.

 

If this statement does not provide hint of the despair in the Prime Minister’s voice, it is reflective of the fact that he is under enormous pressure to protect his people from the scourging death and save his land from the spate of Coronavirus.

 

Netanyahu’s predicament reflects what every leader all over the world is going through at this period. Even, his case should be different because Israelis have an unending covenant with God, and they can afford to ignore the roving signs of over the world.

 

Leadership is a huge responsibility. People occupying such positions are wearing thorny crowns at this moment.  Whether they are calm or spirited, their minds are in crisis. They are thinking about the safety of everyone, and the purity of their territories, which could be a sovereign or sub-national.

 

Forget the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s calm demeanor. Every additional case of Coronavirus in the State unsettles him. Since when the first case, which later turned negative was announced in Lagos State, the Governor’s determination to contain the pestilence has increased. Every update, he wished had included the announcement of a vaccine, or drugs that can permanently wiped-out the deadly Coronavirus from our World.

 

“There are about 22 million people in my care and everyone is only an arm’s length away from the other. This pandemic is highly transmissible and travels in the air from one person to the other. Aside from my domain being the most populous in the country, with an incredible density, it is also the major entry point into Nigeria. Daily, thousands of travelers come into Lagos from different parts of the world, even from Coronavirus worse-hit countries”, captures the minute-by-minute thoughts on Governor Sanwo-Olu’s mind.

 

So, his mind cannot idle away from the conjectures coming in gushes. Even, complicating the situation is the centrality of Lagos to managing the containment of the deadly virus in Nigeria. The level of the State’s preparedness and quality of facilities make it a destination for case management and patient treatment.

 

As the facilities get stretched by cases imported from outside Lagos, his mind skips; because of the ever-present imbalance between needs and available resources in life. If not for our recklessness, may be the number of cases in Nigeria would still have been as low as five, and Lagos will be zero with the index case turning negative. And this would have perhaps contributed to reduction in his anxieties.

 

But we are strange and very funny people, with immeasurable capacity for disobedience. It is ridiculous that government needed to enforce compliance with directives to stem the tide of a lethal microbe that has claimed 21,367 lives from the 475,879 cases in 198 countries.

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We sneered at instructions as basic as restricting the number of congregations to 20 if there must worship in our Churches or Mosques and self-isolate for 14 days, if we just returned from overseas trip, to abate the spread of Coronavirus amongst us.

Even, the call to avoid public places and social gatherings at this perilous time is pointlessly ignored just as much as the need for personal hygiene is discounted.

 

Excuse me, why are the doctrines of “wash your hands regularly with soap” and “observe the principles of social distancing” to protect yourself from a deadly infection difficult to obey? Are we just being suicidal, or deliberately inclined to committing large scale murder?

 

Don’t we understand that our disobedience endangers other people’s lives and diminishes government efforts at protecting the land against pandemic? If we assemble somewhere in the name of prayer or worship, and enable coronavirus fly at a geometric progression through community spread, we have not only disobeyed civil authorities, but also committed evil in the sight of God. Good citizenship is one of the conditions precedent to Godliness. For Christians, Apostle Paul espoused this in his homily on civil obedience in Roman 13: 1-1.

 

The holy Quran does not defer on civil obedience and respect for constituted authority. In verse 59 of Surah An-Nisa in the Quran, which is known as Uli al-Amr verse, Believers are ordered to obey Allah, obey the prophet and those vested with authority (Uli al-Amr).

 

So, where did the disobedience come from? If your recalcitrance increases the spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria and results in loss of several lives, you are a murderer! If you fail to self-isolate when you return from overseas or are exposed an infected person, you are killer because your indiscretion will infect people with the novel coronavirus.

 

We need to comply with the social distancing and personal hygiene precepts. No one should commit suicide by disregarding these principles. God holds human life sacred. That is why the 6th commandment, Exodus 20;13 “Thou shalt not kill” is a clear directive to preserve human life.

 

More importantly, suicide is a grave sin before our creator.  It is true that in times of pestilence, prayer is a means of privileged communication with the Almighty God. No one is in doubt about the power of prayer as a source of strength in moment of crisis, but like Peter cautioned Christians to conduct their lives properly;  so that their “prayers be not hindered” (1 Pet. 3:7).

 

If your actions or activities cause self-death or death of others, or endanger the society, God may not answer your prayers.

 

Stay safe. Wisdom is profitable to direct.

 

Fafore is Executive Assistant on Public Relations and New Media to Lagos State Governor

 

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Opinion

Busola Dakolo Returns With Update On Rape Case

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Busola Dakolo

After months of being quiet, Busola Dakolo has returned with an update about her rape case against Biodun Fatoyinbo.

Recall that the wife of Timi Dakolo had in June 2019, accused  Fatoyinbo of raping her when she was a teenager and was worshipping in his church in Kwara state.

The case to bring Fatoyinbo to justice was thrown out of the window by the court. The photographer has now returned with an update on the case.

In the update posted on her Instagram page, Busola shared a copy of the letter she received from the police stating they have completed investigations into the case and have forwarded the case file to the Director of Public Prosecution of the Federation (DPPP) for legal advice and further necessary action.

She alleged the Ministry of Justice has since received the case file for Fatoyinbo’s prosecution but has remained silent.  She said her team has sent a letter to the Ministry of Justice over a month ago but no response yet.

 

Read the letter from the police sent to her and her post below:

Busola Dakolo gives update on her rape case against clergyman Biodun Fatoyinbo

”It is now officially one year after since I came out and told the most important story of my life up until this point. That when I was a teenager, Biodun Fatoyinbo violently raped me. It wasn’t just me. In the media, on social platforms and in private, women have been sharing stories of how this man either destroyed their lives or tried to.

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A lot has happened in that time: and my heart is glad that consciousness continues to be raised about the great evil that sexual abuse is, and how widespread it is, and how much women are at risk, and why we need to ensure justice for those who find the strength to speak out.

Awareness is victory. But we are pushing to another even great victory: Justice.

 

When the courts last year decided to rule in favour of the man who assaulted me, people were crestfallen. I understood.
What they didn’t know however is that before we even began, we had been prepared for a long haul battle that may take years because the Nigerian legal system isn’t wired to help sexual abuse victims get justice.
Today, I have a major update. The police has concluded its investigation. And handed over its report to the Ministry of Justice in Abuja for onward prosecution of Biodun Fatoyinbo. He clearly has a case to answer.
But there has been silence from the ministry. Silence. A loud silence!

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“We have written a letter but for over a month we have no response.
“Instead, my lawyers and my family have heard about all manner of manipulation and foul play being attempted to stop the ministry from beginning prosecution immediately.
Or even to get the police report manipulated.

 

“My name is Busola Dakolo, a survivor of one of the most horrific acts -rape. My voice will not be shut down. My case will not be silenced. I am thankful to those in and out of the police, the ministry and the corridors of power who have called in solidarity and to reassure me that they are monitoring the ministry of justice and that this pressure to bury the case will not succeed.

 

“I am updating the Nigerian public because you all made my story matter. You joined me to say enough is enough. With you, this has been an easier process.” she wrote

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Opinion

Direct Primaries In Edo: Call Oshiomhole To Order, Jumu’ah Tells Buhari, Mustapha, Tinubu Amid COVID-19 Crisis

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A Social Commentator and Political Analyst, Jumu’ah Abiodun has called on President Muhammadu Buhari, Secretary to the Federal Government of Nigeria (SGF) and Chairman, Coronavirus pandemic Task Force, Boss Mustapha and National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu to call the APC National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole to order ahead of the party primaries scheduled for Monday, 20th June, 2020.
Jumu’ah in a statement published on his twitter handle @jumuahabiodun cautioned the APC National Chairman to desist from his present strategies of deliberately instigating direct primaries in Edo State amid widespread prevalence of novel COVID-19 in Nigeria.
“As a concerned citizen of this country, I will like to call the attention of Mr President, COVID-19 Task Force Chairman and National Leader of the ruling party, APC, to Oshiomhole’s strategies of deliberate instigating direct primaries in his State to accomplish his narrow-minded plan.”
“While it is not my affair to know how you run your party yet my advice for you is, you need to terminate the idea of direct primaries in Edo State with immediate effect.”
“At this point in time whereby the nation recorded 1, 005 cases of COVID-19 within last 72 hours, then Oshiomole is a clown with his direct primaries yearning. If your party want direct primaries your National Working Committee, NWC, should approach other party Chairmen for postponement of the election.”
“The widespread of COVID-19 has already created tension and panic in Nigeria with the country’s confirmed cases surpassed 11, 000 with 315 deaths,” Jumu’ah stated.
He added that: “To curb the spread of COVID-19 should be the priority of any responsible leader, not the direct primaries which people will troop out massively to vote”

Continuing, he said, “I’m using this opportunity to call on the World Health Organization (WHO), United Nation (UN), European Union (EU), the United Kingdom (UK), United States of America (US) and other international community to advice Buhari APC government not to go into any direct primaries for now that Nigeria is the second epicentre of the deadly virus in Africa.”

Also Read:  Busola Dakolo: Police Searches Fatoyinbo's Home, Withold Passport
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Opinion

Shocker: Toolz Demuren Reveals Secret Of Losing Her Baby***The Untold Story

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Popular On Air Personality (AOP), Tolulope Oniru-Demuren popular as Toolz has revealed one of her best kept secrets.

She shared details about losing her child, something she had kept private.

The recently appointed Programs Director for Beat FM shared the tragic experience, revealing the disbelief and agony she endured as well as her journey to recovery.

Toolz goes into details about losing her child and her journey to recovery on the First episode of Life Lessons with Betty Irabor sponsored by Nescafe (video)

According to the mother of one, she got pregnant a few months after her wedding and typically began looking forward to having a baby.

However, when she got pregnant and as it approached six months, she noticed the baby never changed its position.

According to her, the Nigerian hospital she used didn’t pick up the problem on time.

Travelling to the United Kingdom,  a scan showed that her baby was too small and may not survive.

“I never once thought that the health of my child would be an issue,” Toolz said.

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Despite scans after scans and efforts made,  she was told she’ll have to push the baby out because it was no longer moving.

Toolz revealed that at the final scan, she  had some sort of “spiritual awakening”.

“I heard a voice saying ‘this isn’t going to work out but you’re going to be okay’, ” she said.

Speaking further, she said: “That was horrible, the day that I did the scan and there was just like nothing. When we did the last scan, there was nothing, like, no movement, nothing.”

“Oh my gosh, it was horrible, it was absolutely horrible,” she added.

She said she was told that she’ll be given some medications and will come back after three days to push the baby out. The medications were given to her on Thursday and she was told to come back on Sunday. However, she went into labour on Saturday.

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Toolz recalled preparing breakfast on that fateful Saturday when she felt pain and went to the bathroom.

“From there, the pain went from two to twelve. And I remember screaming… I was in so much pain and that’s when I realized that gosh, I’m in labour, ” she said.

“I was in labour for about six or seven hours.

“It was very very traumatic. I try not to think about it too much.

“I think one of the worst moments after that… of course this was in the UK, they had to do like an autopsy, I had to arrange a funeral. It was horrible.

“That whole time, I was just like, ‘Yeah, God, I’m done’. I’m like ‘come and take me, I’m gone’.”

The OAP has since recovered and is now blessed with a handsome son.

 

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