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Catholic Church, CAN, Islamic scholar eulogise Pope Benedict XVI’s virtues

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Rev. Fr. Anthony Omodunbi, the Director of Social Communication Commission, Catholic Diocese of Osogbo, Osun, has described the death of Pope Benedict XVI, as the death of a man of great faith.

The former pope Benedict XVI died at the age of 95, the Vatican announced Saturday, almost a decade after he became the first pontiff to resign in six centuries.

Benedict XVI passed away at 95 at about 9. 34 a.m. in the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in the Vatican, as announced by the Vatican on Saturday.

Also, the Catholic Pope Emeritus (1927- 2022), had been down with sickness before he passed away.

Reacting to demise of the Pope Emeritus, Omodunbi said that Catholic Church would know that they have lost a great teacher of faith.

“The death of Pope Benedict XVI is the death of a man of great faith, who is very courageous about his faith, about orthodoxy.

“Even, before he became Pope, when he was the Prefect of Congregation for Faith, he always stood his ground for what is right, what is proper, what the Lord is calling the Church to admit all the changes in the world. He is so traditional.

“What shook the world was when he decided to bow out as the Pope when he felt he doesn’t have the strength again and I think that is a great lesson for leaders.

“Nothing actually compelled him to resign, but the Pope felt he doesn’t have the strength any longer and that the church deserves people who have the strength, who can still carry on and so he resigned.

“He decided to stay in the background, not even influencing what is happening anymore. I think these are the things to learn from him.

“Some people bow out, but are still very active influencing decisions.

“He went into the monastery straight, just to be alone and draw closer to God and I think that is a great message for the world,” Omodunbi said.

He said the impact of his death on the Church would be unusual scenario of a Pope burying another Pope, as the current, Pope Francis, would have to bury Pope Benedict.

“It is not common in the recent history of the Church. The Church will also know that they have lost a great teacher of faith,” the cleric said.

Also, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Ogun Chapter, described the late Pope Benedict XVI as “a leader whose ways of life should be emulated by public office holders and anyone that called himself a leader.”

Its Spokesman in the state, Pastor Tolulope Taiwo, while reacting to Pope’s death in Abeokuta on Saturday said that the late Pope had sent a strong message and lessons to the world leaders on how best to be a great leader and a true man of God.

“We thank God for the life well spent, there are lot of lessons his person has sent to the world, especially to the leaders of all facets of life.

“This is the man that because of his health and age, discovered that he could no longer discharge his responsibility as effective as desired of him.

“He voluntarily resigned, this is not so with many of our leaders across the globe today. They preferred to die in office, when they know that they are ineffective and inactive, it is a very big lesson to learn from him.

“We have also learnt humility; he was a leader per excellence, he was a great man to the Christian body across the globe, most importantly to the Vatican Roman Catholic empire,” Taiwo said.

Commenting, Alhaji Kamaldeen Akintunde, the Secretary-General of Ogun State Muslim Council (OMC), described death of Pope Benedict XVI as historic and reference.

Akintunde said this was because he died at the last day of a year, adding that he passed on at a day ordained by God.

“That he resigned as the Pontiff/Head of Catholicism, an exalted position on account of ill health has made him a very great and courageous man.

“He would, forever, be remembered for contributing his quota to the preaching of the Gospel and the growth of the Catholic world,” Akintunde said.

In his reactions, Bishop Amos Ogunrinde, Osun CAN Chairman, said the late Catholic Pope left behind a good legacy, which Christians worldwide and other world leaders, should emulate practically.

According to him, everyone born of a woman must surely die someday and the late Pope Benedict has come and gone to meet with his creator.

“There is a time for everything under the sun, a time to be born and a time to die (Eccl. 3: 3-4).

“Benedict served God with his whole heart while on earth and also lived an exemplary life, which is worth emulating by Christians,” Ogunrinde said.

He urged religious faithful in the country and the world entirely to use the death of Pope Benedict to draw more closer to God in their dealings.

Ogunrinde, however, prayed to God Almighty to grant the late Catholic Leader, Pope Benedict XV1, eternal rest.

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Chess champion Tunde Onakoya meets Sanwo-Olu after record-breaking feat

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By Sodiq Adelakun

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, received a courtesy visit from Tunde Onakoya, the renowned chess champion, at the State Government House in Ikeja on Wednesday.

The meeting came after Onakoya’s remarkable achievement of setting a new Guinness World Record (GWR) for the longest chess marathon.

Recall that on April 17, Onakoya embarked on a mission to break the world record, aiming to empower illiterate children across Africa through his feat.

He successfully achieved the record on April 20 at Times Square in New York City, playing for an impressive 58 hours and winning every match.

Governor Sanwo-Olu congratulated Onakoya on his outstanding achievement, acknowledging the inspiration he has brought to the youth and the state.

Sanwo-Olu, while sharing pictures of the visit on his X (formerly Twitter) page, described Onakoya as an embodiment of “the spirit of Lagos.”

“Powerful visions birth movements that change lives. Today, we welcomed back @Tunde_OD, our chess champion, to Lagos,” he wrote.

“His journey embodies the spirit of Lagos—resilient, ambitious, and driven to succeed. As we celebrate his achievements, we’re inspired by his vision for empowering our children and youth.

“Together with Tunde and the transformative power of chess, we’ll work towards a future where every child in Lagos has the opportunity to realise their full potential.

“The state proudly supports his mission, purposefully providing resources to fuel this noble cause now and in the future.”

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NASS to embark on legislative reforms to reform Judiciary

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The President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio has disclosed that the National Assembly will embark on legislative reforms to reform the Judiciary.

The Senate President made this known at the opening ceremony of a two-day Summit on “Enhancing Justice Delivery in Nigeria” organised by the Federal Ministry of Justice in collaboration with the Nigerian Bar Association and other international development partners in Abuja.

A statement by the Special Assistant on Media/Communication to the Senate President, Anietie Ekong quoted Senator Akpabio to have said that the collaborative efforts of stakeholders will shape the strategic direction of Nigeria’s justice system, making it more robust, accessible, and equitable.

Akpabio urged the Nigerian Judiciary to evolve a blueprint for the transformative changes needed to enhance judicial efficiency and ensure the fair administration of justice across the nation.

According to Senator Akpabio, “In the coming months, I will invite my colleagues in the Senate and the House of Representatives to deliberate on these proposals with the gravity and diligence they deserve.

“Together, with the insights and support of the judiciary, legal experts, and the Nigerian populace, we will embark on this legislative journey to enshrine these reforms into law.

“This is more than legislative duty; it is our moral imperative to fortify the foundation of our nation’s justice system for present and future generations. I look forward to productive discussions and to the eventual realization of these reforms, ensuring a just, equitable, and prosperous society for all.

“I will not be telling the truth if I say that we at the National Assembly are not aware of the delays and backlogs plaguing our courts, which not only deny timely justice but undermine faith in our judicial system.

“These delays harm our society’s most vulnerable and create an environment where justice is seen as inaccessible and inefficient. In an era where technology has transformed so many sectors, it is critical that we harness its potential within our judicial processes to enhance speed and transparency.

“We are committed to budgeting for the implementation of judicial reforms that will include the adoption of digital tools to manage cases more effectively and ensure that justice is neither delayed nor denied.

“This journey requires collective effort. I call upon all stakeholders, including my colleagues in both legislative and executive branches, as well as the judiciary itself, to support these vital reforms. Together, we can build a justice system that is fit for the 21st century,” he said.

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu who was represented by Vice-President Kashim Shetima said the administration has embarked upon far reaching reforms to enhance justice delivery including the appointment of the full complement of the Justices of the Supreme Court.

Other stakeholders who presented papers at the Summit included the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Kayode Ariwoola, Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi SAN, President of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Mr. Yakubu Maikyau, SAN among others.

L-R: Deputy Senate President, Senator Barau Jibrin, Senate President, Senator Godswill Akpabio, Vice President of Nigeria, Senator Kashim Shettima and Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola at the opening ceremony of a two-day Summit on “Enhancing Justice Delivery in Nigeria” organized by the Federal Ministry of Justice in collaboration with the Nigerian Bar Association and other international development partners in Abuja

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LAUTECH introduces six new degree programmes, including Mass Comm.

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Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, has announced the introduction of six new degree programmes to its academic work.

The acting Vice Chancellor, Prof. Razaq Kalilu, made the announcement during the 16th convocation ceremony held at the university’s Great Hall on Tuesday.

According to Prof. Kalilu, the introduction of the new programmes is part of the institution’s efforts to rapidly change its academic outlook and fulfill its mandate, as well as the vision of its Visitor, Governor Seyi Makinde.

The new programmes are aimed at providing students with a wider range of academic options and equipping them with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in an increasingly complex and competitive world.

The introduction of the new programmes is a significant development for LAUTECH, which has been working to enhance its academic reputation and provide students with a world-class education.

The university community and stakeholders have welcomed the development, which is seen as a positive step towards positioning LAUTECH as a leading institution of higher learning in Nigeria.

The VC said, “A year ago, the university established the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences with four academic programmes. This year, we have introduced six additional new degree programmes into that Faculty namely Psychology, Mass Communication, Linguistics, Yoruba, Theatre Arts, and Political Science. A Faculty of Law has also been established to run a degree programme in law.

“All the seven newly introduced programmes have recently gone through Resource Verification, in March this year towards the National Universities Commission’s approval. We hope to admit students for these programmes in this current academic session as soon as we receive the clearance from the NUC,” he stated.

In his address, the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council of the institution, Prof Ayodeji Omole charged the graduands to be good ambassadors of the university.

“As you receive your degrees, remember that you are not just graduates of LAUTECH, but ambassadors of knowledge, integrity, excellence, service and progress, all that your university stands for. Carry the torch of learning with pride and let your actions speak volumes about the calibre of education you have received,” Omole advised.

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