Sunday, 18 February 2018

Sports: A bronze medal winning athlete from Russia is suspected of failing a doping test at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang

Curling

An athlete at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang could face doping charges.

  • A 2018 Winter Olympics athlete has reportedly failed a doping test.
  • The competitor is from the Olympic Athlete from Russia team and has been named by Russian sports newspaper Sport Express.
  • A second drug test will be conducted that will either confirm or invalidate the first suspect sample.

A 2018 Winter Olympics competitor from the Olympic Athlete from Russia team has reportedly failed a doping test, according to Russian daily newspaper Sport Express.

The Olympic Athlete from Russia (OAR) team has declined to name the suspect though it did confirm a "possible violation."

"Today, the headquarters of our delegation received an official notification from the International Olympic Committee about a possible violation of the anti-doping rules," an OAR statement said, according to The Guardian.

"We do not call the name of the athlete or athlete, as well as the sport, prior to the results of the opening of the sample B," the OAR added.

The results of the B sample, a second doping test used to confirm or invalidate the presence of banned substances in the first sample, will be known on Monday.

Russian media has named the alleged doper

Sport Express, a daily sports newspaper in Russia, has said the athlete under investigation is Alexander Krushelnytsky, who helped OAR to a bronze medal in the mixed doubles curling event on February 13.

"The doping tests of the Russian curler Alexander Krushelnytsky showed suspicious results," the Sport Express report said. "Traces of meldonia are found."

Meldonia is used to treat heart attack victims and has been banned in sports since 2016. Previously, it had notably been used by Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova.

"At the moment, Krushelnytsky is being visited by doping officers for further investigation," Sport Express wrote.

Russian athletes have a history of doping

Over 160 Olympic Athletes from Russia are participating at the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Russia, itself, was banned from the games because of systemic doping at the previous Winter Olympics in Sochi, which Russia hosted.

47 Russian athletes and coaches had been banned because of widespread doping at the 2014 games.



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#360TvSeries: Quantico’s Aunjanue Ellis Is Officially Out for Season 3

Quantico has lost yet another major character leading up to its Season 3 premiere, this time it is Aunjanue Ellis

Aunjanue Ellis, who plays Quantico director Miranda Shaw, has officially exited the show. It was reported last year that Ellis’ role would be reduced, and she would no longer be billed as a series regular, but now it appears she will not be part of the show at all.

Two other series regulars, Yasmine Al Massri and Pearl Thusi, also left the series last year. Massri was an original character from the pilot, while Thusi joined in Season 2 as a new character, Dayana.

Priyanka Chopra, Johanna Braddy, Jake McLaughlin and Russell Tovey remain on as the core cast of the show.

Quantico will kick off Season 3 on (new night alert!) Thursday, April 26 at 10/9c.

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Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi: Enugu State Governor empowers widows of fallen heroes

Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi

Ugwuanyi gave a cheque of N19.6 million to the General Officer Commanding of the Division, Maj.-Gen. Adamu Abubakar, for the widows on Sunday, during the 2017 West African Social Activities (WASA) celebration.

No fewer than 98 widows of fallen heroes in the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, Enugu have been empowered by Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State.

Ugwuanyi gave a cheque of N19.6 million to the General Officer Commanding of the Division, Maj.-Gen. Adamu Abubakar, for the widows on Sunday, during the 2017 West African Social Activities (WASA) celebration.

Presenting the cheque on behalf of the governor, the Special Adviser to Enugu State Government on Security Matters, Brig.-Gen. Fred Eze (rtd), said each of the widows would get N200,000 to start-up or enhance their businesses.

This is in fulfillment of the promise made by Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi during the Armed Forces Remembrance Day held on Jan. 15 at Okpara Square, Enugu.

“Gov. Ugwuanyi is passionate to ensure that the welfare of personnel and officers of security agencies in the state are given adequate attention in order to get the best from them,’’ he said.

He urged the widows to put the money to judicious use in a viable business venture or endeavour to be able to contribute meaningfully to the lives of their family members.

I will implore you to make judicious use of the money for it to create the desired multiplier effect,’’ he said.

Responding, Abubakar thanked the governor on behalf of the widows, for fulfilling his promise within a short time.

On behalf of the Nigerian Army, Chief of Army Staff, Lt.- Gen. Tukur Buratai and the Division, I sincerely send our great salute and appreciate to His Excellency, Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi for this great gesture to widows of our fallen heroes.

“Personally, I wish to thank him for fulfilling his promise within a short time,’’ he said.

The GOC revealed that the division had met the beneficiaries of the empowerment and tutored them on how best to make use of the money to ensure multiplier effect.

On the WASA celebration, Abubakar said it was meant to promote social inclusion and togetherness between personnel of the Nigerian Army, their families and the general public at large.

The GOC also affirmed the loyalty of the army to constituted civilian authorities and to the Commander of Nigerian Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the WASA celebration featured flamboyant cultural displays and traditional dances cutting across prominent ethnic groups in Nigeria, as well as a tug-of-war session.

Some soldiers, who exceptionally distinguished themselves in their lines of duty, were also recognised and honoured by the GOC.

NAN reports that WASA is an annual event and a standing military  tradition where officers, soldiers, their families and friends socially interact in a relaxed atmosphere.



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Sports: Donovan Mitchell dons a Vince Carter jersey and beats Larry Nance Jr to win Slam Dunk Contest

Donovan Mitchell

Donovan Mitchell put down two perfect dunks on his way to winning the 2018 Slam Dunk Contest.

  • Donovan Mitchell took home the 2018 Slam Dunk Contest trophy on Saturday night, beating Larry Nance Jr. in the final round.
  • Mitchell paid homage to Vince Carter with his final dunk of the night, donning his jersey and matching one of Carter's iconic dunks.
  • Mitchell was the cleanest dunker of the night, but some would likely argue that Nance Jr. pulled off the most difficult dunk of the night, nailing an absolutely ridiculous "double tap" dunk in the finals.


Donovan Mitchell won the 2018 Slam Dunk Contest on Saturday night, with two of his four dunks earning a perfect score from the judges.

Mitchell started the night off with a bang — bringing out another hoop to throw an impressive alley-oop to himself.

For his second dunk of the night, Mitchell kept with the time-honored tradition of dunking over other people — in this case, his sister and Kevin Hart. The dunk was Mitchell's first 50 of the night, and would propel him into the final for two more dunks against Larry Nance Jr. to determine the title.

In the final, Nance Jr. impressed, with what was immediately dubbed a "double-tap dunk" that was likely the highest degree of difficulty dunk pulled off by any competitor in the contest.

But it wasn't enough to beat Mitchell.

On his final dunk of the night, Mitchell changed into a Vince Carter jersey and paid homage to the Dunk Contest legend.

While somewhat inconsistent judging from a panel that included the likes of Mark Wahlberg and DJ Khaled left some desiring a different result, there's no doubt Mitchell is one of the top dunkers in the league, and he showed every bit of his verticality and creativity on Saturday night.

All-Star Weekend concludes on Sunday with Team LeBron taking on Team Curry.



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Davido Set For First International Collaboration Of The Year With Sean Kingston

Nigerian superstar singer, Davido is set for his first collaboration of the year as he gets a feature on a yet to be released song by Sean Kingston.

The Jamaican singer, Sean Kingston revealed on Twitter that his song “Kryptonite” which has Davido as one of the featured artistes is currently being mixed and mastered.

To further spark up the excitement of fans in anticipation of this collaboration, Davido dropped a teasing tweet asking “who’s ready”

See tweets below;

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Politics: Nigerian government confirms GULMA was the 1st indigenous UAV

How two Nigerian presidents launched first made-in-Nigeria drone twice

The country’s Air Force hinted the GULMA was technology capacity demonstration which was not put to operational use

Nigerian Air Force  (NAF) has confirmed that GULMA was Nigeria’s first indigenous Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), but it was not put to operational use.

According to a statement signed by NAF’s Director of Public Relations and Information, AVM Olatokunbo Adesanya, the clarification became necessary to set the record straight and sustain the institutional integrity of the armed forces.

“It has become necessary to clarify certain misconceptions, which followed the announcement, by the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), of the induction of its first indigenous operational Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) by President Muhammadu Buhari,” the statement reads in part.

“To set the records straight, while GULMA UAV is indeed the NAF’s first indigenous UAV, the newly inducted TSAIGUMI UAV is the first indigenous OPERATIONAL UAV. Both UAV types are the outcomes of Research and Development (R&D) efforts of a team of NAF Aerospace Engineers.”

With this, it is now clear that GULMA was actually the first but it wasn’t put to operational use by the country’s air force.

Also, both UAV (GULMA and TSAIGUMI) are research works of the personnel of the force and not imported into nor just assembled in Nigeria.

How Nigerian Air Force achieved this fate

Nigerian armed forces rely on advanced countries to make its military equipment and training needs. As a result, making this development to attract much interests from Nigerians and other international actors.

The statement stated about how the NAF begins to make moves which led to the first indigenous UAV.

“NAF’s foray into UAV development commenced in 2008, when its student officers, who were undergoing postgraduate studies in aerospace engineering programmes at Cranfield University, UK, chose UAV development as their research project. The student officers produced the AMEBO UAV as part of their project and it had neither autopilot nor Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) capability.”

"By 2013, the NAF developed an experimental UAV, codenamed GULMA, which was then unveiled as the first indigenous UAV. It is noteworthy that Gulma UAV was a technology demonstrator used to gather performance data on UAV systems.”

“Consequently, in September 2015, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, directed the NAF’s R&D Team to build an operational UAV, codenamed TSAIGUMI to be used in the Northeast and other theatres of operation in Nigeria. The data gathered from the Gulma prototype was subsequently applied in the design of the operational UAV, known as Tsaigumi, and inducted into service on 15 February 2018. Although the Tsaigumi UAV was manufactured at the Air Force Research and Development Centre at NAF Base Kaduna, the Team had to collaborate with an overseas facility to produce the moulds.”

Difference between GULMA and TSAIGUMI

The air force further explained that there is a wide difference between the two gadgets. The TSAIGUMI is stated to have more operational capabilities than GULMA.

"Tsaigumi UAV, which is capable of day and night operations, has an operational endurance in excess of 10 hours, a service ceiling of 15,000 feet and a mission radius of 100km. It has a maximum take-off weight of 80kg and its payload comprises an electro-optical infrared camera system as well as weapon hard points.”

“The Tsaigumi UAV, whose engine sound is muffled, has a state of the art encrypted communication system. It has a wingspan of 5.5metres and is able to gather real time weather information. On the contrary, the Gulma UAV has an operational endurance of 4 hours, a service ceiling of 5,000 feet and could not be operated beyond 20km. It has a maximum take-off weight of 40kg and its payload is an electro-optical camera system only.”

“The Gulma UAV, whose engine sound is not muffled, relies on direct radio frequency communication system with attendant limitations. The Gulma has a wingspan of 4.4 metres and relies on Air Traffic Control for weather information. Besides, while the Gulma UAV has an imported autopilot, the operational Tsaigumi UAV has an in-house developed autopilot. Tsaigumi UAV is thus a much more advanced and operationalized version of the earlier produced Amebo and Gulma UAV prototypes.”

Next innovation by NAF

The NAF didn’t fail to inform the public about the next military gadget which currently being developed to enhance its operations and defend the territorial sovereignty of Nigeria.

The force hinted that a new UAV, ICHOKU, is in the making which would be the first indigenous combat UAV.

"The NAF is currently working on the ICHOKU, which when completed, would be the first indigenous Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV), following which the general public would again be updated. It should be noted that R&D is a continuous process and the NAF believes in celebrating whenever a technologically higher stage is attained.“



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Muslim Pilgrims: Board fixes April 30 deadline for payment of 2018 hajj fare

Every Muslim needs to take these five things

The Chairman of the board, Alhaji Taofeek Akewugbagold, said this on Sunday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ibadan.

The Oyo State Muslim Pilgrims’ Welfare Board has fixed April 30 as deadline for payment of the 2018 hajj fare for all intending pilgrims in the state.

The Chairman of the board, Alhaji Taofeek Akewugbagold, said this on Sunday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ibadan.

Akewugbagold said that the state collected N1.1 million from intending pilgrims pending the final fare to be announced by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria.

The Oyo State board chairman said that all registration relating to 2018 hajj must be completed by May 31 unless Saudi Arabia extends the date.

The chairman said that the centres for orientation, material distribution and inoculation for intending pilgrims had been decentralized.

“Orientation, distribution of hajj materials and inoculation now takes place in Saki, Igboho, Ogbomoso, Kishi, this is to make the centres closer to the pilgrims and reduce travel stress,’’ Akewugbagold said.

He advised pilgrims to fear Allah in their deeds as they gather money for the journey.

Akewugbagold said that adequate security had been put in place with relevant security agencies to ensure that no pilgrim carry any contraband to Saudi Arabia.

“The turnout for this year’s hajj in the state is very impressive because of the past record of the board. Close to 500 pilgrims has so far paid.

“We have special packages for the aged and we are proud that for the past four years, Oyo State has been trying to maintain that we get accommodation closest to the Haram.

“ A lot of sacrifice was made to ensure that we secure accommodation for the state pilgrims within the vicinity of Haram,’’ Akewugbagold said.



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Spalletti: Inter Are Low On Confidence

Luciano Spalletti says Inter Milan are low on confidence, and had the wind knocked out of their sail after Ranocchia’s own goal.

The last attack of a lacklustre display between Genoa and Inter in the first half, saw Skriniar’s clearance slam into Ranocchia’s back and into the net.

Pandev scored in the 59th minute against his former side, condemning Spalletti’s men to a 2-0 loss in the absence of Perisic and Icardi.

“The team did not make a bad performance, we had to stay in the game and then wait for the right moment to take the lead,” he added.

“We are in a fragile moment, we have to grow from time to time. It is not easy to turn things around suddenly.

“We are trying to work to do something different and I think we are going in the right direction.

“It would have been useful to consolidate these changes but we cannot reject the choices made. They were not decisive in the defeat.”

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Demon Incarnate: Nigerian man jailed 40 yrs for stabbing ex-girlfriend over 30 times

The suspect, Osa Alohaneke, and the victim, Evelyne Epiepang

The suspect was convicted by a Fort Bend County jury of fatally stabbing and killing Evelyne Epiepang in her Houston home in 2015.

A 59-year-old Nigerian man identified as Osa Alohaneke, has been sentenced to 40 years in prison for the murder of his ex-girlfriend.

The suspect was convicted by a Fort Bend County jury of fatally stabbing and killing Evelyne Epiepang in her Houston home in 2015.

ALSO READ: Nigerian lady killed 2 weeks after wedding, husband on the run [Graphic Photos]"

Fort Bend County’s Chief Family Violence Prosecutor, Amanda Bolin, said Epiepang called the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office around 5 pm on April 8, 2015, to report that her ex-boyfriend had been threatening to kill her and she wanted him out of her house.

After Alohaneke left, sheriff’s deputies took a report from Evelyne before she left to stay with her friend, Veronica.

At about 7 p.m., Evelyne learned that Osa has back at her home and was banging on the front door.

Houston Chronicle reports that Evelyne called the sheriff’s office for their assistance once again but before deputies arrived, Evelyne and Veronica went back to Evelyne’s home thinking Osa was gone.

According to the reports, Osa appeared behind Evelyne and Veronica as they entered the house and locked the door behind him.

An argument reportedly ensues and the convict pulled a knife from under his shirt.

Attacking Veronica first, Osa cut her face and stabbed her so hard in the arm that it fractured a bone.

The convict later attacked Evelyne and stabbed her over 30 times.

Evelyne managed to call 911 sometime during the attack, during which her screams and pleas as she died were recorded.

ALSO READ: Man stabs wife to death 40 times on suspicion of cheating

After killing Evelyne, Osa asked Veronica to go ahead and call the sheriff because he had “completed his mission.”

Deputies reportedly arrived at the scene and found the defendant in the front yard with his hands covered in blood while he spoke with his attorney.



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2018 UTME: JAMB Announces Date For Mock Examination

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) on Sunday said the much anticipated conduct of the 2018 Mock Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) would now hold on February 26.

The board’s Head, Media and Information, Fabian Benjamin, who made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, disclosed that a total of 245,753 of the 1,652,795 candidates that registered for this year’s UTME are expected to write the test.

He said: “We are happy to announce to the public that the board has concluded arrangement for the conduct of the mock UTME, slated for Monday, February 26.”

“This is irrespective of the ongoing strike embarked upon by members of the non-academic unions of federal universities nationwide.”

“Candidates will soon be informed on when to print notifications for the examination and in addition, notifications will be sent through e-mails and text messages on the schedules of their examination.”

He explained that the examination was expected to be hitch free because the board had successfully reduced incidences of malfunctioning of computers by electronically integrating the systems to see their functionality and effectiveness through link tests.

“What this means is that, at the end if the exercise, whatever system that is not seen will not be used for the mock examination.

“The 2018 exercise sold a total of 1, 966,918 candidate generating profiles.

“In previous examinations this number of candidates would have paid for the forms but through our efficient and effective system of ensuring that candidates do not waste resources, we decided to introduce the profile generating regime.

“By this method, candidates will first have to   generate personal profiles before proceeding to obtain pins, in between which they are open to deciding whether to go ahead to pay for the registration documents or otherwise,” Mr. Benjamin explained.

The main UTME is expected to hold nationwide from March 9 to March 17.

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Tukur Buratai: Chief of Army Staff charges troops to get Shekau dead or alive

Buratai gave the charge at Camp Zairo, the former Command and Control Centre of the terrorists group in the Sambisa forest during an operational visit to troops.

The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, has again charged troops to capture Abubakar Shekau, the factional leader of the Boko Haram terrorists group, alive or dead.

Buratai gave the charge at Camp Zairo, the former Command and Control Centre of the terrorists group in the Sambisa forest during an operational visit to troops.

In 2017, the army chief gave troops a 40-day ultimatum to capture Shekau and the army recently offered a N3 million reward for information on him.

Troops finally destroyed the camp in January in an operation tagged “Deep Punch II’’ and are now dominating the general area of the forest.

The military sacked Shekau from the camp in December, 2016 but the terrorists later re-group to launch pockets of attacks.

Other locations visited by Buratai are Bita and Tukumbere, all settlements within the forest but almost deserted due to the insurgency.

Let me say congratulations. But, we must move across to wherever this criminal – Shekau is and catch him red handed. I want you to get him.

“Mr President, Command-In-Chief of the Armed Forces says congratulations to all of you for recovering the Sambisa Forest.

“As far as we are concern, we have come to the end of this operation (clearing the forest of remnants of terrorists).

“What is remaining now is the Lake Chad waters only and we hope to do that (clear terrorists from it) also very soon.

“Meanwhile, you all know these criminals are still on the run; these guys are on the run, you must make sure that you get them wherever they are around this area.

“You must not allow them to escape. Every day, you must go on patrol, lay ambush for them and you go on raids.

“This is the time we have to consolidate and ensure that this place – Sambisa forest, is safe and never for these criminals to come back to it,’’ Buratai charged the troops.

The chief of army staff said that he was in Sambisa and Camp Zairo to confirm the capture, destruction and domination by the gallant troops.

I am glad that the troops have done the country proud and they have done Mr President proud by not only capturing the Camp Zairo within the forest but also consolidating on this success.

“It is a thing of pride and I want to say that we are proud of the Nigerian troops. We are proud of members of the armed forces, the Air Force, Navy, Police, DSS and indeed Civilian JTF, who have provided the needed service,’’ he said.

Buratai described the Sambisa forest as strategic and assured that the military would it secure against terrorists.

We are going to transform this place, apart from making it a training area.

“We are going to have a modern defence establishment in terms of the provision of basic requirements for your comfort and indeed for your operations.

“We already making sure that the first set of facilities are brought here,’’ the army chief said.

To the troops, who captured the camp, Buratai promised them special package to boost their morale.

We are going to have some special packages for all of you that penetrated this forest.

“We will make sure that your morale is high by making the necessary provision for you to be comfortable,’’ he added.

On rotation of troops, he said that plans were on to rotate those who had stayed long in the theatre of operation.

This is in our plan. I know that some of you were inducted here right from the depot but we are doing something for you to be properly deployed and properly accommodated as well.’

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) gathered that 3,000 troops would be inducted into the Operation Lafiya Dole this week, to replace those who had stayed long.

In an interview with newsmen after the visit, Maj.-Gen. Rogers Nicholas, the Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, said with the capture of camp Zairo ”the soul and mind of Boko Haram have been broken in Sambisa forest”.

“They don’t have a place to hide. We are still going round to make sure that some of them that are hiding in holes, we intend to fish them out,’’ Nicholas said.

He said that on assumption of duty in 2017, the chief of army staff tasked him to capture Camp Zairo and clear Boko Haram from the Sambisa forest.

Troops have finally cleared the forest of remnants and we are presently occupying camp Zairo as well as all the little settlements and camps within the forest.’’

Staff Sgt. Dauda Mohammed, one of the troops, who participated in the operations that finally destroyed camp Zairo and clear the forest of remnants of terrorists, attributed their success to the Almighty God.

“The success is from God. God almighty is the one that gave us the success which all of us are happy to be here. The Sambisa is cleared,’’ Mohammed said.

NAN also reports that during the visit, the army chief directed principal officers, who accompanied him, to visit other locations and frontline.

Accordingly, the Chief of Training and Operations, Maj.-Gen. David Ahmadu visited Bama, Borno South East to find out the needs of the troops and encourage them.

The Director, Military Intelligence, Maj.-Gen. Abubakar Tarfa, visited Dikwa, Borno North East while Maj.-Gen. A.T. Hamman, the Provost Marshal, visited Gubio, Borno North West.



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University of Benin: Recalled SUG President speaks on his suspension and fellowship ban in UNIBEN

Recalled SUG President speaks on his suspension and fellowship ban in UNIBEN

After refusing to apologize to UNIBEN management for allegedly planning to disrupt convocation ceremony, student union leader speaks about his suspension.

In the past few weeks, the University of Benin has been in the news for banning fellowship groups and suspending five student union members for allegedly planning to disrupt the university convocation ceremony.

This, of course, is not the first time students would be suspended in Nigeria by University management, but the refusal of these students to apologize to the school management over the allegations led to a big fuss.

At the end, the management had to lift the suspension and recall the students following interventions from well-meaning Nigerians.

In this interview with Pulse, Ogbidi Osamudiamen, who was the student union president of the University before his suspension speaks about the suspension saga and the ban of fellowship at the University of Benin.

 

Pulse: Why did you refuse to apologise to the management to be recalled by the management?

Ogbidi: The whole story is centred around what can be termed our stubbornness for not agreeing with the management on the increment in the tuition fee in the university. And the only way they thought they could punish us is to rusticate the five of us - the SUG members who are trying to defend other students. So they rusticated us and since they made the decision, there has been clamour that we should be reinstated. It was at this point the management said that before they can be reinstated, we have to apologize and we told them that we cannot apologize, because if we apologise it means we have done something wrong and by implication, it means we are guilty of whatever they accuse us of.

And we told them the highest we can do is to appeal to judgment that rusticated us in which on Thursday the letter of appeal has been submitted mandating the management to reinstate us.

Pulse: Have you always been having issues with the management before you were suspended for planning to disrupt convocation ceremony?

 

Ogbidi: There has never been any issue. We have had series of engagement with the management. Sometimes in September 2017, they increased transportation fare, we felt the increment was too high that we had to oppose it and immediately it was reversed. In the midst of increment in school fee, hostel fee, transfer fee among other thing.  They also increased transportation fee again. So when we accumulated all the increment, it got us pissed of and we had no choice than to conduct a general assembly and that was when the students on their own insisted they don’t want increment. We notified the management about this and the protest came up after the expiration of the 24 hours notice and that was it.

Pulse: Why are five students suspended out of all the SUG members?

Ogbidi: 15 students make up the SUG body. 10 from the executive and five from the parliament, and among the 15, four of us are from the executive arm who are the President, the Secretary-General, Assistant Secretary-General and the PRO were rusticated while the last one is a student activist. He is not an SUG member, so what happened to the remaining ones is a mystery I can't tell, why they are not rusticated I can't tell because we were all present at the protest.

Pulse: Could it be that only the five of you were always at the forefront of engaging the management to always reduce prices?

 

Ogbidi: I can tell you we are all union members. Any decision that is taken is agreed upon by the union members. The fact that only five of us were rusticated does not mean the five of us are at the forefront, every other member of the excos were also there present.

Pulse: A member of your cabinet said UNIBEN management has a history of victimizing students, would you say your suspension confirms this?

Ogbidi: Well, it is a tradition. Whenever we are faced with any issue with the management, the first thing they remind us of is that we are students before we became union leaders and that is the reason you hardly see any student who dares challenge the authority of the management. But when I was campaigning as SUG president, I said that anybody who wants to make a change must be ready to make a sacrifice.

Pulse: Did the management involve the SUG members before banning fellowship on campus?

Ogbidi: Unfortunately, when that decision was carried out, we had already been suspended. We were suspended in December 2017 and the fellowship groups were banned in January?

Pulse: Would the SUG have taken any step to challenge the banning of fellowships?

Ogbidi: We always try to oppose any decision that is not favourable to the students because we are representative of the students. Before you ban the fellowship, you should have thought of the effects of such decisions. First, you are going to create a fertile ground for cultism. When you remove God from campus, you bring in the devil and by implication you increase immorality, you increase cultism. You know the University of Benin is overtime known for cultism.

Pulse: Do you think it is in the interest of the management to promote cultists in the school?

Ogbidi: It is not in their interest but their action now may be sending the wrong message to the public.

Pulse: The management stated reasons for banning fellowships and some of them is that there are too many fellowship groups using lecture rooms for their activities. Don’t you think those reasons are genuine?

Ogbidi: Good, banning fellowship and making reforms of fellowships on campus are two different things. This is an academic environment for crying out loud.

 

You can bring in heads together to chat a way forward before every challenge becomes a problem. Now, if you ban fellowship, it means you are going to restrict so many things and approve so many other things. But when you come up with the word reform it means you are going to reduce the number of fellowships on campus. We have fellowships that are very big and we have those that depend on the students to survive. Fellowships like the Redeemed Christian Fellowship is under the Redeemed Christian Church of God and by the virtue of the capacity of the church, they will be able to provide a piece of land to do their fellowship on campus instead of using classrooms.

ALSO READ: 5 things you should know about UNIBEN fellowship ban

Ogbidi: If you approached the RCF with this, they can afford it. There are halls and the Redeemed Christian Fellowship I just mentioned now make use of the university staff school for their events, I believe they paid for that place. So if we can have fellowships that can afford to pay for buildings or halls outside the jurisdiction of students, not classrooms, then allow them to be. We have big fellowships that can afford to pay for halls so instead of them using classrooms, you look for ways to harmonise them, to harness them into the bigger fellowships.

Pulse: Do you think UNIBEN still has enough space to allot to all fellowships?

More than enough. If you go to other schools, that is how it is being done. They have worship centres, management can decide to isolate the worship centres away from the classrooms. That is what should be done, you don’t just ban fellowships, what should now happen to students who rely so much on God on campus?

Pulse: According to the management, you and four others were suspended because you were planning to disrupt convocation ceremony.

Ogbidi: How can somebody who had the convocation with them disrupt the event? As the president of the students union, I was requested to join them in procession during convocation. Now to be frank with you I have pictures of that event. At the auditorium, I processed with them, so how could you disrupt a convocation that you participated in, it is not possible. We didn’t disrupt the convocation. In fact, it was very peaceful. The convocation was held on the 21st of November and ended on Saturday of that week. And they suspended us in December.

Pulse: Why did the student union protest in November 2017?

Ogbidi: One of the issues that caused the protest is the inclusion of union dues in the tuition fee increment. There was a consensus among the 15 union members that the union dues should be universally paid and it is a thousand naira. But the only issue we had with the management was that, they added the union dues to tuition fee for the staylites. And we told them not to add it to it because the students won’t understand it. They will think we have compromised that we have sold them out.

Pulse: Has the tuition fee hike become effective?

Ogbidi: Before they suspended us, the protest on the 23rd of November 2017, was a cry and fight against the already established increment in school fees and the protest by implication led to the suspension of the increment. 7

 

Pulse: Were the students part of the protest, or it was just the SUG members?

Ogbidi: It will interest you to know that the students actually led the protest. The students out of anger came out enmass, They were at the forefront of the protest but because we are the union members we had to give them leadership to ensure the protest was peaceful. It has been said that the protest on the 23rd of November 2017 was the most peaceful protest in UNIBEN, No vandalism, no school property was destroyed, even the internal security officials of the school have it in their records that the protest was very peaceful. So, the question is why the rustication?



from pulse.ng - Nigeria's entertainment & lifestyle platform online

Finance: 13 car keys with a captivating design

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Car keys are a simple way to make a powerful statement. We rounded up some of the most innovative keys too see why they stand out.

  • Many manufacturers create brilliantly designed keys to add to the experience of driving their cars.
  • Key wristbands, mobile apps, and touchscreen keys are just a few of the innovative ways carmakers are improving keys


The excitement around innovative car exteriors often overshadows smaller details like a car key. But from simple, sleek key fobs to high-tech designs that ditch the physical key all-together, car makers are constantly trying to create keys as innovative and well-designed as the cars themselves.

Here's a look at some of our favorite key designs:

Business Insider's Aaron Brown wrote a previous version of this article.

Tesla's Model S key is shaped like a mini-Model S, and has an option to pull the car forward and backward remotely, without anyone in the car.



This Ferrari key is simple and classic, and all you have to do is slip it into your pocket to drive off.



McLaren's carbon fiber key makes it ultra-light, with only three buttons adding to the simple lightweight design.



Aston Martin's key fob is topped with crystal. It doesn't offer any special features, but the elegant design makes it stand out from other car keys.



Maserati's key is sleek and modern, with the ability to lock, unlock, and pop the trunk of the car. The key itself flips out like a switchblade, adding a fun twist to the classic key.



Koenigsegg's shield fob doesn't have any special features either, but it certainly makes a powerful statement, much like the car itself.



The Jaeger-LeCoultre AMVOX7 watch doubles as a car key for the Aston Marin DB9 and DBS models.



In similar fashion, the Jaguar F-Pace Activity Key is a wristband that allows you to lock and unlock your car by holding it up to the Jaguar badge on the rear of the car.

The waterproof wristband is optional, and runs for about $400.



This aluminum Pagani key also is multi-functional, doubling as a car key and USB drive.



BMW 7-series' key has a full color touch screen. It has options to lock and unlock the car, pop open the trunk, and panic.

The key also allows you to toggle the lights, control the climate, view your fuel range. The key even allows you to park the car remotely.



Some cars don't even require physical keys anymore — Volvo now has a smartphone app that has all the same options as a traditional key.



Tesla Model 3 cars don't even have a key fob. The cars are accessed with the Tesla app.



All of the new high-tech, digital keys make this classic-looking Ferrari key even more stunning. All of the functional keys are hidden on the back, so the simple design can grab your attention.





from pulse.ng - Nigeria's entertainment & lifestyle platform online

Finance: Take a rare look inside the luxurious $92 million superyacht that has a sushi bar, a salon, Jacuzzi, and can sleep 16 people

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The Fraser Grace E superyacht is one of the most luxurious yachts at the 2018 Miami Yacht Show, boasting features like a full gym and spa, sushi bar, & more.

This week in Florida is the Miami Yacht Show, which showcases over 500 boats and yachts across 1.2 million square feet.

One of the most luxurious of these yachts is the Fraser Perini Navi Grace E, which costs about $92 million to buy, according to Fraser's website. Spanning a length of more than 200 feet, the superyacht has seven staterooms and an entire wellness deck complete with a spa and gym.

Keep scrolling for a closer look inside the luxury yacht:

Built by Perini Navi, the Grace E superyacht measures about 240 feet long, and is priced at a whopping $91,931,000.



It has three enormous outer decks, each accessible by a private elevator.



The uppermost deck has its own jacuzzi and an outdoor bar.



The middle deck has a ton of seating and lounging areas, including a few casual dining tables and one more formal one.



The lower deck is complete with a jacuzzi, casual dining area, and tons of lounge space.



There are additional lounge chairs right on the water...



...with easy access to a deck for swimming, boating, and water sports.



Inside the yacht, there are multiple spacious saloons...



...complete with massive windows and a formal dining room.



This saloon has a sushi bar overlooking the water in place of a formal dining room.



Here's another look at the sushi bar.



The staterooms on the Grace E are spacious. This is one of the two VIP rooms.



There are seven staterooms in total, enough space to sleep 16.



Even the rooms with two twin beds are luxurious.



Some of the best bonus features include a salon...



...a wellness deck complete with hydrotherapy, a pool, steam room, and sauna...



...and a state of the art gym.





from pulse.ng - Nigeria's entertainment & lifestyle platform online

Prince Okeke: Gospel singer recovers from coma

Prince Gozie Okeke

Okeke is one out of many who have taken ill but managed to pull out of it thanks to the required medical treatments as well as the availability of funds.

Prince Gozie Okeke is thanking God for life after recovering from a coma brought on by his heart condition.

The gospel singer took to his Instagram page on Saturday, February 17, to thank God for his miraculous recovery.

ALSO READ: Nolywood star thanks Nigerians, seeks more support for treatment abroad [Graphic Photos]

Seeing shared photos of Okeke while he was confined to his sickbed, and more photos post-recovery, it is clear to see that God has indeed been faithful to him.

He wrote;

"Glorify the name of the Lord with me for saving my life from heart problem. Been in COMA for days and my Faithfull God gave me back a new life. Glory be to his holy name Amen."

 

Nigerian celebrities and failing health conditions

 

Okeke is one out of many who have taken ill but managed to pull out of it thanks to the required medical treatments as well as the availability of funds to pay for said treatments.

Since 2016, Nollywood has lost over five actors, directors and more due to ill health and lack of funding to treat said health condition.

ALSO READ: Late producer leaves 3 wives, 8 children behind

Leo Mezie is another of the few entertainers in the movie industry who has been lucky to survive a fatal health condition.

He also was careful to thank Nigerians for their support in his recovery.



from pulse.ng - Nigeria's entertainment & lifestyle platform online

Politics: Trump rails against Obama and 'the leakin' monster of no control' in tweetstorm, says 'They are laughing their asses off in Moscow'

President Donald Trump meets with Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel and law enforcement officers on Feb. 16, 2018 after Wednesday's shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Fla.

In 18 hours on Saturday night and Sunday morning, President Donald Trump sent 15 tweets about the FBI, Russia investigation, immigration, and Florida shooting.

  • President Donald Trump continued a Saturday night tweetstorm on Sunday morning.
  • He railed against Democrats, blamed the FBI for the Florida high school shooting, and called the Russia investigation into collusion with his campaign a "hoax."
  • The tweets come after special counsel Robert Mueller charged 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities with interfering in the 2016 US election on Friday.


President Donald Trump picked up a Saturday night tweetstorm where he left off on Sunday, sending 15 tweets in 18 hours railing against Democrats and the FBI.

The tweets Saturday night suggested the FBI was to blame for the high school shooting in Parkland, Florida on Wednesday because the bureau was investigating Russia's interference in the 2016 election.

On Sunday morning, Trump accused former President Barack Obama of sending "$1.7 Billion Dollars in CASH to Iran", insisted "Liddle" Sen. Adam Schiff was investigating whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia because Democrats lost the 2016 presidential election, and said the Russians "succeeded beyond their wildest dreams" to sow discord in the US.

The Obama administration sent the money to Iran in 2016 the same day Tehran said it would release four American prisoners. Republicans accused Obama of paying ransom, which the administration denied. In his tweet, Trump said the FBI should have investigated the incident.

Next, Trump thanked Schiff, whom he also called "the leakin’ monster of no control", for "blaming the Obama Administration for Russian meddling in the 2016 Election." He then suggested Schiff, who is the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, was investigating Russian collusion because Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton lost to Trump.

On Friday, Schiff said Obama should have been a "more forceful deterrent" in preventing the Kremlin's efforts to influence the presidential election.

"We should have called them out much earlier," Schiff said, according to NBC. "While I respect the motive in terms of the Obama administration, they didn't want to be seen as meddling, the American people had a right to know what was going on and could be trusted to do the right thing with it. And they should have defended being more public and aggressive at the time, at least in my view."

Then Trump said "if" it was the Kremlin's goal to generate chaos in the US, they succeeded. The top US intelligence agencies have concluded that was Russia's goal, and that the Kremlin interfered with the election — by hacking, weaponizing social media, and waging a disinformation campaign — to support Trump's victory.

"If it was the GOAL of Russia to create discord, disruption and chaos within the U.S. then, with all of the Committee Hearings, Investigations and Party hatred, they have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams," Trump tweeted. "They are laughing their asses off in Moscow. Get smart America!"

On Friday, special counsel Robert Mueller's office announced eight charges against 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities for carrying out social media "interference operations targeting the United States."

Experts say the indictment also dealt a significant blow to Trump's claims that the investigation is illegitimate. Trump tried to recast how he has characterized the investigation in the past.

"I never said Russia did not meddle in the election, I said 'it may be Russia, or China or another country or group, or it may be a 400 pound genius sitting in bed and playing with his computer'," Trump tweeted Sunday morning. "The Russian 'hoax' was that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia - it never did!"

Finally, in his 15th tweet in 18 hours, Trump took aim at one of his favorite targets, calling out "The Fake News of big ratings loser CNN", with a cartoon of a depiction of CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer.



from pulse.ng - Nigeria's entertainment & lifestyle platform online

In Enugu: Police arrest suspected ATM fraudster

Barawon da aka kama da yana damfarar jama'a ta hanyar ATM

In a statement, the command’s Spokesman, SP Ebere Amaraizu, said on Sunday in Enugu that the suspect was nabbed on Feb. 17 at about 11:30 a.m.

The Police Command in Enugu State has arrested a notorious suspected Automated Teller Machine (ATM) fraudster operating within Enugu and its environs.

In a statement, the command’s Spokesman, SP Ebere Amaraizu, said on Sunday in Enugu that the suspect was nabbed on Feb. 17 at about 11:30 a.m.

According to Amaraizu, the suspect was nabbed at one of the ATM points of one of the new generation banks at Rangers Avenue in Enugu with six different ATM cards belonging to different victims.

He said that the feat was achieved by the New Haven Police Division in Enugu following directive issued by the Commissioner of Police, Mr Mohammed Danmallam, based on intelligence information gathered.

The suspect, who gave his name as Augustine Nwoko of No. 34 Carta Street, Ogui, Enugu, said his alleged nefarious activities ranged from deceiving his unsuspecting victims.

“They defraud people who usually come to make ATM withdrawal by way of offering to assist them to make successful withdrawal.

“Before you know it, your pin number is tapped and they will quickly return an ATM card which may appear like that of customer’s own.

“And subsequently money will start disappearing from their victims’ accounts as the entire money will be siphoned,’’ he said.

On interrogation, Nwoko said that he belonged to a syndicate which specialised in staying around ATMs and pretending to be assisting users on how to operate the ATM.

The spokesman advised members of the public to be wary of the activities of these mischief makers who might be at any ATM point pretending to be  rendering assistance.



from pulse.ng - Nigeria's entertainment & lifestyle platform online

Nigeria Is Safe In The Hands Of Buhari – Lai Mohammed

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has disclosed that Nigeria is in very safe and competent hands, with President Muhammadu Buhari piloting the affairs of the country.

Speaking on Saturday at a mini town hall meeting with the staff of the Nigerian Embassy in Madrid, Spain, and a cross-section of Nigerians living in the European country, the minister urged Nigerians no to panic, that there is no cause for alarm.

He said contrary to the fake news being peddled on the Social Media, Nigeria is making steady progress, especially in revamping the economy, tackling insecurity and fighting corruption – the three cardinal programmes of the Buhari Administration.

”Don’t believe everything you read on the Social Media. Nigeria is neither at war nor in crisis,” Mr. Mohammed said, according to a statement by his special assistant, Segun Adeyemi.

”Contrary to what you may be reading on the Internet, the Buhari Administration is putting Nigeria on a solid footing, after the years that were eaten by the locust.”

He said naysayers are spending millions of Naira to distort the true situation of things in Nigeria and to make the administration look bad.

The Minister said the administration’s achievements should be evaluated against the background of the tough challenges that it has faced since coming into office on 29 May 2015.

”It is said that if you don’t know where you are coming from, you won’t know where you are going,” he said, listing the drastic fall in the price of crude oil, the low foreign reserves at $24 billion, the fact that the federal government was borrowing to pay workers’ salaries, and the fact that many states were unable to pay salaries as some of those challenges.

Mr. Mohammed also said when the Administration came into office, unpaid pensions had run into billions of Naira in many states, contractors had abandoned sites across the country because they were being heavily owed, infrastructure was in poor state, power generation was 2,690 megawatts, billions were being paid as ‘fuel subsidies’ to fat cats, corruption was the order of the day, while 20 of the 27 local governments in Borno were under the firm control of Boko Haram.

”Today, the trend is being reversed, and the results are showing: Foreign reserves is now $42.8b, the highest level in four years, inflation has fallen for 12 consecutive months to 15.13%, 108 billion Naira has been saved from removal of maintenance fees payable to banks before Treasury Single Account (TSA), the nation is being saved 24.7 billion Naira monthly with the full implementation of the TSA and the elimination of ghost workers has saved the nation 120 billion Naira.

”With improved macro-economic conditions, capital inflow is on the upswing, reaching $1.8 billion in the second quarter of 2017, which is almost double the $908 million in the first quarter, Nigeria’s stock market is one of the best-performing in the world, delivering returns in excess of 40 percent, Nigeria jumped 24 places on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business ranking, and earned a place on the List of Top 10 Reformers in the world,” he said.

The Minister also told the meeting that the Administration’s agricultural revolution is moving Nigeria close to self-sufficiency in many staples, especially rice, that the home-grown school feeding programme has created jobs for 61,352 cooks, and it is providing 6.4 million school children in 33,981 schools across 20 states with one meal a day, that power generation has increased to 7,000 megawatts, that Boko Haram has been massively degraded and that the administration’s is embarking on a massive infrastructural renewal.

The post Nigeria Is Safe In The Hands Of Buhari – Lai Mohammed appeared first on 360Nobs.com.



Sani Sha’aban: Party strength depends on crisis resolution – APC chieftain

All Progressive Congress

Sha’aban, an ex-member of the House of Representatives, stated this on Sunday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Zaria, Kaduna State.

Alhaji Sani Sha’aban, APC gubernatorial aspirant in Kaduna State, says the strength of any political party depends on its mechanism for resolving internal crisis.

Sha’aban, an ex-member of the House of Representatives, stated this on Sunday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Zaria, Kaduna State.

He said that crisis in a political party was an ingredient of democracy, adding that politics was all about solving crisis.

Therefore, crisis in political parties is normal but it all depends on how best a party resolves such crisis,” he said.

Sha’aban, however, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for appointing Chief Bola Tinubu to chair the reconciliation committee.

Chief Bola Ahmed Tinubu is capable and suitable for the post. I am confident that he will definitely deliver the goods successfully.”

On his political ambition, Sha’aban said his politics always incline toward the masses, identifying their needs and devising measures to address such problems.

I am among the founding fathers of the ruling party, APC. As far as I am concerned, it is where we started, where we stopped and where we shall continue.

“There are of course a lot of agitations, people are saying that I should come out and contest, and we have been getting ourselves ready.

“I belong to the masses and my politics is for the masses; where they go is where I belong,” he assured.

On the 43rd anniversary of Emir of Zazzau, Dr Shehu Idris, which was celebrated recently, Sha’aban said the Emir’s reign was a blessing not only to Zazzau Emirate but Kaduna State and Nigeria at large.

These 43 years are years of blessing to the people of Nigeria. Remember how many primary schools, secondary schools and tertiary institutions we have before the emir was turbaned?

“Now, how many schools do we have? Apart from that, how many institutes do we have presently in Zazzau emirate? All these achievements were witnessed under His Royal Highness, Dr Shehu Idris.

“Talk about business, Zaria is famous especially with establishment of different industries, all these are possible as a result of good leadership from the emir who always promote peace among the people,” he said.



from pulse.ng - Nigeria's entertainment & lifestyle platform online

Christians Are Idol Worshippers (1), By Femi Aribisala

Christians Are Idol Worshippers (1), By Femi Aribisala

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I went to buy blank videotapes in a van emblazoned with Christian VideoNet on both sides. When I came out of the van, an Asiatic gentleman engaged me in friendly banter. He was clearly not a Christian, but I soon got the impression he was in the marketplace for a new religion. He did not wait for me to witness to him. Having seen the insignia on the van, he wanted me to tell him about Christianity. But then he had some vital questions he wanted cleared up right at the onset.

This piece was written by Femi Aribisala. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of 360Nobs.com.

“Your religion,” he asked, “does it allow you to drink alcohol?” “Yes,” I replied expansively, “we even drink wine in church.” “Wonderful, wonderful,” said my new-found friend, brightening up. Then he asked: “How many gods do you have?”

I was a bit slow on the uptake and did not quite understand what he was getting at. “What do you mean how many gods do I have?” I asked incredulously. “Yes, yes,” the man replied, without any hint of mischief. “How many gods do you have?”

“I have only one God,” I insisted marvelling at him. “Only one?” he asked in disbelief. “You have only one God?” “Well, yes,” I replied, now defensive. “I have only one God.” The man shook his head in a way that said eloquently: “Forget it.” I imagine him saying to himself: “What is the point of a religion where you only have one God? That is simply too risky. What if he happens to be busy at any given time?”

On later reflection, I came to the conclusion that it was a god-sent question. Therefore, I pose the same question here: “How many gods do you have?” “Do you even know how many gods you worship?”

Idol Worship

One of the most important subjects that Jesus addresses in the scriptures is idol worship.

One of the Ten Commandments of God says: “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before me.” (Exodus 20:2-3).

Atheism does not exist. Man is a worshiper. Everybody worships. The critical question is who or what we worship. We either worship the one true God or we worship idol gods. Says John Calvin: “The heart of man is an idol factory.” Left to himself, without divine revelation, man will worship almost anything. We worship what we highly esteem. For this reason, Jesus says: “What is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.” (Luke 16:15).

Jesus himself faced the challenge of idol worship at the very inception of his ministry: “The devil took him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, ‘All these things I will give you if you will fall down and worship me.’ Then Jesus said to him, ‘Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only you shall serve.’” (Matthew 4:8-10).

Many people, including those who call themselves Christians, have accepted the devil’s offer. We worship the devil and his “things”, instead of the one true God. Thus, Jesus counsels: “Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:20-21).

It goes without saying that God is the only real treasure we have. Every other so-called treasure is ephemeral. God is: “the Desire of All Nations.” (Haggai 2:7).

Accordingly, John warns all believers: “Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.” (1 John 2:15-16).

Idols of the Heart

Jesus told a Samaritan woman: You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews.” (John 4:22).

The same conundrum applies today. Many presume salvation is of the Italians or the Romans, but it is not. Salvation is of the Jews. For this reason, Roman Catholicism is full of idol worship. God says: “You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God.” (Exodus 20:4-5).

But Roman Catholics have deliberately removed this injunction from their own non-scriptural version of the Ten Commandments, so that the people would be unaware that they are contradicting it. As a result, the making of idols is very big business in Rome, and the worship of idols is standard fare in Catholicism.

However, the problem is not limited to Roman Catholics. It is a general predicament among all Christians. The problem with idol worship is that many who worship idols are unaware that they are worshiping idols. Many worship God, while also worshiping idols. But when we worship God and other gods simultaneously, we become idol worshipers. Thus it is said of the people of Samaria: “They feared the LORD, yet served their own gods – according to the rituals of the nations from among whom they were carried away.” (2 Kings 17:33).

Even more fundamental is the fact that many of the idols worshiped today are not physical idols: they are idols of the heart. God identifies this tendency to Ezekiel: “Son of man, these men have set up idols in their hearts and put wicked stumbling blocks before their faces.” (Ezekiel 14:3).

These idols are strongholds set up in our hearts and minds that prevent us from growing in the knowledge of God, and from seeing the glory of God in our lives. Thus, Paul says we should cast down: “imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” (2 Corinthians: 10:5).

Worship of Money

One of the idol that Christians have been seduced into worshiping is mammon – the god of money. Paradoxically, this worship even takes place during church services. Today, everything is upside down. People go to church to pray for money, to invest money and to learn about how to make money. God has become second-place – simply an instrument for the acquisition of money.

Mercenary pastors now claim the gospel gives us the power to get wealth. In his book, The $elling of Je$u$, Victor Bryditzki observes cryptically that: “Je$u$ is a multi-billion dollar industry, expanding into places where angels (and sober Christians) fear to tread.”

But the word of Jesus remains sure, having this seal|: “No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” (Luke 16:13). CONTINUED.

faribisala@yahoo.comwww.femiaribisala.com

This piece was written by Femi Aribisala. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of 360Nobs.com.

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