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Friday Sermon: Of Reckoning and Accountability 3: Judgement

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By Babatunde Jose

“l believe the day of reckoning is here on earth but my experience of life shows it may not be for everyone. Some do get away with it here on earth. As to getting this judgement somewhere else am not too sure. Yes that may be the position of the scriptures and a very difficult position to verify.” Akin Uwaifor

It is understandable for some to hold this position, but judging from the philosophy of justice, the concept of retribution, judgement and reckoning is as old as the dawn of man’s realization of his position in the scheme of things. Our concept of moral values are intricately dependent on this core concept of justice and judgement. All the religions of the world have this common thread that runs through their belief systems; that is, the idea of accountability for actions of man. We must reap whatever we sow: It has become an immutable fact of human life. Without the concept of reckoning, the powerful will ride roughshod over the weak and the world will have no regard for the concept of right and wrong or what is acceptable conduct and behaviour. Society will be devoid of rules of human engagement and there will be no respite for the weak and powerless. It would be a situation of ‘dog eat dog’, of anything goes and ‘no one can question me’. The whole essence of morality would become none existent and the world will be in a Hobbesian state of nature, where life would ‘be nasty, brutish and short’.

Oskar Ernst Bernhardt said: “You who are yearning for understanding, do not let yourselves be deceived. Each one of you in his thoughts and works has heaped up a heavy burden of wrong-doing for which each one of you must individually atone, for no part of it can be laid on the shoulders of another. Such is the law, otherwise Divine justice would be but an empty word, and without Divine justice all would crumble to ruins.”

The realm of Day of Reckoning and Resurrection is more of a spiritual proposition than physical. It is this that explains why some of the wicked seem to be getting away with their iniquities while on earth.  It is often said that the hypocrites could be rich and wealthy, have many children and live a good life; but their end is never good. That end is usually in the Hereafter. In the non-Abrahamic religions, they talk of ‘karma’. Our conducts are to a large extent regulated, modified and subject to the possibility of the truth in that future state referred to as the day of reckoning. Our whole belief system has as its bedrock the possibility of that day when we will be held to account for our actions and inactions while on this part of the divide. This is the more reason why people want to be on the right side of morality.

“There is no partition between this life and life in the next world. All is an immense entirety. Like an extraordinarily ingenious, never failing mechanism, the whole mighty Creation, visible and invisible to us, interacts on itself. Uniform laws bear the whole, permeating it and connecting it like strands of nerves, in constant action and reaction.” Abdrushin:5 Responsibility.

Even the laws of physics recognise this simple principle of action and reaction which according to Newton’s 3rd law:For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. It is inescapable. If you sow good, you will reap good, if you sow evil, you will surely reap evil. Those who sow the wind must for sure reap the whirlwind.

Our evil men are therefore warned again. There will be no escape from the judgement and the attendant punishment. “God’s justice remains austere and severe in His eternal laws. What a man sows, that will he reap: Divine justice does not allow that one farthing be remitted”.

In some cases, those who are seemingly wealthy from perpetrating evil could look as if they have escaped, but their names in the end are obliterated from the annals of history. Both they and their offspring’s are never remembered; as if they never existed. Why labour, for all the fruits of our work to be destroyed at the close of day. This brings to mind the story of the People of the Garden in the Quran:

 Indeed we have tested them just as We tested the People of the Garden when they vowed they would gather its fruit at dawn. (Quran 68:17)

“The separation of spirit from matter, the perfectly natural consequence of the working of the law, is the so-called Day of Judgment — a day that will bring great disturbances, convulsions and upheavals. Everyone will easily understand that this disintegration cannot take place in one earth-day, for it is written: “One day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” 2 Peter 3:8

Those who have ears, let them listen now!

Barka Juma’at and a happy weekend

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Healthcare

Adeleke Wins Osun Guber Election

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The Independent National Electoral Commission has declared the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Senator Ademola Adeleke, the winner of the Osun governorship election.

The Returning Officer for the election and Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, announced that Adeleke got a total of 403,371 votes beating the incumbent, Adegboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress, who got 375,027 votes in a keenly contested race.

He said, “I declare Adeleke Ademola Jackson Nurudeen, on behalf of the chairman of INEC, of the PDP, having satisfied the requirement of the law, is hereby declared the winner and he is returned elected.”

According to the total votes recorded by the electoral umpire, the PDP won 17 of the 30 Local Government Areas of the state, while the APC won the remaining 13.

The PDP won in Ede North, Ede South, Ifelodun, Boluwaduro, Egbedore, Odo Otin, Osogbo, Ila, Atakumosa West, Olorunda, Ilesa West, Obokun, Oriade, Orolu, Ife North, Irepodun, and Ejigbo LGAs.

The APC, on the other hand, won in Boripe, Ilesa East, Ayedire, Ifedayo, Ife Central, Ayedaade, Iwo, Olaoluwa, Isokan, Atakumosa East, Irewole, Ife South, and Ife East LGAs.

The PUNCH reported that Adeleke and his nephew, award-winning Nigerian singer, David Adeleke, popularly known as Davido, were seen in a video that surfaced online, celebrating an early lead when the counting started.

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Healthcare

No COVID-19 Death in Nine Days, Says NCDC

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The Nigerian Center for Disease Control reported zero COVID-19-related death for the ninth consecutive days as the nation’s fatality toll remains 2,061.

The NCDC disclosed this on its official Twitter handle on Tuesday.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the country last registered a COVID-19-related death on April 11.

It reports that aside from April 11, the number of reported deaths in week 14, which was April 6, was two from two states.

NAN reports that cumulatively since the outbreak began in week 9, 2020, there have been reported 2,061 deaths with a case fatality rate (CFR) of 1.3 per cent.

NCDC said it conducted 1,870,915 COVID-19 tests since Feb. 27, 2020, adding that 120 infections were registered as of Tuesday, bringing the cumulative number of cases to 164,423.

It said that the additional infections were registered from seven states and the Federal Capital Territory.

“The breakdown of cases is as follows: Enugu-53, Lagos-22, Rivers-18, Ogun-8, FCT-7, Abia-6, Kano-6 and Bauchi-1.

“Today’s report includes data from Enugu recorded between April 14 and April 19,” it said.

The agency announced that another 22 people recovered from the virus in the last 24 hours, adding that cumulatively 154,406 COVID-19 recoveries had been reported since Feb. 27, 2020.

It noted that a multi-sectoral National Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), activated at Level 3, has continued to coordinate the national response activities in the country.

The agency said it had continued to lead the national public health response to ensure that Nigerians were protected from the virus since the first case of the disease was confirmed in the country.

“Aside from significant control of local transmission, one of the key areas of priority is the institution of public health measures to prevent further importation and exportation of the virus.

“In addition to the already established and widely expanded network of public health laboratories, the NCDC has also optimised testing through enrolment and operationalisation of private testing laboratories for increased accessibility,” it said.

NCDC said this initiative had resulted in scaled-up testing nationwide and efficient process in testing inbound and outbound travellers as they are mandated to test via private facilities.

It said this is in line with the national mandatory quarantine protocols and procedures.

The public health agency said the interventions had tremendously reduced the number of likely importation and exportation of cases.

It said, however, that trading and presentation of fake results at departure and arrival halls by some elements in some of the international airports has posed challenges recently.

“This poses significant danger particularly to travellers with genuine negative results, thereby resulting in further risk of exportation or importation of the disease,” it said.

It said the result verification system is aimed at validating the authenticity of COVID-19 results through building a platform for the verification of results and effectively manage and monitor the network of private laboratories testing.

The agency said others were to get accurate and prompt testing data and improve the quality and efficiency of the laboratory testing network through analysing data generated from this Information system.

It said that an important outcome was training staff of the airlines and of all five international airports with capacity to verify results from outbound travellers via “QR Code and USSD” built on result verification system.

The agency said that this was in line with its mandate of ensuring national and global health security through prevention of importation and exportation of the virus.

It said that it would continue to employ evidence-based public health strategies and initiatives aimed at protecting Nigerians against COVID-19 and other epidemic-prone diseases.

NAN

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Healthcare

London Trip: When is Buhari Due Back As Two Weeks Expire?

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By Eric Elezuo

On March 30, 2021, President Muhammadu Buhari left the shores for Nigeria for London, where he was supposedly gone for medical attention. He had described the trip as specifically for a ‘short rest’ in a letter to Abdullah ll Bin Al-Hussein, the king of the Hashemite kingdom of Jordan.

Earlier on March 29, Presidential spokesman Garba Shehu, had notified Nigerians in a tweet that Buhari will proceed “to London, the United Kingdom, Tuesday, March 30, 2021, for a routine medical check-up.”

Before departing Nigeria, Shehu said Buhari will meet with Security Chiefs first in the morning, after which he will embark on the journey. He did.

The presidential spokesman disclosed that Buhari “is due back in the country during the second week of April 2021” and gave no specific date for Buhari’s return to Nigeria.

However, two weeks after the president embarked on the journey, he is still out there in London, and no one seems to much about what is happening with the president.

A day after the president arrived at the Abuja House in London, he was persecuted by avalanche of protests from Nigerians resident in England, and led by activist, Reno Omokri. They had said that their intention was to drive Buhari to Nigeria, where he had expressed insensitivity even as the health system in the country is in comatose, and the doctors were embarking on strike.

Omokri and his co-travellers’ argument has been hinged on why Buhari will leave the nation’s health sector in a mess, and travel to another’s country to seek medical care. The protests have been sustained, leading to the emergence of pro-Buhari/government protesters to counter the protests.

It will be recalled that some major cabinet decisions have been taken even as the president is absent. The decisions and pronouncements were however, credited to him. Top of such decisions was the immediate removal of the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, and replaced by Usman Baba.

This is not the first time Mr President will stay beyond his advertised period of London trips which is in its 12th time since he assumed office in 2015.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, while addressing newsmen on Wednesday failed to disclose the exact date President Muhammadu Buhari would return to Nigeria. The Minister was of the view that second week of April as announced before the President’s departure has not ended. He insisted that the timeframe extends to Saturday, April 17.

While the Minister is right that the second week is still running, the two weeks window ended on Wednesday, April 14. Buhari has been in the United Kingdom for two weeks for his “routine medical check-up”.

When he travelled on March 30, the presidency had said he will return during the second week of April 2021.

There is “no big issue” yet regarding Buhari’s expected return, the Minister had told correspondents.

“Today is Wednesday, this week finishes on Saturday. So, what’s the big issue in that one?” he defended.

While Nigerians expect the president’s return by the ‘second week of April’, which technically ends on Saturday, according to Lai Mohammed, it is imperative to note that any extension will raise eyebrows as is currently happening.

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