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Friday Sermon: Remembering Allah

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By Babatunde Jose

“All praise be to Allah, we seek His aid and we seek His forgiveness and we seek refuge in Allah from the evil of our souls. Whomever Allah guides, no one will be able to mislead him. Whoever he leaves astray will have no guidance for him. And I testify that there is no god except Allah and that Muhammad is His slave and His Messenger whom He sent with the truth and as a warner before the Hour. Whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger will be guided aright, and whoever disobeys them will only harm his own self and he will not harm Allah, the Exalted, at all.” 

The Prophet once said: “The similitude of someone who remembers his Lord and someone who does not is like that of the living and the dead.” (Al-Bukhari). And almighty Allah went on to say in the Quran, Surat ul Jumuah:

O ye who believe! When the call is proclaimed to prayer on Friday (the Day of Assembly), hasten earnestly to the remembrance of Allah, and leave off business (and traffic): That is best for you if ye but knew!   (Quran 62:9)

This ayah tends to emphasise the need to remember Allah and be closer to him. There are many benefits in remembering Allah always, not just on the day of Juma’at. Among those that have been noted are the following:-

  1. Remembrance of Allah aims at growing closer to Allah. ‘Almighty Allah says, I am with my slave when he thinks of Me and I am with him when he mentions Me. For if he mentions Me to himself, I have mentioned him to Myself; and if he mentions Me in a gathering , I have mentioned him in a superior gathering. If he approaches Me by a hands width, I approach him by arms length; and if he approaches Me with and arm’s length, I approach him by a miles length. And if he comes to Me walking, I hasten to him swiftly.’[Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
  2. Remembrance of Allah revives the heart and gives it strength.
  3. Remembrance of Allah leads to the shade of Allah on the Day of Judgment. The Prophet said, ‘Seven kinds of people will be under the shade of Allah [on the Day of Resurrection], when there is no shade but Allah’s,and mentioned a person who remembers Allah.
  4. Remembrance of Allah is a protection from the hard life in the world and blindness on the Day of Judgment. The Quran says,

But whosoever turns away from My Message, verily for him is a life narrowed down, and We shall raise him up blind on the Day of Judgment. He will say: “O my Lord! Why hast Thou raised me up blind, while I had sight (before)? (Allah) will say: “Thus didst thou, when Our Signs came unto thee, disregard them: So wilt thou, this day, be disregarded.”   (Quran 20:124-126)

  1. Remembrance of Allah restrains evil actions and prevents shameful deeds just as prayer does. See (Quran 29:45)
  2. Remembrance of Allah is a reason for forgiving the sins, getting high status and great reward.

We as human beings have been created as forgetful creatures and we need constant reminders. If we do not have these reminders then we fall into a state of heedlessness where all we see is the world in front of us and we forget Allah and our duty towards Him.

That is why the Huthba is so important, on Fridays; it is to remind all believers that they are on this earth for a purpose. It is to remind us that there is a reality to this universe that we cannot forget, and that is we exist to worship and serve Allah and one day soon we will stand before Him and He will judge us on how well we did in our duty towards Him.

Our leaders and the led should remember these facts in dealing with each other. We forget easily that there will be a reckoning. We cheat,  steal and are disobedient to our creator. It is time to change before it is too late. When death comes, it does not give warning. You could spend all you have and all your time putting up what you term a gargantuan edifice and on the morning when you want to move into it, you drop dead. You have laboured in vain. May our life labour never be in vain: Amen

For some Muslims all that they can think about is gaining the provisions of this world. They wish to spend all of their time and effort to acquire as much wealth as possible. They forget the hadith of the Prophet where he said that: ‘we should be in this world as if we are a traveller. A traveller does not seek too many provisions, he only looks for what can sustain him on his journey and what will get him to his destination. Our destination is the paradise of Allah  and His  pleasure. That is the goal that we must always focus and that is what we must strive to achieve.

May Allah always provide for everyone in this Ummah everything that they need! May Allah always keep our focus on Him and the Hereafter and not on the temporary and fleeting things of this world!

Our Lord! Grant us what Thou didst promise unto us through Thine apostles, and save us from shame on the Day of Judgment: For Thou never breakest Thy promise. (Quran 3:194)

Barka Juma’at and a happy weekend.

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You’ve Nothing to Offer Nigerians, Only Insults, Akwa Ibom Gov Slams Tinubu

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Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Udom Emmanuel, on Monday, replied the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, saying that he (Tinubu) always resorts to abusing and insulting people during campaigns because he has nothing to bring to the table for Nigerians.

He also said that despite being insulted by the former Lagos State Governor, he would prefer to allow peace to reign by ignoring him and focusing on helping install good governance to rescue Nigerians from their present woes.

Emmanuel spoke on Monday evening at Government House, Uyo while inaugurating newly appointed Permanent Secretaries, Chairmen and Members of Boards and Commissions, as well as a Transition Committee to ensure the smooth transition of power to the next administration.

Recall that Tinubu had during his rally in Uyo Monday afternoon, reportedly said, “Akwa Ibom, that boy wey bring Atiku here, wey de call himself Governor, tell him enough is enough! He lives in my backyard in Lagos, If no be say we be one, I would have driven him home. You see that mansion he is living, I would just use lizards, pigeons and scorpions to put him inside.“

But reacting few hours later, the Akwa Ibom State Governor said, “for the country to remain in peace, one party must ‘play saint’ and that is why he would refrain from replying Tinubu.

Emmanuel who is the Chairman of the PDP presidential campaigns said, “I also go to other states, and if you watch our campaigns, my principal (Atiku Abubakar) has never spoken about any Governor, he has never spoken openly about Asiwaju before.”

He added that it was unfortunate that Tinubu, who was granted state-owned facilities such as the airport, security, stadium, and a good atmosphere to come in and sell his manifesto, ended up coming to insult the integrity of over 7.9 million Akwa Ibom people.

The Governor wondered if it is possible for any Akwa Ibomite to go to Lagos that Tinubu stays or the actual state that he hails from, to insult Tinubu in like manner and still be allowed to safely return home, “but here our people at the stadium including some state governors just laughed and applauded him.”

“What makes him think he will govern Nigeria? If I reply him now, people will call me and say, haba oga you are not like that. But I will reply him one day. There is nothing like ‘emilokan’ (it is my turn) here, Nigeria is in God’s hands.”

He maintained further that despite being the highest revenue contributor to the federation account, Akwa Ibom State has not gotten a single kilometre of road from the APC-led Federal Government for nearly 8 years adding that the poor response from the Federal Government also caused the delayed commencement of the seaport in the state.

Meanwhile, the governor thanked the newly appointed Permanent Secretaries for accepting the onerous task of service, and urged them to see themselves as ambassadors and work towards raising the bar of leadership which would encourage productivity and promote good working relationship with subordinates in the service.

“This is one thing I promised Akwa Ibom people that appointment of Permanent Secretaries shall be totally on merit and not by mercy, let those that can do the work be given the opportunity. Permanent Secretary is not a promotion, it is an appointment on merit.

Governor Emmanuel also reiterated his commitments towards enhancing efficiency within Civil Service, noting that during his administration civil servants have been promoted on yearly basis.

He assured that before he exits office more Permanent Secretaries would be appointed into the service to fill vacant positions left by the ones who retired.

Addressing Chairmen of Boards and Commissions, Governor Emmanuel who described them as pillars in government, acknowledged their commitment particularly, Chairman, Akwa Ibom State Environmental Protection & Waste Management Agency, Prince Akpan Ikim, for winning laurels for the state through his outstanding performance in keeping and making the state the cleanest in Nigeria for five consecutive years from 2018 through 2022, and tasked others to create an impact that will stand them out.

In the same vein, the Transition Committee members were handed the task of ensuring a seamless transition of government to an incoming administration, and also verify all projects executed by the present administration.

The newly appointed Permanent Secretaries are; Mfon Inuaesiet Edemekong Esq., Dr. Stephen Effiong, Atim Chelly Okoko, Iquo Okon Abia Esq., Uwem Sunday Andrew-Essien, Isaiah Robson Ntekim and Emaeyak Nyong Akpan as Auditor-General for Local Government.

The Transition Committee has Mrs. Ekereobong Umoh -Chairman, Uko Udom SAN, Prof Augustine Umoh, Dr. Ini Adiakpan, Mrs. Nsemeke Daniel, Dr. Nathaniel Adiakpan, Mr Elijah Udoiyak, Mrs. Esther Inyang, Pastor Uwem Andrew-Essien, Mr. Isaiah Ntekim, Mr. Effiong Ekpenyong and Mrs. Bella Akpanya as members.

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PDP Condemns Attack on Buhari in Kano, Blames Tinubu, Ganduje

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The Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Council, has blamed the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and the governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje, for the attacks on the convoy of President Muhammadu Buhari, during a visit to the state on Monday.

The spokesperson of the campaign council, Dino Melaye, who shared one of the videos from the reported attack, wrote, “The fight between Tinubu and Buhari is entering a new dimension. The attack in Kano was properly coordinated and funded allegedly by Asiwaju.

“The meeting to push Buhari to submission or face sponsored attack in the north was said to be hatched in Bourdillon. Me, I am busy with Atiku.”

A political activist, Deji Adeyanju, who shared another video of the reported attack, said, “They are showing Buhari and APC Shege in Kano and many northern states.”

Similarly, the PDP in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, on Monday also blamed Tinubu and the Governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje, for the attack.

According to the party, the attack was designed to undermine the Presidency, cause confusion, trigger violence in the country, disrupt the conduct of the 2023 general elections “and derail our democracy having realised that he cannot win in a peaceful, free and fair electoral process.”

The statement read in part, “The PDP invites Nigerians to note how Governor Abdullahi Ganduje attempted to abridge President Buhari’s movement and even tried to stop him from visiting Kano State.

“More disquieting is the fact that the APC Presidential Campaign sought to humiliate and harm President Buhari while performing his official duties in Kano.

“It should be noted that the APC presidential candidate has been displaying open aversion and making inciting statements against President Buhari since Mr President’s declaration, in line with democratic best practice all over the world that Nigerians should freely vote for any candidate and party of their choice in the 2023 general elections.

“The apparent frustration of Asiwaju Tinubu to resort to encourage or condone violence is fueled by his entitlement mentality, that it is his turn to be President, despite his numerous ineligibility and disability baggage.”

Ologunagba reminded Nigerians about Tinubu’s infamous statement in London where he declared to his supporters that “political power is not going to be served in a restaurant, it is not served a la carte.”

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Organ Harvesting: Ekweremadu Battles for Freedom, Appears in Court Tuesday

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A former Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, will on Tuesday appear again in court in the United Kingdom where he has been accused of human trafficking.

The lawmaker was in June 2022 arrested at Heathrow Airport in London after Staines Police Station received a report from a young man claiming to have been trafficked into the UK.

The young man, who made the report shortly after arriving in the UK from Nigeria, also alleged that he was made to undergo some medical tests, none of which he consented to.

Ekweremadu was immediately arraigned before a Magistrate’s Court for bringing a child into the UK to harvest his organs.

While the lawmaker had been in custody since June 23, his wife, Beatrice, who was arrested with him, was granted bail by a criminal court in London shortly after their arrest.

Monday (today) makes it 221 days since Ekweremadu was placed in the custody of UK authorities.

The case against the lawmaker which had been slated for May was later scheduled for January 31.

The 60-year-old, who denied the allegations against him, will again appear before High Court Judge, Mr Justice Johnson.

His daughter, Sonia, had on November 7, 2022, appeared in court to defend the accusation of trafficking a homeless man into the UK to harvest his organs for herself.

According to Daily Mail, the 25-year-old, who is battling a kidney-related illness, pleaded not guilty to the charge level against her when she appeared again in court on January 13.

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