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POPE FRANCIS, champion for the poor and evangelistic dedication

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POPE FRANCIS, champion for the poor and evangelistic dedication.                        

By Chido Nwangwu

Special to USAfrica multimedia networks, and CLASSmagazine, Houston.                                                                 @Twitter.com/Chido247Facebook.com/USAfricaChido n Facebook.com/USAfrica247

USAfricaonline.com: There is a new global leader of world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics also known as the vicar of Christ following the message and signal of the white smoke from a chimney at the

Pope_Francis_1-first-appearance-march13-2013

Pope_Francis_1-first-appearance-march13-2013

Sistine Chapel and the ringing of the bell in the Vatican City on Wednesday evening.

The new POPE Francis 1 (Jorge Mario Bergoglio), from Argentina, is champion for the poor and a progressive advocate for empowering the needy. The humble Jesuit was elected following 5 votes by the 115 cardinals who formed the “conclave” eligible to vote. A new Pope is designated as elected with getting two-thirds majority of the voting cardinals. The new Pope was born on December 17, 1936, in Argentina, by migrant Italian parents.

Four quick points that I wish to make.

First, the 76-years old choice, Pope Francis 1, is a welcome reformer who can tackle the recent crises facing the church, especially the  predatory sexual abuse of children and teenage boys by Catholic priests in the past 35 years. We note that most of those came to light during the papacy of 85-years old Pope Benedict XVI who is the second Pope to resign (on February 11, 2013). Pope Gregory XII was the first to resign in 1415.

Second, the establishment of the Catholic church seems responsive to the reality that Latinos form almost 38% of the church. Argentina and Latin American are among the largest and fastest growing population of Catholics in the world. The new Pope was ArchBishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina’s main city.

Three, his style is outreach and simplicity. Even as the challenges of the sins of many of its priests cast a long, negative shadow, the new, conservative  Pope appeared at the Vatican balcony, wearing a white robe, spoke about his charge and blessed the thousands at the Vatican whom he called “my brothers and sisters.” One of his first words, today, was the humility to ask the crowd and all who watched to “bless” him — as he undertakes this papal responsibility.

Fourth, after all the deft moves, canonical considerations and high-wire politics inside the hallowed rooms of the 15th century Sistine Chapel, after 2,000 years, the Catholic church picked a new leader to hold some level of balance in a changing world.

Chido Nwangwu, Publisher USAfrica multimedia

Chido Nwangwu, Publisher USAfrica

I believe it’s a new day for Catholics and the christian community following the emergence of a man with a pious, evangelistic dedication. Long Live Pope Francis The First!                                                                     •Dr. Chido Nwangwu, former adviser on Africa business/issues to the Mayor of Houston, is the Founder & Publisher of Houston-based USAfrica multimedia networks since 1992, first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper published on the internet USAfricaonline.com;  CLASSmagazine, the USAfrica-powered e-groups of  AfricanChristiansNigeria360IgboEventsUNNalumni, and the pictorials site PhotoWorks.TV . He was recently profiled by the CNN International for his pioneering works on multimedia/news/public policy projects for Africans and Americans. http://edition.cnn.com/video/#/video/international/2010/07/29/mpa.african.media.bk.a.cnn 

——

AFRICAN CATHOLICS AND THE ELECTION OF POPE.

Follow USAfrica at Facebook.com/USAfricaChido , Facebook.com/USAfrica247                                                      and Twitter.com/Chido247

For African Catholics and christians, the hope for the election of one of their own as pontiff was raised, again. In the 2013 voting for a new Pope, Ghanaian Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson (64 years old man who speaks 8 languages) was highlighted as a major contender.

In the 1980s and 1990s, Nigerian-born Francis Cardinal Arinze was the most visible in the past 25 years. Arinze who was appointed Cardinal on the 25th of May 1985, has served as Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, and as Cardinal Bishop of Velletri-Segni since April 2005.   Also, see April 25, 2002 USAfrica special report WILL ARINZE BE THE FIRST AFRICAN ELECTED POPE IN RECENT HISTORY? To our Brother Cardinal Arinze: May your pastoral lineage endure! By Chido Nwangwu. http://usafricaonline.com/arinzechido.html

Age is not on Arinze’s side; younger African Cardinals may be in better contention. There are several other Africans including Alexandre do Nascimento of Angola who served as Archbishop Emeritus of Luanda. In 2012, a younger Nigerian John Onaiyekan was appointed Cardinal.

Pope Benedict XVI brought and shared with Africans his global message of christian progress, protection of life, opposition to terrorism, strong opposition and action against Catholic priest who abused children and pushed ecumenical harmony for believers and followers of Jesus Christ. By Chido Nwangwu.

WHY I CELEBRATE THE LIFE AND WORKS OF NELSON MANDELA. By Chido Nwangwu  http://usafricaonline.com/2010/07/15/mandela-why-i-celebrate-his-life-works-by-chido-nwangwu/

 

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7 Comments

7 Comments

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    October 1, 2015 at 4:03 am

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  3. Iyom Oby Mozie

    September 24, 2015 at 5:39 am

    A man of God, living a purpose driven life is what Pope Francis is.

  4. Dr-Victor Ide-Okoye

    September 23, 2015 at 6:18 pm

    Holiness. ..greatness

  5. Venerable-Professor Joe Omeokwe

    September 23, 2015 at 5:21 pm

    He is indeed The Servant of God: He is here to make us all aware that today speaks that it is well with this entire world no matter the evil and injustices prevalent in our world.. “Christ Jesus maketh all things possible to you and I that believe.” This visit makes this season so full of excitement and expectations for God Almighty is breaking through for humanity and God Almighty physically is manifesting Himself in this world even as we will see in the celebration of Christmas not too long from now.. Praise God.

    I decree over you on this day that – In every direction and every aspect of His endeavors – God Almighty will make all things easy for Him as he leads the Catholic Church. Therefore, He’ll prosper easily – In Jesus name! Amen.

    I pray that Long Life would be his portion. We welcome him to the USA and especially to my hometown of New York City. I pray also he will enjoy in the USA vand ever be filled with the joy of the Lord. Amen.

    Daddy (Ven. Prof.) M Joe Omeokwe.

  6. Tiffany Ford

    September 23, 2015 at 4:51 pm

    Might be back in Houston October..i’ll let u know

    • Venerable-Professor Joe Omeokwe

      September 23, 2015 at 5:04 pm

      He is indeed The Servant of God: He is here to make us all aware that today speaks that it is well with this entire world no matter the evil and injustices prevalent in our world.. “Christ Jesus maketh all things possible to you and I that believe.” This visit makes this season so full of excitement and expectations for God Almighty is breaking through for humanity and God Almighty physically is manifesting Himself in this world even as we will see in the celebration of Christmas not too long from now.. Praise God.

      I decree over you on this day that – In every direction and every aspect of His endeavors – God Almighty will make all things easy for Him as he leads the Catholic Church. Therefore, He’ll prosper easily – In Jesus name! Amen.

      I pray that Long Life would be his portion. We welcome him to the USA and especially to my hometown of New York City. I pray also he will enjoy in the USA vand ever be filled with the joy of the Lord. Amen.

      Daddy (Ven. Prof.) M Joe Omeokwe.

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AFRICA

World SOCCER SHOWDOWN: South Africa backs Morocco; U.S under pressure

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Special to USAfrica [Houston]  • USAfricaonline.com  •  @Chido247  @USAfricalive

“It is an old myth that Africa doesn’t have the capacity, and naysayers should stop using the political argument. Africa hosted the best Fifa World Cup ever and with good support, Morocco can emulate South Africa,” said the SAFA president Jordaan.

Johannesburg – South Africa Football Association (SAFA) president Danny Jordaan has promised Morocco that South Africa will give its unqualified support to secure another World Cup on the African continent in 2026.

Morocco is vying to stage the world’s biggest football prize against a joint bid by Canada, Mexico and the U.S.

The Moroccan delegation comprises ex-Senegal and Liverpool striker El Hadji Diouf and former Cameroonian goalkeeper Joseph-Antoine Bell.

Jordaan said it would be great for Africa to have a second bite of the World Cup cherry, adding Morocco’s bid was Africa’s bid.

Jordaan assured Morocco that he would personally lobby for the Council for Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) and the rest of the continent to rally behind the Moroccans.

In his remarks, Antoine Bell said Morocco had all the ingredients to host another spectacular World Cup.

“South Africa showed the way and I am confident Morocco will follow suit. The country has international standards, from the stadiums to top infrastructure. Morocco can compete with the best in the world,” he said.

By giving Morocco its support, South Africa’s voice would make all the difference on the continent, Bell said.

“When South Africa talks on the continent, the rest of the continent listens hence it is vital for South Africa to support Morocco. South Africa has the experience and Morocco will use this experience to win the 2016 bid,” added Bell. African News Agency

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AFRICA

USAfrica: Catholic priest Etienne killed by militia in DR Congo, after a wedding mass

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Special to USAfrica [Houston]  •  @USAfricaLIVE

Goma – A Catholic priest was found shot dead hours after he said mass in Democratic Republic of Congo’s restive North Kivu province, a member of the church told AFP.

“Father Etienne Sengiyumva was killed [on] Sunday by the Mai Mai Nyatura (militia) in Kyahemba where he had just celebrated a mass including a baptism and a wedding,” father Gonzague Nzabanita, head of the Goma diocese where the incident occurred, told AFP.

The Mai Mai Nyatura are an armed group operating in North Kivu, in eastern DRC.

Nzabanita said Sengiyumva, 38, had had lunch with local faithful before “we found him shot in the head”.

North and South Kivu provinces are in the grip of a wave of violence among militia groups, which often extort money from civilians or fight each other for control of mineral resources.

Last week unknown assailants kidnapped a Catholic priest in North Kivu, demanding $500 000 for his release.

Eastern DRC has been torn apart by more than 20 years of armed conflict, fuelled by ethnic and land disputes, competition for control of the region’s mineral resources, and rivalry between regional powers.

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AFRICA

USAfrica: Nigeria’s LOOTERS LIST and Buhari’s selective corruption targets. By Majeed Dahiru

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PDP vs APC Looters List and Buhari’s selective corruption targets

By Majeed Dahiru

Special to USAfrica {Houston] • USAfricaonline.com • @USAfricaLive

 

Timipriye Silva, a former governor and PDP chieftain, who became a founding member and financier of APC, had his corruption charges quashed by a federal high court and Buhari’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) failed to appeal the N19.5 billion fraud case.

More curious are the missing names of some accused looters with marital ties to Nigeria’s First and Second families. Gimba Yau Kumo, the PDP appointed former managing director of the Federal Mortgage Bank and now son-in-law of President Buhari, who was similarly accused of fraudulent activities amounting to about N3 billion and reportedly being investigated by EFCC, is missing from [Buhari’s Information Minister] Lai Mohammed’s list.

For a party that has been accused of destroying Nigeria by squandering accrued oil revenues estimated at over $500 billion in sixteen years, it is confounding that Lai’s list is not only exclusively comprised of PDP looters but also captures the last two years of PDP’s last lap in power and included just Goodluck Jonathan’s associates, who supported him against candidate Buhari, while also relating only to funds used in the last electioneering campaign of the PDP.

Whenever the obviously abysmal performance of the Muhammadu Buhari administration appears to be gaining sustained attention, and leading to murmuring within the rank and file of his supporters, a tale of humungous looting by opposition elements is usually spun and thrown into the public space to distract people away from the core issue of the failure of governance.

Like a fit of deja vu, the recently unveiled list of looters by Lai Mohammed, a fellow who comes across as more of President Muhammadu Buhari’s chief propagandist than a minister of the federal republic of Nigeria in charge of information and culture, didn’t come as a surprise. The list is all too familiar as the unveiling was a summarised rehash of politically exposed individuals who are members of the opposition party, close associates of former President Goodluck Jonathan, particularly his appointees in government, who have been named and shamed several times in well-coordinated media trials.

First on Lai’s list is Uche Secondus, the chairman of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Lai had this to say of Secondus: “On the 19th of February 2015, he took N200 million only from the office of the NSA”. An unidentified former financial secretary of the PDP was similarly accused of “taking” N600 million from the same office of the National Security Adviser. Lai Mohammed also re-revealed that frontline member of PDP and media mogul, who deployed his media power to promote Goodluck Jonathan by de-marketing the Buhari candidacy in the run up to 2015 presidential election, Raymond Dokpesi, is on trial for “taking” N2.1 billion from the office of the then NSA. Lai also reminded Nigerians that his shouting match and former spokesman of the PDP, Olisa Metuh is on trial for “collecting” N1.4 billion from the same office of the NSA.

Lai Mohammed’s expanded follow up list included the usual suspects – former ministers, PDP state governors, service chiefs, presidential aides, associates and family members of former President Goodluck Jonathan, who were collectively accused of looting Nigeria of close to $2.1 billion through the office of the former NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd.).

The choice of words like “took” and “collected” deployed by Lai to describe the manner in which those named received these monies was deliberate for the maximum effect of propaganda, portraying the accused persons as looters who broke into NSA vault and catered away boxes of cash at something akin to a gun point.

While the clamp down on PDP looters who supported Goodluck Jonathan and are still members of the former ruling party has been heavy handed, others who decamped from PDP to the All Progressives Congress (APC) on the eve of the 2015 elections and supported candidate Buhari’s campaign with their share of loot have been forgiven. For example, former NSA, Sambo Dasuki is being treated as an apostate for his role in the disbursement of funds that were used to oil Goodluck Jonathan’s electioneering effort. He has been kept in detention illegally and in defiance of several judicial rulings. Judging by the Buhari administration’s anti-corruption standard of an accusation being tantamount to guilt, in clear contempt of court proceedings by the resort to the naming and shaming suspects even before investigations and criminal prosecution are concluded and convictions obtained, it becomes curious that Lai’s list didn’t reveal any new name. Rather some names were either missing or omitted from what is a familiar list. This appears so because the bulk of PDP bigwigs who “destroyed” Nigeria in sixteen years of national rule are firmly in control of the APC, from its elected national executives to the National Assembly and appointed members of the federal executive council. The majority of APC-elected governors were also former members of the PDP. Even recently decamped PDP members to APC, such as Musiliu Obanikoro and Sulivan Chime, who have been prominently named and shamed in the recent past, were conspicuously missing from the released list of looters.

More curious are the missing names of some accused looters with marital ties to the first and second families. Gimba Yau Kumo, a former PDP appointed managing director of the Federal Mortgage Bank and now son-in-law of President Buhari, who was similarly accused of fraudulent activities amounting to about N3 billion and reportedly being investigated by EFCC, is missing from Lai’s list. Also missing on that list is Bola Shagaya.

Arguably one of Africa’s richest women, with a reputation for close business and political ties to all first families in the past two decades, Bola Shagaya was exceptionally close to the Goodluck Jonathan family. Often described as a bosom friend of former first lady Patience Jonathan, she has been accused, in numerous instances, allegedly, of acting as Patience Jonathan’s front for the laundering of illicit money estimated at over N13 billion, while engaging in other fraudulent activities involved in state capture. All that may be in the past now as she has found her way back to reckoning with the marriage of her son, Seun Bakare to Damilola, the daughter of Vice President Yemi Osinbanjo. Little wonder then, Bola Shagaya’s name is not on Lai’s looters list.

In a clear display of the arrogance of ignorance, the Buhari administration has narrowed its war on corruption to the hounding of members of the Jonathan administration, other individuals and organisations that were known to have worked against the emergence of the President [Buhari] in the 2015 presidential elections. This is clearly evident in the selective nature of the current anti-corruption effort.

The tone of generalisation of the PDP as the problem of Nigeria, as an indicator of corruption, should make all members of PDP (both former and present) and their collaborators in other parties guilty, hence qualifying them for naming and shaming, while being liable for criminal prosecution.

Therefore, Buhari’s list of looters is devoid of integrity, because his selective war on corruption is indicative of corruption in itself. All that is required of a former PDP looter is to get baptised into APC and profess Buhari as the saviour of Nigeria. This is precisely responsible for the failure and ineffectiveness of the war on corruption. Nothing has changed as the current APC looters continue to loot Nigeria, while the redeemed former PDP looters continue to enjoy their loot in hibernation under the abundant grace of the infallible Buhari.

• Dahiru is based in Abuja 

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