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Mbaka apologises to Obi, supporters

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The Spiritual Director, Adoration Ministry Enugu, Nigeria, Rev Fr Ejike Mbaka, on Friday tendered a public apology to the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi and his supporters over his utterances against his person.

The Catholic Diocese of Enugu State had, shortly after his comment on Wednesday during his midweek activities declared that Obi will not become Nigeria’s President, for the reason that he is ‘stingy’, disowned him.

The church while describing his political utterances as divisive and unbecoming of a priest, said that attack breached canon 220 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law which prohibits anyone from illegitimately harming the good name of a person.

However, Mbaka on Friday tendered an unreserved public apology to Obi and his supporters in a letter he personally signed.

In the apology letter titled, ‘Rev Fr Ejike Mbaka Blesses His Excellency Peter Obi and His Supporters’, the controversial Catholic priest asked for understanding and forgiveness.

Mbaka in the letter prayed for the former governor of Anambra State, that God will grant him his heart desires and other presidential candidates.

He decried the increasing insecurity in Nigeria which he attributed to bad leadership and appealed to Nigerian youths to also pray that God in his mercy will give Nigeria man after his heart as the next president.

The apology letter read in part, “I am a servant of God and my intention is not to malign His Excellency, Peter Obi’s image, but to pray for him. May God’s will be done in his life. I pray to God whom I serve to give our beloved people good and excellent leaders who will take care of them and lead them to the promised land. Anyone who God wishes to make our leader is my choice.

“In this vein, I give my blessings to His Excellency Peter Obi and his supporters, I also give my blessings to the other candidates and their supporters whose intention is also to give Nigeria good leaders. In any way, the supporters of Mr Peter Obi feel offended by my utterances or however I was misunderstood by them, I ask for their understanding and forgiveness. As a servant of the Most High God, I pray that it shall be well with my people. I am an ardent supporter of Good Governance, Justice, Equity, Love, and Godliness.

It added, “My intention is not to fight or malign Mr Peter Obi. He is my friend and remained my friend and brother I love him and I wish him success. May God bless him and his good supporters. God’s will be done in his political endeavours (Mk.14:36).

“The followers of Peter Obi are the same youths I am praying for, sacrificing for, fighting for, speaking for, and working for their integral well-being. What the youths are passing through and their conditions give me sleepless nights. It is for this reason that I yearn for good governance and worthy leaders that will take care of them. We are passing through indescribable, unbearable, and undeserved hardship in this country. I pray for Divine intervention.

“I am not in any political party but I support good people and good governance. Any good person that God can give us is my choice of candidate. I am a servant of God; For the sake of peace, I ask for forgiveness in any way I am misunderstood.

“And to Peter Obi himself, I ask God to bless him and manifest his will in his life. When God says Yes, who can say No? And when God says No, who can say Yes? I bless Peter Obi and pray for him. I bless my dear fellow Adorers and pray for them. I bless the people of God everywhere and I pray that it shall be well with you all.”

See full letter below:

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Governor’s wife advises Jerusalem pilgrims on conduct

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The returnees who participated in the 2022 pilgrimage to Jerusalem and Jordan have held a thanksgiving service to appreciate God for the successful journey.

According to a statement issued by the state government, the service, held at Chapel of Christ The Light, Alausa, was graced by the wife of the Lagos State Governor, Dr Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu.

Represented by the wife of a former Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Mrs Mayowa Ikuforiji, Sanwo-Olu advised the returnees to be true ambassadors of Christ and allow their encounters during the pilgrimage to strengthen their relationship with God and the people around them.

The governor’s wife said, “You cannot afford to go back to your old ways and lifestyles. As you have been described as the light and salt of the world in the Holy Book, it means that you have a lot of tasks ahead of you.”

Sanwo-Olu then thanked God on behalf of the pilgrims for the successful completion of the exercise and the journey mercies experienced.

She said, “We bless the Lord that there was no report of any negative eventuality. It is fitting at this point to state that we are indeed peculiar people with a deep sense of appreciation and we show this trait in praises and thanksgiving to God who specifically called us out of darkness into His marvellous light.”

In her remarks, the Secretary, Lagos State Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board, Mrs Yetunde Gbafe, said the thanksgiving service was in line with God’s injunction as recorded in Psalm 100 where believers were enjoined to come into His presence with praise and thanksgiving.

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Nigeria needs $12bn to clean up oil spills – Report

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Nigeria needs $12bn to clean up decades-old oil spills in southern Bayelsa State over a 12-year period, a new report revealed on Tuesday, as it singled out two international oil companies, Shell and Eni, for being responsible for most of the pollution.

Oil majors in Nigeria have long faced legal challenges over Niger Delta spills, which they mostly blame on sabotage and vandalism of pipelines and illegal refining.

The Bayelsa State Oil and Environmental Commission said in a report that it started an investigation in 2019 on the impact of spills and looked at evidence from forensic scientists, blood samples from people in affected areas and company data, according to Reuters.

The investigation discovered, among other findings, that toxic pollutants from spills and gas flaring were many times higher than the safe limits in samples of soil, water, air, and in the blood of local residents, the commission said.

“The report finds failures of strategy, prevention, response and remediation by oil companies,” it said.

Reuters stated that a spokesperson for Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited said the oil firm was not privy to the final report and could not comment.

An Eni spokesperson said the oil spills were due to theft to feed illegal refineries as well as illegal exports and sabotage but the company undertook to remedy all spills.

Most of the gas produced from Eni’s Nigerian unit was converted into LNG and fed local power plants, the spokesperson said, adding that “Eni conducts its activities according to the sector’s international environmental best practices, without any distinction on a country basis.”

Toxins that cause burns, lung problems and risk of cancer were widespread while oil company-led clean-ups were often poorly executed and could further contaminate soil and groundwater, the commission’s report said.

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Experts advise marketers to leverage technology

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Experts have advised marketing professionals to take advantage of technology to revamp marketing tactics.

The marketers were admonished at the National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria Ikeja Chapter 3rd Annual Public Lecture held recently in Lagos.

Speakers at the event said due to the highly competitive marketing arena, marketers must be willing to adjust their approaches in response to shifting market trends and economic circumstances, to remain competitive and achieve success.

The Ikeja Chapter Chairman of NIMN and Chief Executive Officer of Procon Group, Adebayo Oke, noted that the conference was basically to review the position of things in the institute in the face of the country’s dynamic economy.

He said, “We all know that in terms of political economy, we are going to be having a change very soon. Where we are coming from, there are issues that have affected consumerism in terms of the power of a consumer, choices and whether it will get tougher or better that is why we are here. To also share knowledge among the top practitioners to floor it down.”

According to him, a lot of quacks are in the market and most companies believe marketing is anybody’s function.

“And going forward, we are going to be regulating the practice of marketing across all industries and in partnership with the international brands in the areas of marketing, including the Chartered Institute of Marketing UK, amongst others,” he stated.

He disclosed that the institute would be partnering with most companies to ensure that only certified marketer would be allowed to practice marketing, to enable the institute get rid of all the quacks.

The President and Chairman of Council for NIMN, Idorenyen Enang, in his keynote address, highlighted the significance of marketers harnessing the potential of technology while ensuring that they adhere to ethical principles of the profession.

He said, “The benefits of technology in streamlining operations are widely appreciated. However, concerns about job displacement due to AI have arisen. Marketers must strive for a harmonious implementation of these technologies, striking a balance that mitigates such disadvantages.”

He added that while automation greatly enhances efficiency, there is a potential loss of intellectual capacity as the current generation prioritises speed, brevity, and simplicity.

Also, the Head Sub-Saharan Africa Digital Media & Insights of FrieslandCampina WAMCO Plc, Ifeoluwa Obafemi, said, “In the phase of technological advancement and changes in consumer behaviour, as marketing professionals, we should set our organisation in a future forward mode. For businesses to maintain a competitive edge in the present-day business environment, undergoing a marketing transformation is a necessary process.”

On his part, the Chief Executive Officer of Axiom Intel Limited, Kolawole Oyeyemi, said, “Marketers should attract and retain their customers. Nowadays, customers are now more informed and know your business more than you do because they now compare your services to global best practices.

“There is a revolution in technology which has assisted in creating tools and devices and building platforms to allow customers to interact with companies across the world.”

According to him, it is a volatile environment and things one does not think will connect one’s business may connect from a very long distance.

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