Angola is planning to close down unregistered churches starting November, nearly a month after the state made public legislation to regulate religious activity, online newspaper Jornal de Angola has reported.
“Religious denominations that are illegal in Angola will be closed starting in November, the national director for religious issues at the Ministry of Culture, Francisco de Castro Maria, said,” the website reported.
The move is expected to impact foreign-led churches in Angola, as “Mr Castro Maria affirmed that 50% of the churches in the country are established by foreigners from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Brazil, Nigeria and Senegal”.
Defending the plan, Culture Minister Carolina Cerqueira said that while the government was neutral, it was forced to act against unregistered bodies which “exercise commercial activities or which are a threat to human rights and against the principals of urban life and positive coexistence”.
More than 1,000 churches are waiting to pass the legal process, with the government giving unregistered denominations a month after the 4 October publication to regularise their status.
However, the discussion has been in the pipeline since as early as 28 August, when the council of ministers passed proposed legislation on freedom of religion, faith and worship to establish more rigorous conditions for the legalisation of religious activities in the country.
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Lassa Fever kills one, five infected in Kebbi
The Kebbi State Government on Sunday confirmed one death from six cases of Lassa Fever in the state.
Dr Assad Hassan, Epidemiologist at the state Ministry of Heath, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Birnin Kebbi, that the cases were recorded between February and April.
Hassan told NAN that four of the victims were from Birnin Kebbi; while the remaining two were from Bunza Local Governmment Area (LGA) of the state.
“The persons confirmed to be infected with the disease are between 23 to 65 years, and they include four males and two females,’’ he said.
According to him, one of the female patients was the one that died within hours of arrival at the Federal Medical Centre in Birnin Kebbi.
He said the blood sample taken from the deceased tested positive to Lassa fever.
“The medical doctor that attended to the deceased was also infected with the fever but has been treated and discharged from hospital,’’ he added.
Hassan further explained that the last confirmed case was on April 27; and refuted reports that two children had died last week as a result of the fever.
“In response to the outbreak, there has been continuous sensitisation of health care workers on Lassa Fever detection and infection, prevention and control measures within the hospital setting.
“Similarly, advocacy, social mobilisation and community engagement has been carried out in all the 21 LGAs of the state,’’ Hassan said.
The epidemiologist also advised communities to keep food and drinking water in rodent-proof containers and to also bring sick family members to the hospital early enough for treatment. (NAN)
Court sentences kidnapper Evans’ 2 Gang Members to 41 years in prison
Two former members of billionaire kidnapper, Evans’ gang have been sentenced to 41 years imprisonment by court.
During an Ikeja High court sitting in Lagos State on Monday, witnessed Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo sentenced the convicts, Kelvin Emenike Ukoh and Emeka Obasi for the abduction of one Ugoje Jude, a shipping agent, and his staff, Miss Piriye Gogo in August 3, 2012.
The convicts were members of the kidnapping gang headed by billionaire kidnapper, Chukwudimeme Onwuamadike, also known as Evans. They were arraigned in 2013 alongside three others: Uche Igbani, 28, Chibuzor Osuagwu, 33 and a 36-year-old woman, Onowu Ngozi, on a 14 count-charge bothering on conspiracy, kidnapping, armed robbery and murder.
Ugoje and another staff, Piriye Gogo were kidnapped by the gang who and were later taken to an unknown destination by their leader, Evans.
Miss Ugoje narrated the entire ordeal before the court including how she almost got raped and how she was saved by the police patrol she saw and flagged after the three men took away Jude while holding rifles.
Jude also testified in court, he said his abductors initially ordered him to pay N10m for his release but after negotiations, they accepted N5m.
Justice Taiwo after listening to the testifiers convicted and sentenced Ukoh and Obasi to 5, 15 and 21 years for conspiracy, kidnapping and armed robbery respectively, while the other three; Igbani, Osuagwu and Ngozi were discharged and acquitted by court.
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