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NAHCON Commends Bauchi For Readiness To Ensure Welfare Of Pilgrims

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Muhammad Sani Yunusa

The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has applauded Bauchi State Government for its desire to prioritize the welfare of pilgrims during Hajj operation.

The Director Inspectorate and Compliance of the commission Alh. Usman Aliyu Shamaki gave the commendation when leading the NAHCON inspection team in Bauchi, saying the state has created an enabling environment for the pilgrims during Hajj excercise.

Alhaji Usman Shamaki noted that the visit is a delibrate effort by the NAHCON to validate the requirements for the issuance of Hajj and Umra license to all Boards, Pilgrims Agencies by the commission.

Expressing satisfaction with the effort of the Bauchi State towards ensuring the welfare of it’s pilgrims, Alh. Aliyu Shamaki was impressed with the office accomodation and Hajj transit Camp, stressing that the Bauchi Camp is of international standard.

Earlier in his remarks the Executive Secretary of the Bauchi Pilgrims Board, Imam Abdurrahman Ibrahim Idris unveiled that Governor Bala Abdulkadir Muhammad of Bauchi State has changed the narratives of Hajj management in the state and continue to consistently remain focused and just to makes the State a reference point in providing quality services to pilgrims.

He emphasised that the construction of ultra modern Bauchi permanent Hajj Camp is one of the laudable effort of the Governor to support the activities of the Board, adding that this administration is determined to attain it’s vision and mission on pilgrims welfare.

Imam Abdurrahman Ibrahim Idris therefore stressed that the edifice has all necessary facilities for the comfort of pilgrims during Hajj operation that included: administrative block, a mosque and ablution area, multipurpose Hall and screening Hall and both male and female hostels.

He added that other facilities includes Camp clinic, ambulance, lockup shops and kitchen aimed at providing optimum comfort and safety of pilgrims.

Imam Abdurrahman appreciated the Governor for the gesture and vowed to ensure proper utilisation and maintaining of the Camp.

On preparedness for the forthcoming 2022 Hajj, Imam Abdurrahman said his board has sponsored and embarked on Media programmes targeted towards education and enlightenment of general public, particularly the intending pilgrims on Hajj and completed arrangement to conduct a three 3 days Train the Trainers workshop to support the intending pilgrims.

On his part while delivering a welcome address the Director Operation of the Board, Alhaji Sabiu Barau Ningi expressed happiness for the visit and assured Boards readiness to ensure the success of Hajj operation.

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Religion

Bishop Mamza Declares 2024 General Assembly Open, Calls For Active Participation 

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By Jessica Bakari, Yola 

The Catholic Bishop of Yola Diocese, Most Reverend Doctor Stephen Dami Mamza says the church must be a prophetic voice for social justice, advocating for the rights and dignity of all people. 

Bishop Mamza stated this while declaring open the twenty twenty-four General Assembly of the Catholic Diocese of Yola taking place at the old cathedral of Saint Theresa Cathedral Jimeta.

The theme of this year’s general assembly is mobilizing pastoral agents for structural and human development in the Yola diocese.

Bishop Mamza stresses the need for the priests, religious, and laity to reflect on their collective mission to serve not only the spiritual needs of their community but also foster holistic development, spiritual, social, and economic.

He explained that the general assembly brought together priests, Reverend sisters, catechists,  deacons laity to rub minds on issues that will move the church forward.

He added that it is his hope and prayer that at the end of the meeting, they will come out with some pastoral plan that will guide the Catholic Diocese of Yola for the next few years.

The Bishop described the role of pastoral agents in the Modern church as the lifeblood of the church mission, hands, and feet of Christ Jesus in reaching the diverse needs of the congregation and the larger society. 

Bishop Dami Mamza says investing in training and professional development for pastoral agents is vital by equipping them with skills and knowledge to address the contemporary challenges to enable them to serve more effectively. 

He further identifies human development as the heart of the Christian mission, saying the church’s commitment to nurturing the whole person spiritually, emotionally, intellectually, and physically is rooted in the teachings of Christ. 

Additionally, Mamza described education as a cornerstone of human development, noting that establishing and supporting schools helps empower individuals with knowledge and skills that can transform their lives and communities. 

The Catholic Bishop, however, called on the participants to actively participate throughout the meeting so that together they can build a church that not only nurtures the spiritual well-being of its members but promotes justice, compassion, and sustainable development in society. 

Earlier in his welcome address, the Vicar General Pastoral, Reverend Father Emmanuel Mathias said thirty-nine parishes and pastoral heads of diocese societies under the Catholic diocese of Yola are in attendance at the general assembly. 

He urged the participants to take ownership of the general assembly by active participation to enable them to come up with strategic plans for six years that will support the development and process of the Bishop to the development of the church. 

A facilitator at the general assembly, Sir John Danboyi made his presentation on the processes and procedures of developing a strategic development plan, diocese core values, and developing organizational assessment.

He said values are the driving force for the operation of an organization and criteria for an organization’s strategies adding that the difficulties of the strategic plan are the implementation. 

Some of the participants interviewed, Mrs. Josephine Odiniya and Mr. Justine both described the general assembly as timely as it allowed them to discuss issues that would bring more development and move the church forward. 

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Bauchi Young Leaders Network Trains 20 Youth On Promoting Freedom Of Religion, Belief In Bauchi, Gombe, Plateau

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The Young Leaders Network YLN also known as the Initiative for Leadership Development and Youth Empowerment has concluded a two-day training for 20 veteran peace actors that will support the youth religious networks previously trained by Search for Common Ground in collaboration with Young Leaders Network.

The training was aimed to champion advocacy actions that promote Freedom of Religion and Belief (FoRB) in Bauchi, Gombe, and Plateau states under the Nigeria Youth Collective Action for Religious Engagement Project.

The workshop which held at the Ignite Hub in Bauchi from May 28-29, 2024, also established the Youth Religious Network Advisory Body to promote FoRB in Bauchi State. This aligns with Search’s Youth-360 approach, which will help the Youth Advisory Network Group develop a well-designed action plan for subsequent activities.

The workshop focused on developing an advocacy strategy for the youth, introducing the Youth-CARE project to the Youth Religious Network Advisory Body, and setting realistic timelines for mentorship sessions with the youth religious network.

Mr. Moses Danjuma Kusko, Programme Manager for Governance and Youth Engagement, emphasized the importance of collaboration between the newly inaugurated Youth Religious Network Advisory Body and the Bauchi Youth Religious Advocacy Network to achieve the project’s objectives.

Khalid Ibrahim Angale, a member of BRYAN, expressed his appreciation for the timely training, which has equipped them to design implementable action plans to achieve the project’s objectives in Bauchi state.

The organization, with funding assistance from Search for Common Ground, is providing this intervention to promote religious understanding, tolerance, and peaceful coexistence, and to advance religious engagement in both peace and conflict situations.

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Religion

Bauchi YLN Organise 5-Day Youth Activist Training On Addressing Conflict Among Religious Divides

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The Young Leaders Network YLN Bauchi State has organized a 5-day youth activist training on the Common Ground Approach to Religious Engagement and Advocacy, aimed at empowering the Network with knowledge and skills on Common Ground Advocacy (CGA) for effective religious engagement.

The training was organized by Young Leaders Network in collaboration with Search for Common Ground under the Nigeria Youth Collective Action for Religious Engagement Project was held at Hazibal Hotel and Suites from June 10-14, 2024.

The training brought together about 22 youths from the Bauchi State Youth Religious Advocacy Network to strengthen their capacity, promote Freedom of Religion or Beliefs and peaceful co-existence across different beliefs.

Moses Danjuma Kusko, Programme Manager for Governance and Youth Engagement tasked the youth religious actors to identify their target stakeholders, analyze their positions, assess their influence, and identify their target audience.

He emphasized the need for applying the techniques learned during the training to craft messaging that resonates with policymakers.

Speaking at the training session, one of the key peace actors Zainab Yusuf noted that the training exposed her to the Common Ground Approach, stakeholder mapping, listening skills, empathy, and conflict resolution.

On the other hand, Garba Surama Ahmed reveal that he gained insights into online hate speech, approaches to advocacy, and the importance of data-driven advocacy.

The training aimed to equip the Network with knowledge and tools to address and prevent conflict along religious divides in Bauchi state.

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