It is no longer at ease at St. Augustine’s Catholic Church, Sun City Estate, Galadimawa, Abuja, as offering from church members is already tearing the church of Lord apart.
While it is the responsibility of the Finance Committee of the Church to count the money, the Parish Priest, Fr.
A member of the church who pleaded anonymity due said the Parish Priest stopped the church wardens from counting the money undèr the pretext of allowing the Finance Committee committee to take over it duty.
The source said: “The church wardens are like ushers in other churches; they are the ones that collect and count the money. Then they give the record and the money to the finance committee and copy him on the total money collected.
The source said maybe the Parish Priest felt they were stealing the money, but added that since he started counting the money himself, the figures have not really changed, rather the figures are even lower.
She stated: “We were surprised, all of a sudden, he asked us to stop counting the money and no information to the finance council about this and not even the Parish Pastoral Council. He made us feel we are thieves – stealing church money. For crying out loud how much is the money? We are just rendering humanitarian service to the church and God.
“The people counting the money have just been like this. This one just came and changed everything and no one is talking about it as if it is normal. If he is the only one counting, how then can we know what comes in?. Is it not what he gives that we know.”
Asked if the issue was reported to the appropriate authority, she said they only did as the priest instructed, adding that they did not report him to the Committee or council because they did not want to be seen as having personal interest.
It was further gathered that the Parish Priest is alleged to be in a serious relationship with a married woman who attends the church.
According to a source who pleaded anonymity said the Priest in order to cover his tracks sacked more than five security men in less than one year.
The source said, “Many members of the Church that would have helped build and grow the church have all abandoned the church and moved to other churches.
“The church has become stagnant because of this. The poor handling of the Church by Livinus has resulted in the management of the estate not allocating land for the permanent structure.”
Responding to the allegations, the Head of the Parish Communication Committee, Mr. Ifeanyi Valentine, said those behind the allegations were just trying to seek attention and to be an hindrance to the peace the church currently enjoys.
He stated categorically that the allegations that the Parish Priest took over the responsibility of counting church offering was not true, saying it is not his responsibility.
Valentine said: “The Priest have lot of responsibility to run the church, rather than counting money. There is a Finance Committee, they are the one counting the offering. I think that is same thing in all churches.
“It is neither Father’s job to count offering, there is a Finance Council whose responsibility is basically Finance of the church. So, Father has never count offering and will never because it’s not his duty
“I think the person is just trying to seek attention and to be an hindrance to the peace we enjoy in the church.”
Valentine noted that while there was no suspicion of theft or allegations against the church wardens who were counting the money before, the Father only asked the appropriate committee to take over the duty.
He added that there was no truth in the allegation that he sacked the security personnel working in the church.
According to him, The security in the church currently are same set of security even before the Priest they are accusing came to the Church. It’s quite strange where all this false information are coming from.
Valentine explained that the Parish Priest was putting in so much efforts to ensure that the church get the land, saying allegations against the Priest were neither through nor genuine.
Asked if there was a clash of interest in the church, he added, “No. A big No. The church is peaceful, very peaceful, absolutely Peaceful without any clash of interest.
“Be mindful that the church is not a political ground, catholic church is not a one man church where they fight for interest.
“My candid advice to your source is that you tell him or her to stop fighting against the church of God, He or she shouldn’t disturb the peace we enjoy, we are one family of God’s People. Our Parish shouldn’t be used for his or her personal motive.”
Avoid Induced Rejection, Unauthorized Journeys, DG Admonishes Corps Members
As 2021 Batch ‘B’ Stream Two Corps Members will be leaving the 3-week orientation camp on Tuesday the Corps Members have been advised to avoid induced rejection, rather accept their posting in good faith and settle down to contribute their quota to the development of their host communities.
NYSC Director-General, Brigadier General Shuaibu lbrahim stated this on Monday while de-briefing the 2021 Batch ‘B’ Stream Two Corps Members and Camp Officials through a nationwide virtual address.
He said any Corps Member caught inducing posting or redeployment would be sanctioned in line with NYSC bye-laws.
He also disclosed that there is nothing like two weeks break after leaving the Orientation Camp, but added that if there is a compelling need for any Corps Member to travel, the concerned must obtain permission from the NYSC through the established channel.
Ibrahim said no Corps employer is authorized to grant permission to any Corps Member to travel.
“Once you get to your place of primary assignment tomorrow, don’t put pressure on your employers for rejection.
“Don’t lobby anyone that you want to change your posting or relocation. If they write to us that you induced or forced them to reject you, you will be punished.”
As patriotic Corps Members, it is expected that you accept posting to anywhere you have been posted to and add value to the community”, the DG added.
He urged them to be patriotic in the service to their fatherland and ensure they equally add value to themselves, NYSC Scheme and the society at large.
The Director-General admonished them to use the opportunity of NYSC platform to excel in life.
“You have gone through the rudiments of the Orientation Course, please take advantage of it and see what you can do for your fatherland.
“Let the spirit of the Orientation Exercise live in you forever as Nigerians. National integration should be your watchword. We should be united as a country”, the DG added.
General lbrahim warned against the negative use of the social media, urging them to verify every information before it is shared online.
“Don’t use fake news to promote disunity, shun cybercrimes and all forms of criminality. In whatever action that you are going to take, please look back at where you are coming from and avoid any action that will haunt you tomorrow.
“Shun drugs, be good citizens and good ambassadors of your, institutions, families and the NYSC Scheme”, he said.
The Director-General implored the Corps Members to continue with the Post-Camp training in Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Developnent Programme.
He revealed that the Scheme had partnered some financial institutions like the Central Bank of Nigeria, Access Bank, Bank of Industry, Unity Bank, NYSC Foundation, Leventis Foundation, among others, that are ready to support Corps Members with loans and trainings.
The Director-General stated that efforts are in top gear towards the establishment of National Youth Service Corps Trust Fund, which would make start-up capitals available to interested Corps Members to start-up their businesses as they exit Service.
Ibrahim also enjoined the Corps Members to be security conscious at all times and avoid any action that may endanger their safety.
He warned them against boarding vehicles from unauthorized motorparks, enjoining them to use approved motorparks.
“You must be security conscious and don’t endanger your safety. Under no condition should you travel at night, or board vehicle along the road. Your welfare is very paramount to NYSC
If you are going to travel, you must be permitted. Write through employer to your Local Government Inspector and it will get to the State Coordinator for approval. If you are going to travel, ensure that you are permitted”, the DG said.
He said the Scheme is making efforts to get rebate on flight charges for Corps Members that may want to travel by flight.
Ibrahim informed the Corps Members that efforts are on-going as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari to enlist Corps Members in the National Health Insurance Scheme for effective Medicare during the service year.
He advised the Corps Members to get COVID-19 vaccine in order to protect themselves and also protect others from the deadly virus.
In his vote of thanks on behalf of his colleagues nationwide, the Imo State Corps Camp Director, Otobo Joshua Osa IM/21B/1740 lauded the Director-General for his doggedness and passion for the welfare and security of Corps Members.
“We remain eternally grateful and we assure you of our commitment to the ideals of the NYSC, having imbibed all the lessons taught us in the course of the Orientation Programme”, he concluded.
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