One of the most important and oldest festivals of the Christian Church is the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ which is popularly regarded by many as Easter. This is held between March 21 and April 25 annually, on the first Sunday after the first full moon, following the northern spring equinox. Science Writer, STANLEY CHIBUIHEM AMALAHA, takes a look at this ‘supernatural exercise’, which defies the universal law of gravity
There are certain laws that govern the universe: they are physical laws and spiritual laws. Spiritual laws are higher than physical laws.
For example, spiritual law resurrected Christ from the grave, made Him to walk upon the sea and also propagated his virgin birth which was unique and has no parallel because there was no instrumentation of man present. Physical laws on the other hand, are laws of science such as: whatever that goes up must come down.
The laws of the spirit are higher than the physical laws. The law of resurrection for example, is higher than the law of gravity.
It was the law of resurrection that made Jesus to walk upon the sea. At that moment, the law of gravity was suspended because Jesus is the resurrection and the life. Similarly, when Christ ascended into Heaven, the law of resurrection also came into effect and the law of gravity was brushed aside because: scientifically, to ascend to Heaven, is to work against gravity.
Although history shows that ‘Easter’ is derived from the word ‘Eostre,’ which is the name of the goddess of spring, whose festival was celebrated at the Vernal equinox.
However, in the Christian Church, ‘Easter’, also called ‘Pascha’ in Greek and Latin, or ‘Resurrection Sunday’ by some faithful, is a festival and holiday, which commemorates the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, after the third day of His burial.
Christ was crucified by the Romans at Calvary outside Jerusalem in 30AD. Easter is the culmination of the Passion of Jesus, preceded by Lent, a 40-day period of fasting, prayer, and penance.
It is celebrated between 21st March and 25th April yearly, on the first Sunday after the fast full moon following the northern spring equinox – the weekend from Good Friday (the crucifixion of Christ) to Easter Monday (a holiday set aside to compensate Easter Sunday which is not a working day).
Some Theologians say that: Easter should not be celebrated because it is derived from the word ‘Eostre’ being the name of the goddess of spring- a festival earlier celebrated at the Vernal (spring) equinox.
But careful study shows that, months of the year such as: January, February etc, and the days of the week: Sunday, Monday, etc are names of Greek goodness.
The question now is; should we not be associated with them anymore? Should all the people whose names are linked with these names like: Sunday, and Monday, change their names?
The crucifixion of Jesus Christ is one of the ‘50 defining events’ that changed the world history. Christ was crucified by the Romans at Calvary outside Jerusalem in 30A.D. History and the Books of Mathew 27, Luke 23, and John 19, tell the whole story.
Two important things that happened at the ‘death’ and ‘resurrection’ of Christ are: while the blood he shed at death, gave ‘salvation’ to humanity; His resurrection gave us ‘hope’ of eternal life.
The account of the resurrection of Christ is given in Luke 24, and John 20.
The resurrection of Christ was a miracle. Miracles occur when God uses a spiritual law to cancel a physical law thereby making something unusual in science to happen.
For example, in the physical (science) law, a blind eye cannot see, but in the spiritual law, dead organs are brought back to life.
A force is a ‘push’ or a ‘pull’ that is applied on a matter. Force is the cause of motion. It speeds things up, slows things down, and ‘pushes’ things around corners. Force is generally measured in NEWTON, after England’s Sir Isaac Newton (1642 – 1727)
According to legend, in the 1660s, when the Bubonic plague erupted in England the Cambridge University, where Newton was a student by then, was closed down.
On a bright sunny day, Isaac Newton was sitting under an apple tree, an apple fruit fell on his head and he started wondering what pulls the apple fruit down instead of it to keep going up. He then discovered that it was the force of gravity.
FORCE OF GRAVITY
This is the attraction between the earth and all the objects on it. For example, when you drop a book from a table, gravitational force causes the book to fall to the ground rather than to remain floating in the air.
When you throw a stone into the air, a force is applied to it which is greater than the pull of gravity.
But as it rises higher, the force becomes weaker until the stone reaches a point where the force you applied and the gravity are equal, as the pull of gravity becomes greater, the stone begins to fall back to the ground.
UNIVERSAL LAW OF GRAVITY
Newton’s Universal Law of Gravity states: that the force of gravitation is present between any two objects in the universe.
The amount of gravitational force that one object exerts on another depends on two things (a) the masses of the objects and (b) the distance between the objects.
RESURRECTION AND GRAVITATION
The Resurrection of Jesus, worked against gravitational pull, it was indeed beyond science.
Force of gravity has a magnitude of 10 meter per second square approximationaly on the earth surface. It decreases as we go upwards towards the sky.
For example, on the Moon, the gravitational pull is about one-sixth of that of the earth. This means that an object that weighs 60 Newton on earth, will weigh only 10 Newton on the Moon.
Irrespective of the strength of the gravitational pull, the force of gravity could not pull down Jesus from His Resurrection.
This shows His supremacy over the law of gravity.
Easter is the most significant period in the Christian faith because without Resurrection, there would have been no hope for believers.
“He is risen” is an anthem that outlives both rocks and unbelieving people.
“He is risen” was the shout heard around the world when Jesus Resurrected from the grave (Matthew 28:6). His Resurrection has given us faith and hope.
Halleluiah: He is risen and alive forevermore!
Anti-Corruption war: Why FG can’t sell seized assets now -Investigation
Nigerians sceptical over purchase of seized property
Plans by the Federal Government to sell off all property and other assets recovered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC) and other anti-graft agencies may not be feasible any time soon due to some legal hurdles. President Muhammadu Buhari had dropped the hint on the plans when some elders of his community visited him in Daura last week.
According to the President, the assets needed to be sold off and its proceeds deposited in the Treasury Single Account (TSA) to ensure that corrupt persons from whom the assets were seized did not re-acquire them from the backdoor after the tenure of the current administration expires.
Shortly after his inauguration on May 29, 2015, President Buhari had stated unequivocally that his ad-ministration will prosecute the war on corruption with renewed vigour and determination.
Consequent upon that declaration, the anti-graft agencies – the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), as well as the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) – went to work, arresting many exposed persons.
Apart from politicians of note, top chief executives of corporate organisations and companies, were taken in for interrogation at different times. In the course of arrests, interrogation, and prosecutions in courts, recoveries were made – cash and assets.
Addressing the Daura elders during their visit, Buhari expressed disappointment at the level of corruption among public servants in Nigeria, stressing that, these corrupt individuals have always denied link with many of the confiscated property believed to be proceeds of corruption.
“So as a civil servant, you have 10 houses in Abuja and even in Kaduna and abroad, the more you show them the properties the more they will swear that it does not belong to them.
“If you are following, you will hear that some of these looters were arrested, and for those who deny their loots, we will sell those stolen properties and the proceeds will be deposited in government treasury,.
“If the money is in the government treasury, I will see who will come back after we’ve left to reclaim them,” he said. However, investigation by Sunday Telegraph showed that the move to dispose off these assets may take longer than expected. Some lawyers, who spoke on the matter with this newspaper, said it would be risky for the Federal Government to consider a blanket sale of seized assets.
They hinged their argument on the fact that one of the conditions precedent to selling off assets, is conclusion of litigation.
A former Attorney General of Abia State, Chief Solo Akuma (SAN), said there are two kinds of orders for forfeiture of assets – interim forfeiture and final forfeiture.
He clarified that a presidential declaration could not override extant provisions of the law. Akuma said: “Well, he (president) may have made a statement, but I know that at the point of implementation, they must dispose of
those ones that their matters have been concluded. So, if any of those assets is still the subject of litigation, then there is no way it will be sold.
“And a statement by the president cannot override the subject-matter of a court proceeding. If he is talking of disposing of seized assets that their matters have been concluded, either the one that is voluntarily surrendered, there is no litigation, or the court has made final forfeiture order; there is no pending appeals, then, those ones can be sold. But, any one that is still being contested in court, cannot be sold until a final forfeiture order is made,” Akuma said. A former State Director of the State Security Service (SSS), Mr. Mike Ejiofor, also spoke against attempts to dispose off all categories of assets.
The security expert, who is also a lawyer, said: “I’m not sure they will go and sell assets that their cases have not been disposed of. Except the cases have been disposed of, then they can sell.That is, where the cases have been determined.
“But, it will be risky, or not right, legally speaking, to go and sell properties that the matter has not been determined,”Ejiofor said. Minister of Information and Culture, Alh. Lai Mohammed had, in a statement released to the media, said, among other things, that: “The Federal Government made cash recoveries totaling N78,325,354,631.82 (Seventy eight billion, three hundred and twenty-five million, three hundred and fifty-four thousand, six hundred and thirty one Naira and eighty two kobo); $185,119,584.61 (One hundred and eight five million, one hundred and nineteen thousand, five hundred and eighty four US dollars, sixty one cents); 3,508,355.46 Pounds Sterling (Three million, five hundred and eight thousand, three hundred and fifty-five Pounds and 46 Pence) and 11, 250 Euros (Eleven thousand, two hundred and fifty Euros) from 29 May 2015 to 25 May 2016.”
The statement further noted the recovery of twenty two (22) farmlands, four (4) plots of land, one uncompleted building, one hundred and eighty two (182) completed buildings, 25 vehicles and five (5) maritime vessels. Sunday Telegraph investigations showed that Nigerians seem to be indifferent over the purchase of the seized property by the Federal Government.
The Federal Government had in 2017 set up a Committee to recover all public property acquired through fraudulent means.
The Committee is headed by the Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Prosecution, Okoi Obono-Obla. The Committee had since begun to recover such properties, especially the ones situated at some of the high brow areas in the Federal Capital Territory With the order from President Muhammadu Buhari that such properties should be sold to interested buyers, Sunday Telegraph’s investigation revealed that contrary to expectations, there has been no rush on the purchase of such property.
A source who spoke with Sunday Telegraph on the basis of anonymity said that the recovery committee’s mandate only stops at the recovery and does not extend to sales. “This may however be reason, why the committee may not be in the best position to ascertain the level of interest of people wanting to buy such property.
“To the best of my understanding, the Federal Government may set up another committee to see to the sales of the property, if truly the FG wants such properties to be sold.
There is no doubt that a couple of properties have been recovered by the Committee. “Some of the property are still subject of litigation and until the pending cases are concluded, it may be very difficult to take further action on such properties. “Let me also add that to purchase such property, there is always a procedure.
It is not like going to the market in the morning and coming back home in the evening with goods bought. Rather, this will take a procedure. “I am sure when the procedure is put in place, it will be made known to the public”, the source stated.
Aggrieved Immigration officers kick against promotion
…say majority of beneficiaries from Katsina, petition N/ Assembly
Promotion not a right -NIS
I’m yet to see the petition -Senator Sabi
A group of officers of the Nigeria Immigr a tion Service (NIS), has cried out over what they described as ethnic and religious biases exhibited in the recent senior officers’ promotion exercise carried out by the Service.
The aggrieved officers, drawn mainly from the Southern part of the country, accused the leadership of NIS of denying officers of other faiths their due rights to advance their careers. In a protest letter signed by Mr. Olubode Ahmed on behalf of the aggrieved officers, and made available to our correspondent, the officers alleged that the promotion exercise was marred by ethnic bias and discrimination along religious lines.
They accused the Comptroller- General of Immigration, Mohammed Babandede, and a serving Commissioner at Civil Defence, Fire, Immigration Board, an Assistant Comptroller-General (rtd) of conniving with the Acting Director of the board to tamper with the authentic list from the board to favour officers of the same ethnic and religious leaning (i.e. Fulanis and Muslims) at the expense of other officers from other ethnic and religious backgrounds.
The statement reads: “A close study of the promotion list showed that Muslim officers from the North, especially the North-West, were favoured above others from other regions. How does one explain that the first two pages of the list of officers promoted from the rank of Chief Superintendent of Immigration (CSI) to Assistant Comptroller of Immigration (ACI) contained the name of Muslim officers of Northern extraction?
“The question concerned citizens, are asking is; do they represent the most intelligent in the Service? Also, Katsina State alone produced five to six Comptrollers, while some southern states had none. Some officers have been on the rank of CSI, ACI and DCI for six to eight years and these Northern officers who were recently elevated in 2014 were again elevated at the detriment of their Southernofficers.
This amounts to insensitivity and the height of injustice and nepotism. Some officers of Southern extraction that were lucky to have been promoted alluded to the fact that their northern officer friends facilitated their elevation.”
Lamenting the perceived ill-treatment, one of the victims cried out: “For God’s sake, are some people superior to others in this country? No doubt, there is a grand attempt and plan to Islamise the service because by the time you are not promoted, you will be forced to accept Islam.
This is so sad in a democratic and liberal country like ours. It is also to ensure that a particular ethnic and religious group dominates too. They should know that there is a God watching everything we do here on earth”.
Another affected officer, who spoke to our correspondent on the condition of anonymity for fear of victimisation, claimed that the list released was selective, not the authentic promotion list approved by the board.
“We are not in any way questioning the Comptroller- General of Immigration, (CGI), for promoting his personal aides, but we are against a situation whereby a particular ethnic and religious group is seen as superior to others,” he said.
Hence, the aggrieved officers appealed to the Presidency, their representatives in the Senate and House of Representatives, Christian bodies and well-meaning Nigerians to come to their rescue and save them from their oppressors.
“We want fairness and justice. We want full investigation into this matter to right this wrong. This is grave injustice. Let the board speak. This is an imposed list. We will not watch a few individuals destroy our lives.
The same thing happened to Civil Defence and this was what informed their decision to embark on a protest last week. Babandede should stop interfering in the affairs of the board; he should learn to be fair and just. “It is universally believed that promotion comes from God Almighty and not from the North, South, East or West. The reverse seems to be the case with the recently released promotion by the NIS.
Of all the newly promoted Comptrollers, five are from Katsina alone, while other states have little or no representation at all. Of over 280 CSI promoted to ACI, over 250 are of northern/ Muslim extraction. Many juniors are promoted above their seniors.
This is reflected particularly in the promotion from CSI to ACI. The list did not reflect the state of origin and date of last promotion of the beneficiaries. This is a ploy to conceal the outright contradiction of the criteria guiding promotion of offi- cers clearly stated in Section 7 of the Public Service Rule.
“This abnormality should be looked into by the appropriate authorities so as to restore sanity in the service. Officers’ career and destiny should not be allowed to be thwarted.”
However, the NIS Public Relations Officer, Clement James, an Assistant Comptroller of Immigration, said promotion in the Service is based on merit and character, not a right. He added that, if any officer, however, has any complaint about the promotion exercise, such should be sent to the Board, and not to the Senate or House of Representatives Committee on Interior.
According to James, sending a petition to the National Assembly amounts to insubordination to laid down procedure, adding, however, that he was yet to see a copy of the petition.
He said the CG is doing everything possible to ensure equity and fair play in the service Efforts to get official response from the Committees on Interior in the two chambers of the National Assembly proved abortive as the officials could not be reached as at press time. Senate Spokesman, Aliu Sabi, said he was yet to see the petition and would not comment on it.
CAN’s good image was rubbished under Oritsejafor –Osu
The Director of Social Communications in the Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, Monsignor Gabriel Osu, has showered encomium on the current leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), saying that the Pastor Samson Ayokunle- led team has brought the apex Christian body back to the path of respectability.
Osu, who spoke exclusively to Sunday Telegraph, explained that the Catholic Church was not too happy with the unhealthy interference of the Presidency during the tenure of Goodluck Jonathan in the affairs of CAN under Papa Ayo Oritsejafor.
“The good image of CAN was rubbished under Oritsejafor,” he said. Consequently, he said, the Catholic Church, which is known for speaking the truth to authority, pulled out of the religious body for about five years.
“The Church is returning because CAN appears to be better organised under its new leadership. The body is getting back its age-long respectability as a rallying point of Christians,” Osu explained. But in a quick response, the former CAN president told Sunday Telegraph that the Secretary General of the Catholic Church had confirmed to him that no such statement was made.
“The President of the Catholic Church didn’t give any directive. So who could have made that kind of comment because it is going to tear the church apart. “With what is happening now, everybody would have to be careful and verify things. I think that the best thing you should do is also to verify from the President of the Catholic Church.
The President General is here and the Secretary General is also here. “Thank God you are a journalist; you know the implication of getting information that is not right.
You have the Secretary General of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria who is the administrator of every staff of that place. After him is the president of the CBCN and so, these two are the only people that can give you information and if anybody gives anything contrary, you must verify. “I have asked two of them, they said they never gave such instruction and neither did they tell anybody to do that because such will tear the church apart,” he added.
However, speaking fur ther on the absence of the Catholic Church from CAN, Osu said the church didn’t lose anything in the true sense of the word, rather, “Her absence rubbed off negatively on CAN. With its return, CAN will now be stronger and better.” “The implication of the church’s return to CAN is a more robust, better respected all-encompassing body.
The body of Christ will now speak in one united voice, upholding the body’s constitution -stronger and better CAN,” Osu added. However, in another twist, the Catholic Bishop Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) has down played claims that it had returned to CAN. CAN had informed Nigerians in a statement that the CBCN was back to its national body, after five years of withdrawal.
The statement signed by Adebayo Oladeji, the Media Assistant to the CAN President, attributed the return to efforts made by the association leadership to unite the various blocks of the association.
“Their return was one of the best things that have been happening since I was given the mandate to become the President,” the statement said, quoting CAN’s President, Samson Ayokunle.
But in an exclusive interview with reporters during the week, the CBCN President, Ignatius Kaigama, said although negotiations were on-going for the expected return, the CBCN was yet to take a final decision about re-joining the umbrella body. “We want to dialogue and conclude some issues of the constitution. We are still talking, we are still negotiating.
We are still reexamining how things have been, so that when we return, our return will be total and complete. So the statement you saw did not emanate from the Catholic Church, although we are working with CAN at the state levels.
“When we are through with our dialogue and negotiations with the Christian Association of Nigeria and we are mutually satisfied, we as the Catholic Bishops Conference, will issue a statement to that effect,” said Kaigama, who is also the Catholic Archbishop of Jos.
However, in an effort to clear the issue, CAN President, Samson Ayokunle, explained that his media aide interpreted the decision of the CBCN to attend the Constitution Review and the Executive Council meetings organised by CAN, to mean that the Catholic Bishops had returned to the association.
“Well it’s not a full return. We have been having meetings. They attended our constitution review meeting and the following day, they had a full representation at our Executive Council meeting.
That was what my media man interpreted to mean that they had returned. “But we have been having improvements in our negotiations. They even invited me last Sunday for a programme. Such things were not done before.
“But I have just received a mail from them saying that they would like the constitution review completed before they return. So their full return depends on when we complete our constitution review,” Ayokunle said.
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