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Pope Francis skips Easter service to preserve his health

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Pope Francis pulled out of a Good Friday service at the last minute, with the Vatican saying this was done “to preserve his health” ahead of major Easter engagements over the weekend.

Francis’ agenda for the next two days consists of an Easter vigil service on Saturday evening, an Easter mass, and the delivery of his twice-annual Urbi et Orbi (to the city and world) message and blessing on Sunday morning.

The Pope was billed to preside over the procession that marks the beginning of the Easter weekend. Just as the event was about to begin however, the Vatican announced that Francis was following the event from his home at the Vatican.

“To conserve his health in view of the vigil tomorrow and Mass on Easter Sunday, Pope Francis will follow the Via Crucis at the Colosseum this evening from the Casa Santa Marta,” the statement reads.

Officials, however, said the pontiff had presided over the Celebration of the Passion of the Lord at St Peter’s Basilica earlier in the day.

The 87-year-old has been battling ill health for months. In recent weeks, he has had aides read out several of his speeches.

Francis also missed the procession in 2023 — for the first time since becoming pope in 2013. At the time, it had only been about a week since he had been released from hospital after undergoing treatment for bronchitis.

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FG approves Thursday as additional public holiday for Eid-el-Fitr

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The federal government has approved Thursday April 11 as an additional public holiday for this year’s Eid-el-Fitr celebration.

Aishetu Ndayako, permanent secretary in the ministry of interior, disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday.

On April 7, the federal government had declared Tuesday and Wednesday as public holidays for the Muslim celebration.

Shortly afterwards however, Muhammad Abubakar, Sultan of Sokoto, declared Wednesday as the first day of Shawwal 1445AH, adding that there was no sighting of the new moon on Monday.

In the new statement, Ndayako quoted Tunji Ojo, minister of interior, as congratulating the “Muslim Ummah for a successful completion of a month of spiritual rejuvenation”, while “reiterating President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s (GCFR) firm commitment to providing a safe and prosperous Nigeria for all to thrive”.

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FG declares Tuesday, Wednesday as public holidays for Eid-el-Fitr celebration

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The federal government has declared Tuesday and Wednesday as public holidays to mark this year’s Eid-el-Fitr celebration.

Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, minister of interior, announced the public holidays in a congratulatory message to the Islamic faithful in the country.

Eid-el-Fitr festival is celebrated by Muslims worldwide after observing Ramadan fasting for 29 or 30 days.

The minister congratulated all Muslims in the country for the successful completion of the fasting in the holy month of Ramadan.

He called on faithful to imbibe and practice the virtues of kindness, love, tolerance, peace, good neighbourliness, and compassion as exemplified by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him).

“The Minister wishes all Muslim Ummah a happy Eid-el-Fitr celebration and prays that the peace, blessings and favour of Allah be with everyone and our Great Nation,” the statement reads.

Tunji-Ojo urged Nigerians to continue in the spirit of unity to improve and achieve peace and oneness in the country.

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Pastor Tobi Adegboyega kicks amid rumour of affair with Super Eagles player’s wife

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Tobi Adegboyega, the founder of Salvation Proclaimers Anointed Church (SPAC Nation), has reacted amid rumours claiming he had an affair with Ezinne, wife of Super Eagles player Olanrewaju Kayode.

There were rumours that Yetunde Burstline, an associate of Daddy Freeze, the media personality, introduced Ezinne to Adegboyega.

The reports alleged that Adegboyega “engaged in sexual affairs with Ezinne, who frequently attended orgies, leaving home for extended periods”.

It also claimed she “stole two Mercedes SUVs from him to finance the lavish lifestyle of Adegboyega and his associates”.

But reacting via his Instagram page on Sunday, the UK-based Nigerian pastor shared old footage of the ordination of young leaders at his church.

Adegboyega said he “was too busy to listen to lies” and “focused on raising people from difficult backgrounds to greatness”.

The cleric also said he “was unbothered by every other news about me”.

“You know the rules, it’s Sunday giving. Tag the person you want winning today on all posts this Sunday morning,” he wrote.

“This was 6 years ago today (apart from the last slide). We ordained the next young generation of @thefxmily_.

“Today we ordain the next generation. We are bigger, we have evolved, are more impactful and the young people are doing greater. Watch the live service (1 pm on @thefxmily_ YouTube), you will be inspired.

“I focus on raising young people from difficult backgrounds into greatness, that’s the news. Every other news is just desperate oldies looking to take where they have not sown. I believe in the resurrection.”

In a video shared via his Instagram story. the cleric said “If you are stressed look at me, no stress, no problems. Church this morning is going to be an awesome day of ordination. Anybody can say what they like”.

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