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Nairobi’ Strathmore University students, visiting Rome, discuss ethics



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The Director of Italy’s Enel Foundation, Dr Carlo Papa, says one of Africa’s biggest challenges, more than corruption, is the ‘brain drain.’ He was addressing a roundtable discussion of 70 students from Kenya’s Strathmore University who were in Rome on a study tour.

Paul Samasumo – Vatican City

“I have lived now 27 years in seven different countries from Russia to California, trust me, corruption is not the main problem of Africa. Brain drain is the problem. Corruption maybe is just a by-problem,” said Dr Papa.

Dr Papa, Director of Italy’s Enel Foundation, highlighted human capital flight (brain drain) because of its adverse impact on most developing countries notwithstanding the personal advantages that accrue to individuals who emigrate.

Ethics and Institutions

Dr Papa was giving a keynote address at a roundtable discussion with 70 law students of Kenya’ Strathmore University.

Kenya’s future lawyers, on a study tour, were all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed during the event held at Rome’s Pontifical University of the Holy Cross (La Pontificia Università della Santa Croce). The theme of the discussion was “Ethics and institutions, what prospects?”

Dr Papa is actively involved in international think-tank activities. He is also a member of Harambee Africa International, the organisers of the roundtable discussion and knowledge sharing held with the Strathmore students. Harambe Africa International is an NGO inspired by St. Josemaría Escrivá.

Corruption has no skin colour or geography

“Corruption doesn’t have a skin colour or geography… the world is similar everywhere.  Africa is just another part of the world like anywhere else. Most people looking at Africa, today, are not asking the right questions, at least not from the point of view of my sector (Energy),” said Dr Papa.

Africa’s leaders must put public money to good use

Louisa Ochilo, a Strathmore university student, told Vatican News, that if The Powers That Be (TPTB) put public funds to good use, some of Africa’s finest would choose to stay.

“It is true that a lot of Africans choose to live abroad, but the problem, I still think, is corruption because you can’t work for a system that is going against you. As much as you may have all the ideas, all the innovations, all the inventions, if the system is not working with you, then you would rather go to a place where the system will work with you. So, once we get rid of the selfishness and corruption, and we are willing to put public money to good use then the people who keep leaving will want to stay and build the country,” said Louisa.

Clear thinking and hard work

Dr Papa further encouraged the visiting students to embrace hard work, clear thinking and aspire for excellence.

“Whatever lawyer you want to be –good, clear thinking and hard work!” He emphasised,” adding, “The point of applying ethics starts with preparing yourself to be a good lawyer. Even if you are the most ethical person in the world, if you have zero preparation, your statements will have zero impact,” the Enel Foundation Director exhorted the students.

Asked about the importance of ethics in the law profession, Victor Ndambuki Nzioki, also a student at Strathmore, said that, “Ethics should follow the natural precepts of justice. In every action we do as lawyers, professional ethics is demanded,” Victor said.

Answering a question on perceptions that lawyers in Africa seem preoccupied with advancing their personal financial situations and careers at the expense of the ideals of truth and justice, Louisa and Victor were categorical: Kenyan lawyers, as well as those elsewhere on the African continent, should shun corruption and provide services as prescribed by the Advocates (Remuneration) Act.

Many countries have minimum charges that an Advocate may charge for legal services.

Louisa and Victor also said Africa’s lawyers must be seen to be doing more Pro Bono work.

Pro Bono services involve doing legal work for the public good or without charge to the client.

Listen to Louisa and Victor speaking to Vatican News in Rome (7′ 09″)


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Killing of Christians: Buhari lied to Trump – CAN fumes



Killing of Christians: Buhari lied to Trump - CAN fumes

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has reacted to President Muhammadu Buhari’s revelation of his conversation with United States President, Donald Trump, on the massacre of Christians in Nigeria, saying President Buhari was economical with the truth.

President Buhari had on Tuesday, revealed that at the heat of the bloody clashes between herdsmen and farmers in Nigeria, the United States President, Donald Trump, unequivocally accused him of killing Christians.

Buhari said these in his closing remarks at the two-day ministerial performance review retreat held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday.

At a point, the President digressed from his prepared speech and narrated his encounter with Trump on the bloody clashes.

He said he managed to explain to the American leader that the clashes were not about ethnicity or religion.

He said, “I believe I was about the only African among the less developed countries the President of United States invited.

“When I was in his office, only myself and himself, only God is my witness, he looked at me in the face, and asked, ‘Why are you killing Christians?’

“I wonder, if you were the person, how you will react. I hope what I was feeling inside did not betray my emotion, so I told him that the problem between the cattle rearers and farmers, I know is older than me not to talk of him. I think I am a couple of years older than him.

“With climate change and population growth and the culture of the cattle rearers, if you have 50 cows and they eat grass, any root, to your water point, then they will follow it. It doesn’t matter whose farm it is.

“The First Republic set of leadership was the most responsible leadership we ever had. I asked the Minister of Agriculture to get a gazette of the early 60s which delineated the cattle route where they used meager resources then to put earth dams, wind mills even sanitary department.

“So, any cattle rearers that allowed his cattle to go to somebody’s farm would be arrested, taken before the court. The farmer would be called to submit his bill and if he couldn’t pay, the cattle would be sold, but subsequent leaders, the VVIPs (very important persons) encroached on the cattle routes. They took over the cattle rearing areas.

“So, I tried and explained to him (Trump) that this has got nothing to do with ethnicity or religion. It is a cultural thing.”

However, CAN’s Vice President and Chairman of the association in Kaduna State, John Hayab, was not impressed with Buhari’s submission, saying “Buhari and his government will never stop from amusing us with their tales by moonlight because what is happening in Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina, Birnin Gwari, Southern Kaduna, Taraba, Plateau and others cannot be described as a cultural thing.

He told Punch correspondent in an interview: “President Buhari’s weak story about his conversation with President Donald Trump further confirms why his government does not care about the killings in our country by calling them cultural things.

“Just this (Tuesday) evening, I received a report from the Kaduna Baptist Conference President about the number of their members that have been killed by bandits in Kaduna State from January 2020 to date to be 105 and our President will call it a cultural thing? All we can say is may God save our Nigeria.”

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Nuncio tasks clergy, laity on good stewardship



Nuncio tasks clergy, laity on good stewardship

The Apostolic Nuncio to Nigeria, Archbishop Antonio Guido Filipazzi, has urged the clergy, religious and lay faithful to be trustworthy, transparent, selfless and generous stewards in the discharge of their duties in the Church, following the way of Jesus.

Archbishop Filipazzi made the call during the opening ceremony of the maiden General Assembly of the Abuja Archdiocese, which was held on at Our Lady Queen of Nigeria Pro-Cathedral, Friday September 4.

The General Assembly, with the theme “Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja: Together in Evangelization,” saw Bishops, priests, religious men and women, and the laity gathered together to discuss means of strengthening the faith of God’s people amid the ongoing Covid-19 health crisis.

Addressing participants, Archbishop Filipazzi said that “an administrator is neither a master nor a slave who cannot decide anything, but one who is given a responsibility by the Master.” In this light, the faithful are called to be “true administrators of divine mystery” entrusted to them by Our Lord, according to their varying roles in the Church.

The Apostolic Nuncio also said “differences must not lead to division,” as everyone, though different, must strive for unity since there is no room for divisions in the body of Christ.

Archbishop Filipazzi, speaking on the upsurge in violence in northern Nigeria in a Vatican News interview on 29 August, had also called for shunning divisions along religious and ethnic lines.

Rather, he appealed for “general respect of the law and general intervention of the government” in the violent attacks which have claimed many lives and caused massive material damage.

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Assumpta CMO raises fund to roof “St Joseph’s Hall of Faith”



Assumpta CMO raises fund to roof “St. Joseph's Hall of Faith”

The Catholic Men Organization, CMO, Maria Assumpta Cathedral Parish Owerri, joined their counterparts in the Archdiocese to celebrate Father’s Day on Sunday, August 30.

The celebration earlier scheduled for May 10 this year was differed because of Covid-19 pandemic.

The occasion began with a Pontifical Mass presided over by His Grace, Most Rev. Anthony Obinna, Archbishop of Owerri cum Parish Priest of the Cathedral Parish.

In his homily, Archbishop Obinna called on Christians to live a life of witnessing to Christ at all times. He said that the zeal to preach the word of God is like a fire that burns inside the heart of a Christian and will not abate until one bears witness to Christ. This, he said, must be done in the course of our daily lives, in our places of work, in our families, among our friends, through living life that is Christ-like.

He congratulated the Christian fathers on the occasion and appealed for support to enable them complete their building project in no distant time. His Grace also appreciated the performance of the CMO choir during the Mass.

The theme for the parish celebration is: “Catholic Men As Spiritual Heads of the Domestic Church: Implications in the Family.”

The parish CMO used the celebration to raise fund for the roofing of their building project named: “St. Joseph’s Hall of Faith.”

In his brief remark at the occasion, the Parish CMO President, Arc. Anthony Emeka Ozoude said, “We have been able to complete the block work,” adding that, “the task before us now is to put a roof on the building.”

He therefore made a passionate appeal for generous donations from members and well wishers, assuring donors that every kobo donated will be prudently applied for the purpose.

Arc. Ozoude recalled that early this year, the parish CMO executive identified a three-prong programme of focus, namely: Membership revalidation, Debt recovery and Fund raising for the roofing.

He advised members not to sit on the fence anymore as there is so much to gain spiritually, morally and even intellectually from participating in the CMO activities both at the parish, stations and prayer groups levels.

“The committed members who attend our programmes regularly have discovered this and have remained resolute in their participation,” he said.

Activities marking this year’s celebration included Retreat, visit to ailing members in their homes, thanksgiving Mass blessing of the mini altars for the 5 prayer groups of CMO etc.

Arc. Ozoude thanked in a special way, Archbishop Obinna, the Cathedral Administrator and priests working in the Cathedral for their support. He also commended the various stations and prayer groups for their cooperation.

The CMO president acknowledged the good work and sacrifice of the Planning Committee, headed by Dr. Uche Ukozor and thanked them for a job well done.

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