NIGERIA BEGGAR BAPTIZED BY POPE

This is John Ogha, a Nigerian beggar who became a hero in Italy for having disarmed a thief with his bare hands . According to Italian news reports, John Ogah had been begging for spare change outside the Carrefour market in Rome’s Centocelle neighborhood when a masked thief, armed with a meat cleaver, tried to make off with 400 euros ($493) he had stolen from the cashiers. With nothing more than his bare hands, he confronted the thief, wrested the cleaver away and held him by the collar until police arrived . Ogah then disappeared, fearing he would be deported because he didn’t have his papers in order. But Rome police authorities sought to reward his courage and within a month had given him a coveted Italian residency permit that had been denied him when his asylum bid failed . Ogah said his dream was to be legally resident in Italy and have a job so he wouldn’t have to beg to support his child back home in Nigeria. Ogah had left Nigeria and, after a stay in Libya, set off for Italy on a migrant smuggler’s boat in May 2014 . “I don’t want to be a hero. I just want to be legal, work and have a dignified life in Italy.” Said John Oga . Yesterday, Pope Francis baptized him during the solemn pomp of one of the holiest nights in the Catholic liturgical calendar, Ogah chose as his baptismal name “Francesco.”

 

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