Tinubu’s campaign DG: Catholic Archbishop of Jos has accepted my apology – Lalong
The Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, says the Catholic Archbishop of Jos, Most Rev Matthew Ishaya Audu has accepted his apology for his comment on Pope Francis.
Lalong, who was recently appointed Director-General of APC Presidential Campaign Council, had recently said that even the Pope would not object to his appointment for the APC presidential campaign flying a Muslim-Muslim ticket.
Giving the apology at the opening mass for the 2022 General Assembly of the Catholic Archdiocese of Jos on Tuesday in Jos, the governor said that his comment was misconstrued to mean disrespect to the Pope.
In a Tuesday statement signed by his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Dr. Makut Macham, the governor said the Catholic Archbishop accepted his apology in his homily at the general assembly.
The statement quoted the archbishop as saying, “Your apology is accepted. As you know from our President of the Catholic Bishops Conference, has already accepted your apology and so it goes for all of us. We have accepted it and let be sincere”.
The statement further quoted the cleric as saying that since the church encourages its members to go into politics, the intention is for him to work at making a difference in his political endeavour in line with the mandate of the church to its members who are in politics.
While assuring him that the church will not disgrace him or allow him to fail, Archbishop Audu asked the governor to advise the ruling party on the need for unity, national integration and carrying all segments of the country along which is the major concern being expressed by Christians on the Choice of the President and Vice Presidential Candidate
Speaking on the theme of the general assembly, ‘‘The Eucharist our Strength Towards a Better Nigeria” reaffirmed his loyalty, commitment and faith in the Catholic Church as well as the desire to always be a good ambassador wherever he finds himself.
Lalong who spoke about the importance of the Eucharist in his life said he continues to draw strength and inspiration from his relationship with God, as well as the teaching and upbringing he has received from the Catholic Church since childhood.
He therefore said the events of the past week relating to his utterance which generated controversy should not be used to judge his love, respect and loyalty to the Catholic Church which strongly teaches forgiveness, tolerance, compassion and repentance.
He said “When there is unity, love and continuity, we can do better and greater than things for the Lord. May I appeal to my colleagues, my brothers and sisters in politics, to take a cue from the example displayed by the Catholic Church by closing ranks and seeing ourselves as God’s workers. That way, we can see Plateau State and Nigeria as God’s field and God’s building where we can all play our roles in fulfilling His purpose”.
Lalong also said his roots as a Catholic have shaped his thinking and enabled him to see governance as a duty to serve the people irrespective of their differences and affiliations. Love, justice, fairness and equity he said are his principal considerations at all times when decisions need to be taken, particularly difficult ones.
“We need this more than before in view of our elections coming up in 2023. I urge the Church to continue to pray for the success of the elections and also encourage the people to participate actively and peacefully. Staying away will only give room for the emergence of bad leaders that may not be suitable for the challenges of nation-building”.
He expressed the appreciation of his Government to the Archbishop and entire Catholic ArchDiocese of Jos for not only partnering with Government in several areas, but also offering encouragement, advice and prayers at all times.