Catholic Archbishop of Jos, Plateau State, Dr. Matthew Audu, has told Governor Simon Lalong that the apology he tendered to the Church has been accepted.
“Your apology is accepted. The President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) has already accepted your apology, and so it goes for all of us,” Audu said at the opening of the 19th General Assembly of the Catholic Archdiocese of Jos, yesterday.
Theme of the General Assembly held at St. Louis Parish, Jos, is ‘The Eucharist: Our Strength Towards a Better Nigeria’.
According to the cleric, since the Church encourages its members to go into politics, the intention is to work at making a difference in politics, in line with the mandate of the Church.
While assuring the governor that the Church will neither disgrace him nor allow him to fail, Audu asked him to advise the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) on the need for unity, national integration and carrying all segments of the country along, which is the major concern expressed by Christians on the choice of it presidential candidate and the running mate.
In the same vien, Lalong, at the event, has 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.
According to a statement, yesterday, by the Director of Press and Public Affairs to the Governor, Dr. Makut Macham, the Plateau helmsman spoke on the importance of the Eucharist in his life, adding that he continues to draw strength and inspiration from his relationship with God, as well as the teaching he has received from the Church since childhood.
Lalong, therefore, said the events of the past week relating to his controversial utterance, should not be used to judge his love, respect and loyalty to the Church, which strongly teaches forgiveness, tolerance, compassion and repentance.
He said: “When there is unity, love and continuity, we can do better and greater things for the Lord. May I appeal to my colleagues, my brothers and sisters in politics to take a cue from the example of the Catholic Church by closing ranks and seeing us as God’s workers. That way, we can see Plateau 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 root as a Catholic shaped his thinking and enabled him to see governance as a duty to serve the people, irrespective of their differences and affiliations.
Love and justice, he said, are his principal considerations at all times when decisions need to be taken, particularly difficult ones.