- Governor Simon Lalong's mention of the Pope in accepting to serve as the DG of APC in 2023 has angered Catholics in Nigeria
- The Catholic faithful blamed Lalong for dragging the Holy Father into the murky politics of Nigeria and the 2023 election
- They also called for his immediate suspension from the Church, adding that his comment is blasphemous
FCT, Abuja - Members of the Roman Catholic Church on Thursday, August 11 frowned at the reference by Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau to the Pope while defending his acceptance to serve as the Director-General of All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential campaign council for 2023.
Lalong has been berated by several Christian groups for accepting the position because of the APC's Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket.
The governor had said as a Catholic with the highest Papal award of Knight of Saint Gregory, the Pope had not told him what he was doing is wrong.
The president of the Concerned Catholics in Nigeria, Dr. Ben Amodu, during a press conference in Abuja, insisted that Lalong must tender an apology for his remarks.
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The Punch newspaper quoted Amodu as saying:
“Governor Simon Bako Lalong must consequently tender an unreserved apology to the Catholic community in Nigeria for dragging the Pope into the murky waters of Nigerian politics. It remains unjustifiable and as much condemnable.
“The leadership of the Catholic Community in Nigeria must ensure that Governor Simon Bako Lalong is made to atone for his blasphemous statement about the Pope and the Catholic Church in public.”
Lalong will promote unity as APC DG - Plateau commissioner
Meanwhile, Plateau state commissioner for land and town planning, Yakubu Dati has said Lalong will use his new position to promote unity in diversity.
Vanguard newspaper reports that Dati also said Lalong is rallying critical stakeholders from every part of the country to work together in pursuit of harmony, peace and togetherness ahead of the 2023 elections.
2023: Christian group asks Lalong to reject APC appointment
Recall that the Concerned Christians Forum of Northern Nigeria recently urged Governor Lalong to reject his appointment by the APC.
The group led by Apostle Michael Atululwu, who spoke at a press conference in Abuja, said Lalong's acceptance of the position is like planning to dine with evil ones.
The group said it received the news with every sense of betrayal, utter dismay and grave sadness.
APC appoints Festus Keyamo as spokesman for Tinubu campaign team
In a related development, the APC has announced Festus Keyamo as the interim spokesman and Hannatu Musawa as the deputy spokesman of the Tinubu Presidential Campaign.
APC national chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, disclosed this to State House Correspondents on Wednesday, August 3.
Senator Adamu was at the villa to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari.