- Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau state have been forgiven for making reference to the Pope while talking about politics
- The governor had made the comment while justifying the APC's Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket ahead of the 2023 polls
- The Archbishop of Jos, however, cautioned the governor to think thoroughly before making certain decisions in future
Jos - The Catholic Archbishop of Jos Archdiocese, Most Rev. Matthew Ishaya Audu, has said he has accepted the apology tendered to the Catholic Church by Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau state on his reference to the Pope.
The governor made the controversial comment while talking about his appointment as the Director General of the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential campaign ahead of the 2023 general elections.
The comment angered members of the Catholic faith who berated the governor for dragging the name of the Pope into Nigerian politics.
Daily Trust newspaper quoted Archbishop Audu as saying:
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“Your apology is accepted. As you know, 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’s be sincere.
“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.”
In his remarks, Lalong 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.
Archbishop cautions Lalong over future political decisions
Daily Post newspaper reports that Archbishop Audu also advised Governor Lalong to always consult widely before taking any critical decision.
Audu gave the advice in his sermon at the opening mass for the 2022 General Assembly of the archdiocese on Tuesday, August 16, in Jos, the Plateau state capital.
How Catholic group forced Lalong to apologise over controversial comment
“Governor Simon Bako Lalong must 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.”
2023: Christian group asks Lalong to reject APC appointment
Muslim-Muslim: "I made an error, please forgive me" - APC campaign DG Lalong writes Pope, Catholic bishops
Earlier, the Concerned Christians Forum of Northern Nigeria 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.