From Esther Akaa, Lafia
The deputy governor of Nasarawa State, Dr Emmanuel Akabe has lauded the Bishop of Lafia Diocese, Most Revd David Ajang for elevating Maria Assumpta Mission to the status of a Parish.
The Voice earlier reported that Bishop Ajang during his pastoral visit to the church on Sunday, raised the status of the mission to a parish after 10 years of its creation.
Akabe gave the commendation in an interview with The Voice at the reception organised to celebrate the 10th year anniversary of the church, held on Sunday in Lafia.
According to him, the parishioners of Maria Assumpta Catholic Church have worked hard through their commitment to the development of the church, thus deserved the gesture done them by the bishop.
“I want to thank His Lordship, Most Revd David Ajang for his doggedness and commitment to the development of Lafia Diocese. Let me not forget the efforts of the first bishop of Lafia Diocese, who is now the Archbishop of Jos Archdiocese, His Grace, Matthew Audu towards the development of our diocese.
“In the beginning, there were no buildings and no houses for priests but today our churches have grown. We thank God for his grace and for giving us followership,” Akabe said.
He called on the Christian community to give in their best to the growth and development of the church, as well for the spiritual growth of the people.
The deputy governor used the medium to call on the state of the people to vote for Governor Abdullahi Sule to enable them consolidate on the development strides of the present administration.
“We have the responsibility to vote during elections to bring in leaders that will lead our country and our state.We should therefore, look at the experiences and antecedents of those contesting elective positions and vote wisely.
“It is not a time to gamble but vote for those who have been tested and can be trusted. We are lucky in Nasarawa State to have a governor, who is a Muslim but has always said that if not for the Catholic Church, he won’t be where he is today.
“He gives all the respect to Christianity as a whole and his deputy, my humble self, who is a Catholic too and I believe we have been tried and tested,” he said.
He appealed to the people of the state to give them another chance to complete all the good things they have started for a more prosperous state.
In another interview, one of the parishioners of the church and Executive Secretary, Nasarawa State Emergency Management Agency (NASEMA), Barr Zachary Allumaga, said the elevation to a parish will help parishioners grow physically and spiritually.
He, assured that the new status of the parish will encourage and foster unity among the Christian community, calling on them to come closer to God, in order to gain eternal life.
On his part, the newly installed Parish Priest, Revd Fr James Adamu expressed appreciation to Bishop Ajang for the gesture, saying that with the elevation, the church was fully registered in the document of the Catholic church.
“It’s a sign of growth and development of the people of God in Maria Assumpta because for a period of 10 years we have been existing as a mission and today with the number of parishioners, we have and with their commitment, faith, dedication, sacrifices and haven met conditions of the diocese to become a parish, the Chief Shepherd of the Diocese, Most Revd David Ajang has elevated us to the status of a Parish and we are happy,” he said.
He said that although the church had faced a number of challenges, it was able to surmount them with the support and dedication of the Christian community and prayed God to reward each and everyone of them abundantly.