From Teryima Ajijah, Jos
Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State has advocated for tolerance and religious harmony, as a means of ensuring peaceful co-existence, and security in Nigeria.
Governor Lalong made the appeal Thursday in Jos, while speaking at the installation and reception of the new Catholic Archbishop of Jos Archdiocese, Most Rev. Dr Mathew Ishaya Audu, held at the Divine Mercy Cathedral, Lamingo – Jos, Plateau State.
Lalong said the archbishop has given the Laity, religious and clergy the needed leadership to enable them carry out their duties in the service of God and humanity without any hindrance. He said the archbishop has made personal sacrifices to ensuring that all challenges are addressed to make the propagation of the gospel of Christ seamless.
The Governor said, “while it is the duty of religious leaders to speak the truth to power and the public, you should also beware of, and shun rhetorics that promote hate, division, and distrust among the people. You should guard against politicians and other interests that are always desperate to exploit the pulpit for their selfish reasons. The people look up to you for guidance and motivation that guarantees a united, equitable and prosperous society where the rights and privileges of all are guaranteed. Be assured that my administration will continue to work with you as we build a better Plateau and Nigeria of our dream.”
Apostolic Nuncio to Nigeria, Most Rev. Anthonio Fillipazzi who performed the ceremony, also presented the Pallium to the new archbishop, said it is a significant event that confers authority on him to discharge his duties in line with the doctrine of the Catholic Church. He called for prayers for Archbishop Audu, as he shepherds the Church within his jurisdiction even in difficult times.
The governor who congratulated the new Archbishop of Jos, said within one year of assuming duties, archbishop Audu has demonstrated that his calling is divine and that he is totally committed to ensuring that the will of God is implemented in Plateau State and the world at large, through the Church.
Similarly, Gbong Gwom Jos, Da Jacob Gyang Buba also congratulated the archbishop, promised the support of the traditional institution for the Church and the government.
Archbishop Audu who was full of appreciation, thanked God for bestowing on him this assignment which he intends to do his best to discharge. He thanked His Holiness Pope Francis for the installation and called for unity in the body of Christ in Plateau State, Nigeria and the world at large.
He assured of his intention to continue to work for inter-faith harmony, tolerance and forgiveness in Plateau State as his predecessor, Archbishop Ignatius Ayau Kaigama, who is now the Archbishop of Abuja diocese had done.