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Friday, May 24, 2024

Blasphemy: APC campaign DG, Lalong apologises to Catholic Church

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Governor Simon Bako Lalong of Plateau State and the Director-General of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Campaign for the 2023 general elections, has apologized to the Catholic Church over his ‘blasphemous’ remarks about the Holy Father, Pope Francis.

  1. Lalong had earlier mocked the Church’s protest against his appointment as the DG of APC campaign, saying he had not been told by the pope to step down from the position yet.

His comment had angered the church and there were calls for his suspension from the body of Christ (Church).

He has, however, tendered an unreserved apology to the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN).

Appealing for forgiveness and understanding from the Catholic Church through the Bishops’ conference, the governor admitted that it was an error on his part to have linked the Catholic Pontiff with Nigeria’s politics.

His letter to the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) President titled, “Letter of Apology”, dated 12th August, 2022,  assured the church of his continuous commitment to its faith, promising to continue to uphold the banner of the Christian faith in public life.

According to Governor Lalong, “I have followed with some shock and deep regret the reactions that have trailed my appointment as the Director-General of the Campaign Council for the Presidential Candidates of our Party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, Ahmed Bola Tinubu and Ibrahim Shettima.”

He further stated that the appointment, understandably was received with mixed reactions across the Christian community, who genuinely feel aggrieved by the decision of the party to settle for a Muslim-Muslim ticket.

He added that while many people supported his appointment and saw it as a way of remaining within the system to fight for their own interests, others were sad on the grounds that their faith had been insulted and denigrated.

The Plateau State Governor said that in all of this, his political opponents turned the issue into a weapon, spreading rumours and questioning his Catholic membership  and his integrity as a Papal Knight.

He explained further that granted interviews to justify why he believed that the appointment did not in any way undermine his commitment to the Catholic Church, and that while defending himself, he made reference to his credentials as a Catholic and a Papal Knight.

According to him, he now realised that it was an error on his part and has caused some level of concern and even embarrassment to many, especially the members of the family of Papal Knights to which he belongs. He stressed that he now understood that he might have overreached himself in the course of trying to defend his personal decision in accepting the appointment and thus, the reference to the holy father was not intended as an act of disrespect to his exalted and revered office.

According to Governor Lalong, “Your Grace, by this written letter, I wish to tender my unreserved apologies and ask for their understanding and forgiveness from my brothers in the Catholic faith and, through you, the entire members of the Bishops’ Conference, our Fathers and our Leaders.”

Governor Lalong added that his commitment to the Catholic faith to which he belongs remained unreserved and undiluted.

Find the letter below…

 

 

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