By OLA AJAYI, Ibadan
The spiritual leader of Catholics across the world, Pope Francis has called on all Nigerians irrespective of their faith to shun anything that could lead to disintegration. He urged all Nigerians to embrace unity and strengthen the cord of divine love that binds them together.
The Pope made the call yesterday in Ibadan at the formal installation of the new Catholic Archbishop of Ibadan Archdiocese, His Grace Gabriel Leke Abegunrin.
Pope Francis, who spoke through the Vatican Representative in Nigeria, Papal Nuncio Augustine Kasujja, said, “We Bishops should understand that consecrated people are not just material, but are gifts that enrich the dioceses.
With efforts of cooperation and constructive dialogue at all levels, in this era of New Evangelization, with your assiduous pastoral care, the light of faith will surely continue to shine even brighter in Nigeria. All the faithful should remain joyfully united with their new Pastor.”
The colourful event attracted thousands of Catholic faithful across the country.
Speaking about the new Archbishop who replaced the respected Alaba Job, the Pope said, “The Vatican is convinced that, endowed with the necessary qualities and highly experienced in pastoral matters, Bishop Abegunrin is worthy to take over the care of the Metropolitan Archdiocese. Ibadan is a prestigious and historical centre of education and formation. It is here that you find the first Federal University in Nigeria. Ibadan has also a large number of different religious congregations.”
Archbishop Abegunrin who was formerly in Osun State said in his speech that he would remain faithful to God and the church.
Describing his installation as the Archbishop of Ibadan Archdiocese as a new challenge, he promised to continue to hold tenaciously his personal philosophy which is “Love conquers all things”.