Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau has called on religious leaders to shun rhetoric that promotes hate, division, and distrust among the people.
Lalong made the call in Jos during the installation and reception for the presentation of Pallium, for the new Catholic Archbishop of Jos, Most. Revd. Mathew Ishaya Audu held at the Divine Mercy Cathedral, Lamingo.
The governor, while congratulating the archbishop, said that every religious leader has the responsibility to speak the truth to power and the public.
He said, within a year of assuming duties, the archbishop has demonstrated that his calling was divine.
Lalong said the archbishop had given the Laity, religious and clergy, the needed leadership to enable them to carry out their duties in the service of God and humanity, without any hindrance.
“He has made personal sacrifices in ensuring that all challenges are addressed to make the propagation of the gospel of Christ seamless.
“You should guard against politicians and other interests that are always desperate to exploit the pulpit for their selfish reasons,” the governor admonished.
He said that the people looked up to religious leaders for guidance and motivation that guaranteed a united, equitable, and prosperous society where the rights and privileges of all are guaranteed.
Also speaking, the Apostolic Nuncio to Nigeria, Most. Revd. Anthonio Fillipazzi said the presentation of the Pallium to the archbishop was a significant event.
He noted that it confers authority on the archbishop to discharge his duties in line with the doctrine of the Catholic Church.
Fillipazzi called for prayers for Archbishop Audu, as he shepherds the church within his jurisdiction even in difficult times.
The Gbong Gwom Jos, Da Jacob Gyang Buba, also congratulated the archbishop and promised the support of the traditional institution for the church and the government.
Archbishop Audu on his part, thanked God for bestowing on him, the assignment which he intended 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 also assured of his intention to continue to work for interfaith harmony, tolerance, and forgiveness in the state and elsewhere, just as his predecessor, Archbishop Ignatius Ayau Kaigama had done.
Archbishop Audu also marked his 20th anniversary as Bishop