By Johnbisco Agbakwuru
ABUJA—PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has expressed excitement over the appointment of Nigerian born Bishop Peter Okpaleke as Cardinal Designate by Pope Francis.
President Buhari in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu on Wednesday in Abuja, said that the Cardinal-designate is ably qualified, adding that having him in that position will benefit the country
While expressing happiness
with the appointment of Bishop Okpaleke of Ekwulobia Diocese, Anambra State, as a Cardinal, the President noted that the Cardinal Designate has become the fourth Cardinal from Nigeria.
Others before him are Francis Arinze, Anthony Okogie and John Onaiyekan.
He is among the 21 new Cardinals Pope Francis announced on 29 May.
According to the statement, “President Buhari commended the Pope for finding a capable Nigerian in the person of Bishop Okpaleke to be one of the two nominees from the African continent and congratulated the Nigerian Christian Community on this choice, describing the Cardinal-designate as ably qualified, and that having him in that position will benefit the country.
“The President also commended the commitment of the Catholic Church to the unity, peace, and progress of the Nigerian state.
“He also highlighted the effort of the Church in combatting the COVID-19 pandemic as well as its support and commitment in favour of the poor and most vulnerable members of the society.”