Pope Francis set to storm Abuja, releases shocking statement

By Amako Nneji April 19, 2016 16:51

Pope Francis set to storm Abuja, releases shocking statement

At the wake of the call for God’s divine intervention on the current economic crisis rocking Nigeria, the Catholic Pope, Francis Benedict, has on Tuesday, April 19, expressed readiness to visit Nigeria, the giant of Africa, adding that the county has great potentials that is yet to be untapped.

The pontiff of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, had earlier embarked on his tour of the African continent including certain violent regions, but overlooked Nigeria that has battled insurgency for almost a decade.

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The Pope who spoke through his representative in Africa, Augustine Kasujja, (Apostolic Nuncio) during the interactive session with journalists after the meeting of the 4th Standing Committee, in Abuja, stated that the efforts made by the previous government through former President, Goodluck Jonathan, to invite the Pope to Nigeria, proved abortive.

The call for Pope’s visit came at the heels of massive outcry for national healings and rebirth occasioned by fuel scarcity, the falling naira, unemployment, high rate of kidnapping and insecurity, which have bedeviled the current administration.

Speaking during the interactive session, Kasujja said: “There is the need for the pope to visit Nigeria as the giant of Africa. Jonathan went to Rome to visit the Pope during his tenure for the purpose of inviting him to Nigeria. Pope could not make it, because of his busy schedule.

“This time around, there is the need for him to come to Nigeria especially to see President Muhammadu Buhari. But I cannot predict the year he will honour the invitation. On My part I will still see him in Rome and bring the matter before his table.”

While answering questions on the leadership tussle that has polarized the northern Christians from their Southern counter-pact, over which region emerged as the President of Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, the Roman Catholic Cardinal Archbishop of Abuja John Onaiyekan, said that the Catholic Church can never be part of such nuisance, because it is against the Holy Scripture.

“The Roman catholic church can never be part of the clamor for zoning in the leadership of the association. It is against the Bible. We hereby distance ourselves from it. That was not the intention for the formation of CAN.”

Recall, that a Christian group, under the umbrella of the Christ’s Redeemers’ Union, CRU, had accused Buhari of trying to install one of his loyalists as the President of CAN.

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The group claimed that Buhari wants to replace the present president of the religious body, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, whose tenure expires in July 2016, with a candidate ‘ordained’ by the All Progressives Congress, APC, so as to avoid any opposition to his government from the Christian community.

Reacting to the allegation, Special Adviser to President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said the President had never been interested in the internal affairs of any organization, not even CAN.

Speaking earlier, the Pope’s Representative in Africa, on the title “The New Evangelization and its Challenges to the Church, Family of God in West Africa; Reconciliation, Development and Family Life”, called on Nigerians to seek for peace and reconciliation, adding that “Pentecostalism is the major problem of the Church.”

Those who attended the conference were the Archbishop of Jos, Most Rev. Ignatius Kaigama,  Archbishop of Bissau, Guinea, Most Nigeria Jose Camnate, Bishop of Otukpo, Michael Apochi, member, Bishop of Sokoto, Most Rev Mathew Kukah.

Others include, Bishop of Umuahia, Most RevLucius Ugorji, Archbishop of Lome, Togo, Most Rev Denis Amuzu Dzakpah, Bishop of Katiola, Cote d’Ivoire, Most Rev, Ignace Bessi Dogbo, Archbishop of Gagnoa, Most Rev. Joseph Ake, among others.

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