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OPINION: NOW THAT GOVERNOR LALONG OF PLATEAU STATE HAS APOLOGIZED - By Dan Manjang, anipr.

The illustration.

The Social Media space is a harbinger of sorts. It is a double edged sword likened to the sword of Damocles, depending on the issues at stake and depending on the mind deploying it. Mindset here is key.

Progressives mindsets deploy it to build but retrogressive minds find it a fertile ground to promote their stock in trade: falsehood, misrepresentation and above all, hatred, which as they believe, amounts to heroism. Our values and attitudes have since been lost while deploying the use of the social media space.

Just recently, pundits took a swipe on His Excellency, the Rt. Hon. (Dr.) Simon Bako Lalong, a Papal Knight of Saint Gregory the Great (KSGG) and by the grace of God, the indefatigable Chairman, Northern Governor’s Forum and recently, Director General, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu/Kashim Shettima Presidential Campaign Team.

What was his sin? He accepted to head this Campaign Team against the wide uproar and resistance of the composition of the Tinubu/Shettima combination as President and Vice President was a widely perceived as a deliberate attempt to shortchange Christians and Christianity thereby relegating it (Christianity) in the political life of the nation.

Although the rejection, criticism, fear, apprehension, anxiety, commendation and hullabaloo that greeted the Muslim Muslim ticket is quiet understandable going by the current state of the nation and the various attacks that have been visited on Christians by some criminals under the guise of religion, the matter has definitely been grabbed by people who are either not in APC nor sympathetic to it.

Even within the APC, Champions of Christians who worked for the emergence of Tinubu (knowing fully that he was a Muslim) as Presidential candidate against their fellow Christians including Pastors who also sought to be President, suddenly woke up from their slumber to be heros of Christianity organizing groups to kick against the seed they had planted, due to their selfish reasons.

It was in a bid to explain how he (Governor Lalong) emerged as Director General of Tinubu/Shettima Campaign Team and his acceptance that generated so much heat calling for his head, likened to the Barabas of yore.

Explanations and counter explanations were advanced by the Governor himself, aides and people that meant well to no avail, the peak of which culminated in a strongly worded letter addressed to the Governor and signed by Rt. Hon. Dame Dr Esther Uduehi, National President, Association of Papal Knights and Medalists in Nigeria (APKMN).

Governor Simon Bako Lalong having realised that his innocent reference to the Holy Father has angered many Catholics decided to step back and reengage.

In his character, tendered and personally signed a letter of unreserved apology addressed to Archbishop Luclus Iwejuru UGORJI, Archbishop of Owerri and President, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria, dated 12th August, 2022. That apology was widely circulated in the social media and is still trending.

Let me put it on record that this is not the first time that Governor Lalong has swallowed his words. This is the greatest mark of servant leadership and a great source of strength. We’ll done our leader.

There are great lessons to be learnt from your humble disposition.

Now that the Governor has tendered an unreserved apology I hereby submit as follows:

That pundits should temper justice with mercy by burying this matter and let us move forward.

That in brotherly love, the Association of Papal Knights and Medalists in Nigeria should find a place in their hearts to forgive the Governor as it is often said to err is human and to forgive is divine.

That the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria will wade into the matter both in Nigeria and in the Vatican.

That the entire body of Christ will see in Governor Lalong an uncommon leader and see in him a rallying point by constantly praying for him in his new assignment for the benefit of humanity and to the glory of God as ALL leadership is ordained by God, Romans 13:1-2.

Besides, the decisions by Nigerians to choose their leaders from the array of candidates and political parties is one that every eligible voter will make without intimidation or pressure. If some Christians think that Governor Lalong is wrong for accepting this role in a party he belongs and has done so much to build, the best they can do is to pray for him and allow God and posterity to judge him since he has conviction that his political decisions do not amount to sin against anyone or his creator.

 

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