Plateau State governor and Director-General of the All Progressives Congress Campaign Council, Simon Lalong, has tendered an apology letter to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria over the comment he made about Pope Francis.
Recall that Lalong had in response to those attacking his recent appointment as the APC Campaign Council DG, said the Pope has not disapproved his support for a Muslim-Muslim ticket.
The comment generated serious criticism against the governor who is a Catholic member and a Papal Knight. Some even called for his suspension as a member of the church.
However, in a letter to the CBCN president titled, “Letter of Apology” and dated August 12, 2022, Lalong admitted he made a mistake and begged for forgiveness and understanding from the church.
The governor’s letter read in part, “While many people commended me for the appointment and saw it as a way of remaining within the system to fight for our own interests, others cast aspersions on it on the grounds that our faith had been insulted and denigrated.
“In the course of this, many of my opponents turned the issue into a political weapon with some spreading rumours and questioning the integrity of my credentials as a Catholic and a papal knight.
“During the week, in the course of defending myself, I had cause to make reference to my credentials as a Catholic and a Papal Knight. In the process, I made reference to the Holy Father.
“I now realise that this was an error on my part and has caused some level of concern and even embarrassment to many, especially the Members of the family of Papal Knights to which I belong.
“I now understand that I may have overreached myself in the course of trying to defend my personal decision in accepting this appointment and thus, the reference to the holy father was not intended as an act of disrespect to his exalted and revered office.
“Your Grace, by this written letter, I wish to tender my unreserved apologies and ask for their understanding and forgiveness from my brothers in the Catholic faith and, through you, the entire members of the bishops conference, our fathers and our leaders.”