President Goodluck Jonathan has on behalf of himself, the Federal Government and all Nigerians congratulated Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina on his historic election yesterday as the first Pope from the Americas and 265th successor to the Chair of St Peter.
“With Cardinal Bergoglio’s glowing antecedents as a great scholar, teacher, Catholic philosopher and very humane leader of the Church, President Jonathan welcomes his election as successor to Pope Benedict XVI as a divinely inspired choice by the College of Cardinals and an unequivocal testimony of God’s abiding presence in His Church and the world.
Related Article:Argentina’s Jorge Mario Bergoglio elected Pope Francis-BBC
“The President joins Catholics in Nigeria and other countries of the world in praying for God’s blessings and Divine guidance for Cardinal Bergoglio, now Pope Francis as he assumes the papacy, trusting that he will put his acclaimed qualities and devoutness to the best possible use in resolutely guiding the Church through the many challenges it currently faces.
A statement by Presidential statement Reuben Abati said “President Jonathan and the Federal Government look forward to further enhancing the already cordial and excellent relationship between Nigeria and the Vatican under the leadership of Pope Francis, the beloved champion of the underprivileged and renowned crusader for global equity and social justice.
“The President also looks forward to collaborating with Pope Francis and the Holy See in working towards the realization of a much more secure, peaceful and just world order.
“As he prepares for his formal installation and ascension to the Papacy on Tuesday, March 19, 2013, the President prays that God Almighty will grant Pope Francis continued good health and strength, and the even greater knowledge, wisdom, understanding and divine insights he requires to successfully maintain the positive traditions of the Catholic Church and discharge the sacred Petrine Mission entrusted to him” Jonathan said as he wished Pope Francis a blessed and successful tenure.
Also,Rivers State Deputy Governor, Engr. Tele Ikuru,has congratulated his boss,Governor Rotimi Amaechi and all Catholic faithful on the emergence of a new Pope.
A statement by Godswill Jumbo , the acting Press Secretary said “Rivers State Deputy Governor, Engr. Tele Ikuru, heartily felicitates with his boss, the Executive Governor of Rivers State and Chairman, Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF), Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, and millions of Catholic faithful across the globe on the selection of a new Pope to head the Roman Catholic Church.
“He also congratulates the new Pope, formerly Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, until now Archbishop of Buenos Aires and now Pope Francis the First, on his emergence as the 266th Pope. He believes this represents an epoch in the Church’s journey at redeeming itself and entrenching Christian values among the faithful. He urged the new Pontiff to frontally deal with issues that have continued to plague the Church”,the statement said.
“Engr. Ikuru prayed God to continue to guide His Church on the path of righteousness and make ir increasingly responsive to an ever evolving world.