The governor made the call on Sunday during the mass in honour of the Bishop-elect of the Catholic Diocese of Lafia, Rev. Fr David Ajang, at the Church of Immaculate Conception (CIC) Zarmaganda in Jos where he is also the Parish Priest.
“Let me, therefore, use this opportunity to call on our religious leaders to continue to uphold both the leadership and fellowship in prayers and also give us spiritual guidance in these troubled times.
“You stand in a position to tell truth to those in power and also proffer solutions to the problems of the nation. Building Nigeria is a task that all of us must be involved,” he said.
Lalong said that in spite of corruption and security challenges bedevilling the country as it celebrated its Democracy Day on Saturday, spiritual leaders are critical to ensure the country returned to the path of peace and development.
“Nigeria is the only country we have. We must do everything possible to ensure that it succeeds.
“Rather than beating the drums of war and professing doom, we have to pause and think about the consequences of a broken nation,” he said.
The governor commended the bishop-elect who is also the Chaplain of Government House Chapel, for his commitment to the Catholic Church and the propagation of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
“Having worked closely with him as the Chaplain of the Government House Chapel for the past six years, I can testify about his deep passion for the salvation of the souls of men.
“With this elevation, your responsibilities have increased as more people will be depending on you for both physical and spiritual nourishment.
“At the time when the nation is going through many challenges, the Church remains the beacon of hope and a place of refuge. We pray that God will equip you to be able to fulfill his purpose in Nasarawa State,” Lalong said.
In his remarks, the President of the Parish Council of CIC, Mr. Okey Ezema, thanked the outgoing priest for facilitating the rehabilitation of access road to the church, construction of new domestic staff quarters and the remodelling of the church altar, amongst other projects.
Ezema said the priest championed the donation of more than N1million and foodstuffs to less privileged people in the church, when COVID-19 struck the nation.
In his last homily, the bishop-elect advised Christians to avoid negative influences and nurture their faith in Christ through studying the word of God.
He thanked the Church members for their love and support to him since he took over in 2018, saying he started as parish priest in the church in 1999 and was leaving the title of parish priest in the same church.
“The parish has given me life; it has given me joy; it has given me fulfillment; the parish has formed me; it defined me and confirmed my priestly identity,” he said.
The bishop-elect thanked the governor for the cordial relationship and the privilege to serve as the chaplain of the Government House Chapel.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that Ajang 51, was on March 31 appointed as Bishop of Lafia.
Until now, he was the Priest of CIC and Dean of Zarmangada.
He would be installed on June 24 in Lafia. (NAN)