The Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) has assured Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba state of sustained prayers for peace and development of the state and the nation.
Bishop of Jalingo Diocese, The Most Rev. Dr. Charles Hammawa gave the assurance on behalf of the Catholic Bishops Conference during a dinner organized for the Bishops by governor Ishaku at St. Charles Borromeo Pastoral centre, Jalingo.
The Catholic Bishops from across the country are now meeting in Jalingo for their second plenary meeting for the year, which is expected to end on Friday this week.
Hammawa while assuring the governor of the church prayers for him and his administration said the Catholic Diocese of Jalingo was in full support of his rescue mission in the state and urged the governor to extend his developmental strides to the rural areas even as he solicited for the Federal government support in the development of the state.
The Bishop while commending the governor for his support towards the hosting of the Bishops Conference also lauded the efforts of his wife Barr. Mrs. Anna Ishaku in touching the lives of the people through the Hope Afresh Foundation.
In his remarks, Governor Ishaku commended the Catholic Bishops Conference for choosing Jalingo to host the second Plenary conference, noting that prayers offered during the conference would help in bringing peace and progress to the state and the nation.
Ishaku lamented that lack of peace in some parts of the state has seriously affected the financial standing of the state, stressing that his administration was working assiduously in ensuring that the people of the state embrace peace, tolerance and harmonious coexistence.
In his vote of thanks, Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, The Most Rev. Dr. Martins Adewale commended governor Ishaku for the construction of Agro Greenhouse and other viable projects which are impacting positively on the lives of the people.
Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba State has lauded the Bishops Conference of Nigeria for their uprightness and firm stand on national issues, especially as they affect the average person.
The Governor made the commendation on Sunday in Jalingo, while speaking at the official opening ceremony of the second plenary session of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria which took place at the Charles Borromeo Pastoral Centre, Mile 6 Jalingo.
Governor Ishaku told the Bishops that when he was elected as Governor, he inherited a state that was battered by crises, but that he has worked hard to restore peace in the state, which according to him was key in the development of any society.
“In the last two years, apart from restoring peace in the state, I also initiated and completed some projects, including the water project in Jalingo, the Greenhouse Agric hub and the Jalingo-Kona road which were recently commissioned by Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo”.
Ishaku also informed the gathering that Taraba state can effectively meet the rice demand of the country which can save the nation over 8 billion dollars annually and called on all to support efforts aimed at promoting peace and unity of the country.
Earlier in his remarks, President of the Catholic Bishop Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama frowned at the non inclusion of the Catholic Bishops in the rebuilding of the northeast by the Presidential Committee on Northeast Initiative.
The Archbishop regretted that Jos Province of the Church, covering all the states of the northeast suffered directly or indirectly from the activities of Boko Haram and armed herdsmen, with grave consequences, yet the Bishops in region were not involved in the rebuilding initiative.
“It is worthy of note that the dioceses in region did not only suffer great loses, but have been major providers of humanitarian relief to those affected.
“Unfortunately, the Presidential Committee on North East saddled with coordinating intervention in rebuilding the region does not include any of the Bishops who have remained with the people and have actively supported thousands of internally displaced people,” he lamented.
The CBCN President who welcomed President Muhammadu Buhari back home from medical vacation on behalf of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria also called for the reinvestment of the recovered loot into sectors with direct bearing on the lives of the ordinary people, even as he urged government to speed up action in reducing the prices of food in the country.
He called for social and political justice in Nigeria to check some of the agitations which are stemmed from perceived injustices done to some ethnic minorities in the country some of which dates back to decades.
Earlier in a homily, Catholic Bishop of Jalingo diocese, The Most Rev. Dr. Charles Hammawa said the calls for session in some parts of the country were regrettable and unfortunate and urged Nigerians to love one another for the unity and progress of the country.
He urged traditional and political leaders to be sensitive to the plight of the people and ensure justice for all.
“The situation where some people do or say certain things and get away with it while some who do or say same but are severely punished should be look into for God created all equal.”
Hammawa enjoined all victims of crises and abuses to genuinely forgive their offenders and followed the path of true reconciliation for peace and progress of Nigeria.
Our correspondent reports that during the opening Mass the Apostolic Nuncio (The representative of the Pope and the Holy Seal of Vatican in Nigeria), Antonio Guido Filipazzi presented his letter of appointment as Papa Nuncio in Nigeria to the President of the Bishop Conference, Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama.