THE Kogi state governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, on Sunday apologised to Catholic Bishops in Nigeria over a statement credited to him in the media stating that he has “tremendous respect for the Catholic Institution”, and would not do anything to disparage any religious organization.
The Governor, who stated this in Lokoja, the state capital through his Director General of Media and Publicity, Kingsley Fanwo, said the reports in the media that he disrespected the Catholic Church and her leaders were not true.
“My statements to the Press were misconstrued and misrepresented but I take full responsibility for this as I tender my unreserved apologies to the Catholic Bishops and by extension my Christian brothers and sisters who are displeased with my statement on tithing”
“I recognise the enormous contributions of the Catholic Church to entrenching a social order which is devoid of corruption, oppression and in the promotion of socio-economic justice.
Bello said he was confident genuine religious leaders of all faiths are united in the President’s fight against corruption, insisting that no good religion has a place for corruption and corrupt people.
“The Catholic Church has done very well in promoting literacy and healthcare. I am quite familiar with a good number of Catholic Priests and I know their stance on the issue of corruption. Every church and religion must fight corruption because corruption oppresses the poor and destroy justice and fairness”, he said.
As the season of Lent begins, Bello prayed for God’s blessings on all Christians who observe Lent and hopes it will be a period of forgiveness and healing for the people and the country.