Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau state said Wednesday that as an ardent Catholic, the Pope has not told him that accepting to lead the Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket was wrong.
The governor said this while fielding questions from State House correspondents after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said the Concern Christians on the Plateau (CCP) that staged a rally in Abuja asking him to reject reject the offer to serve as the Director-General of the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential campaign council was faceless.
The governor urged Nigerians to grow up from ethnic and religious sentiments, stressing that he has already accepted the job and there was nothing anybody can do to dissuade him from performing his responsibilities.
“So if you see people talking about me rejecting it…I’ve accepted it already. It’s not an option. I’m a Christian. I went through missionary schools. I respect my being a Christian. I have been given the highest award by the Pope. The Knight of St. Gregory the Great.
“And as a Catholic, everything we do, we send the advice to the Pope. The Pope has not told me that what I’m doing is bad to accept the Director-General. As a Catholic, we take that direction,” he said.
He said the appointment was strictly a party affair and has nothing to do with religion.
The governor also denied allegations that he lobbied to become the running mate of the APC presidential candidate in the 2023 elections, Asiwaju Bola AhmedTinubu.
“I am a member of the APC, a founding member of the APC. I don’t do anti-party activities. Some people said because I was denied VP. I did not lobby for VP. Yes, many people were lobbying and writing on my behalf, but what I have always wanted to be and obtained form for is Senate.
“I have a senatorial ticket that I am waiting for. So if at any time some people who wanted to be VP lost out and they’re using religion, they should not use me to help them.
“We are already far, we’re talking about the leadership. We’re talking about addressing the problems of Nigeria, and all we’re talking about is good leadership that can come from any region,” he said.