Governor Adams Oshiomhole
Yemi Akinsuyi in Abuja
Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State yesterday congratulated the Archbishop of Abuja Catholic Diocese, Bishop John Onaiyekan, on his elevation to the position of Cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI.
Also, the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, described Onaiyekan’s appointment as a pointer to the world that Nigeria is placed in the world map of Christiandom.
In a congratulatory message, Oshiomhole said: “On behalf of the government and good people of Edo State I congratulate His Grace on his elevation to the exalted position of Cardinal by His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI.
“The elevation is a clear testament to your priestly life of selfless service which has been a channel of blessing to all men and women who have come in contact with you. Your contributions to Nigeria’s growth and development as a Priest who speaks the truth to authority and as a defender of the oppressed are immeasurable.
“This elevation definitely calls for more service in the Lord’s vineyard, but I have no doubt in my mind that you are eminently qualified and prepared for the challenges ahead. On a personal note, my children and I will never forget the roles you played during several chapters in our lives. I pray God to grant you the wisdom needed to excel in His service.”
Meanwhile, Oritsejafor while congratulating the new cardinal, in a statement he personally signed and made available to THISDAY, said he received the news with utmost joy and gladness.
He said: “It is with joy that I received the news of your appointment as a cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church by His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI.”
“I am happy that this appointment has placed Nigeria on the world map of Christendom and that your fame now spans the globe. I am particularly happy because of your current status as one of the ‘cardinal electors’, a position which qualifies you to be among those to choose Pope Benedict’s successor. Remain blessed.”
The CAN president prayed that with this appointment, Onaiyekan will pursue with vigour those attributes that earned him the elevation