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Okogie expresses displeasure over FG's cold reaction to his appointment

Posted by Vanguard on 2003/10/29 | Views: 2560 |

Okogie expresses displeasure over FG's cold reaction to his appointment

LAGOSóCATHOLIC Archbishop of Lagos, Cardinal Anthony Okogie, has expressed displeasure over the attitude of the federal government to his appointment as cardinal by Pope John Paul 11.

But he is full of appreciation to the Lagos State Government who in his words "stole the show" from the federal government by sending its deputy governor and some cabinet members to the airport to receive him and attend the mass held to celebrate his home-coming.

Cardinal Okogie, who spoke at Holy Cross Cathedral while receiving emissaries sent by former military president General Ibrahim Babangida to congratulate him on his appointment, said not even his message to the internal affairs minister about his arrival in Lagos elicited any response from Abuja.

According to him, the minister insisted that the issue was made official through invitation to his office.

Cardinal Okogie said even in the Vatican City, after the celebration of his appointment by the pope, the Nigerian Embassy there did not even do anything to acknowledge his investiture, contrary to the Ghanaian government which held a reception in honour of its citizen who was equally appointed a cardinal.

"Tinubu has sent people here (Holy Cross Cathedral) twice to offer me message of support," said the cardinal, who thanked President Babangida for the message of congratulation and solidarity sent him.

In the message, delivered by the former Brigade of Guards and military governor of Katsina State, Col. John Madaki, President Babangida extolled the leadership qualities of the cardinal, adding that the nationís leaders needed such attribute to move the country forward.

Receiving the message, Cardinal Okogie thanked Babangida for the leadership he provided the country during his tenure. He said further: "People make the mistake of looking down on others when they assume a position of leadership, count me out. This has not gone to my head; I am still the same person.

"My elevation to cardinal was by the special Grace of God," the cardinal said, imploring the nationís leaders to lead for the benefit of the people.

"If our leaders could see the masses suffer, they would not carry on the way they are doing," he added.

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