The Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo on Monday urged religious leaders in the country to tell their followers and the political class the truth at all times, regardless of the cost.
This was just as he reassured people of the state that the Senator Douye Diri-led administration was determined to build on the foundation laid by its predecessor to develop Bayelsa.
Senator Ewhrudjakpo, who spoke at the inauguration of the St Lawrence Catholic Chaplaincy at his official residence in Government House, Yenagoa, frowned at the way and manner some clergymen unnecessarily sing the praise of political leaders.
He described the situation where the clergy only preach what those in authority want to hear as inimical to their ecclesiastical calling and urged those involved in such practice to turn a new leaf for the good of society.
The Deputy Governor, however, commended Catholic priests, particularly the Bishop of Bomadi Diocese and some clerics of other faiths for their courage and forthrightness in speaking the truth.
His words, ” When your spiritual director cannot look at your face and tell you that you are not doing well, then you have lost it. That is why we have the kind of society we have today.
“Unfortunately, more often than not, our clergymen want to tell us what we should hear and not what we ought to hear. And when you are only told what you want to hear and not what you ought to hear, you live in delusion of success or achievements.
“That is what happens, when leaders of the church fail to tell their followers and secular leaders the truth. Bishop, we are ready to listen to you. So we hope you will come around more often to tell us the truth.”
On issues of development, Senator Ewhrudjakpo noted that the state Airport would become functional as soon as the requirements necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic were satisfied.
According to him, the Nigerian Airforce and other pilots who are currently making use of the Airport have all adjudged it to be the best so far in the country.
He said “the Governor and I have been making use of the Airport. I have personally flown into that airport about five times because that Airforce and some private jets are allowed to fly in with permission.
“And from the account of pilots who have flown in, our airport for now is the best in the country. It will be up and doing very soon. We are also not keeping our eyes closed to the Agge Deep Seaport programme. We will try as much as possible to build on what former Governor Seriake Dickson did for Bayelsa.”
Speaking with newsmen on the essence of the Chaplaincy, the Catholic Bishop of Bomadi Diocese, His Lordship, Hyacinth Egbebo, explained that the worship centre would enable Catholic faithful to join the deputy governor to support the government through prayers.
Bishop Egbebo said the Chaplaincy is named after St Lawrence, one of the patriarch saints in the Catholic Church who lived a selfless lifestyle of helping the needy in society.
Describing Senator Ewhrudjakpo as a man of prayer and faith, he said the Deputy Governor shares a lot of character traits with St Lawrence in terms of taking care of the poor.
The Bishop who called on the people to support the present administration to enable them fulfill their campaign promises, assured that the Catholic Church would continue to task government on good governance.
On his part, the Chaplain of St Lawrence Chaplaincy, Rev Father Izibeya Victor, stressed that only those invited would join the Deputy Governor and his family for prayers in line with the rules and regulations of Government House.
The event, which featured special prayers for the Governor, his deputy and the state had in attendance the Vicar General of Bomadi Diocese, Very Revd Father Joseph Opelema, Dean of Yenagoa Deanery, James Mukor, Chancellor, Bomadi Diocese, Edward Okpu and the Dean of Patani Deanery, Very Revd Father Kofa Athanasius.