Papal Audience: President Jonathan And First Lady Meet Pope Francis In Rome...

Papal Audience: President Jonathan And First Lady Meet Pope Francis In Rome (PHOTOS)

By Anita Sunday | Society Reporter on March 22, 2014
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President Jonathan with Pope Francis at the Vatican | Photo: Reuben Abati

President Goodluck Jonathan is currently out of the country on a 6-day working visit abroad.

On Friday, March 21, 2014 President Jonathan arrived Rome on a scheduled visit to meet with Pope Francis, alongside First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan.

President Goodluck Jonathan Saturday, March 22, 2014 at the Vatican conferred with Pope Francis on the promotion of inter-faith dialogue in Nigeria and other parts of the world to foster greater global peace and security.

Speaking to journalists after  his private meeting with Pope Francis, President Jonathan noted that the promotion of inter-faith dialogue was a cause to which the Pontiff was very committed.

The President who said that his administration was already working in close collaboration with Cardinal John Onaiyekan who was “the team leader” for the effort to strengthen inter-faith dialogue in Nigeria,  assured the Pope of his administration’s continued commitment to the promotion of religious harmony and the peaceful co-existence of people of all faiths.

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President Jonathan on arrival at the Vatican City
President Jonathan on arrival at the Vatican City (State House Photo)
President Jonathan on arrival at the Vatican City
President Jonathan on arrival at the Vatican City (State House Photo)
President Jonathan on arrival at the Vatican City | Photo; Reuben Abati
President Jonathan on arrival at the Vatican City (State House Photo)
President Jonathan with Pope Francis at the Vatican | Photo: Reuben Abati
President Jonathan with Pope Francis at the Vatican (State House Photo)
President Jonathan with Pope Francis at the Vatican | Photo: Reuben Abati
President Jonathan with Pope Francis at the Vatican (State House Photo)
President Jonathan with Pope Francis at the Vatican | Photo: Reuben Abati
President Jonathan with Pope Francis at the Vatican (State House Photo)

After his private meeting with President Jonathan, Pope Francis received the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Prof Viola Onwuliri, Governor Godswill Akpabio and his spouse, Governor Gabriel Suswam, former Governor Peter Obi and his spouse, the wife of the Senate President, Mrs. Helen Mark and other members of the President’s entourage.

First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan greeting Pope Francis
First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan greeting Pope Francis
President Jonathan & the First Lady with Pope Francis at the Vatican | Photo: Reuben Abati
President Jonathan & the First Lady with Pope Francis at the Vatican (State House Photo)

President Jonathan assured the Pope that his administration will continue to work diligently to alleviate poverty in Nigeria through more  inclusive economic growth and development.

President Jonathan who noted that Pope Francis has always taken a keen interest in Nigeria, said that the Pope promised to visit the country.

The Pope, President Jonathan said, also assured him that he would continue to pray for God Almighty to bless the country and its people.

“My coming to see the Pope was to discuss issues, especially that of inter-faith dialogue which the Vatican has been promoting.

“Also the Pope has been advocating that the world should do more to eradicate poverty and make sure that the ordinary people of this world are in a position to live more decent lives. The Pope is very dedicated to poverty alleviation and I also interfaced with him on how we can collaborate more with the Vatican on what we are already doing in this regard back home,” the President said.

A gift for the Pope from President Jonathan, Vatican City | Photo: Reuben Abati
A gift for the Pope from President Jonathan, Vatican City (State House Photo)
A gift from Pope Francis to President Jonathan, Vatican | Photo: Reuben Abati
A gift from Pope Francis to President Jonathan, Vatican (State House Photo)
President Jonathan and entourage with Pope Francis
President Jonathan and entourage with Pope Francis (State House Photo)

Others present at the enlarged audience with the Pope included Nigeria’s Ambassador to the Vatican, Dr. Francis C. Okeke, the Chaplain of the Presidential Villa, Venerable Obioma Onwuzurumba and Chief Mike Oghiadomhe.

resident Jonathan with Cardinal Francis Arinze in Rome | Photo: Reuben Abati
President Jonathan with Cardinal Francis Arinze in Rome (State House Photo)

Before leaving the Vatican, President Jonathan also conferred with the Secretary of State, Monsignor Pietro Parolin.

He had received Nigeria’s Vatican-based Cardinal Francis Arinze earlier in the day at the St. Regis Hotel in Rome.  

1 COMMENT

  1. Who is Dame Jonathan’s stylist? Why is she always so poorly dressed with bad fashion? The first lady needs a real stylist abeg. Wetin be dis?

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