The Catholic Diocese of Pankshin in Plateau State has disassociated itself and condemned the action of a priest who made Permanent Voters Card (PVC) a prerequisite for attendance at mass in his church.
It would be recalled that a video has gone viral on a social media that a Catholic priest of one of the churches under the Diocese last Sunday sent members of his church who have no PVC back home.
As he spoke to the members at the entrance of the cathedral, the priest declared that “from today, if you are coming for mass, carry your PVC along with you. If you don’t have to bother yourself coming, because there is no point in having Christians full in church, but during election season, have a handful of them.
“So, it means our number, our population means nothing. We want Christians to take their responsibility and their role seriously.
“The priest then told those who had their PVC to enter the church and those who did not have one to return home.”
Reacting to the position of the priest identified as Reverend Father Kefas Gogwim, the Bishop of the Diocese, the Most Reverend Michael Gobal Gokum, in a disclaimer signed by the Director of Communications, Reverend Father Andrew Danjuma Dawan, said the action of the priest did not have the approval of the Diocese.
Hence, the diocese has diassociated itself from the video in circulation and regrets the unfortunate incident, much as parishioners are encouraged to obtain their PVCs to exercise their civic duties.
Speaking with Nigerian Tribune, the Director of Communications of the Diocese, Rev. Father Dawan said the action of the priest was too extreme and did not reflect the position of the Diocese on a collection of PVC.
“In as much as we encourage our parishioners to obtain PVC to promote good governance, we do not place it as a criterion to attend mass, so the priest went too far,” he said.