Society - Speaker of the House of Representatives Aminu Waziri Tambuwal has congratulated Nigerian and the world Catholics over the emergence of a new Pope. In a statement by his spokesman Imam Imam, Tambuwal said the emergence of Pope Francis should be a moment of deep reflection for all of humanity.
He called on Pope Francis to continue in the pursuit of global peace and harmony.
Tambuwal express hope that Pope Francis' reign as the head of over 1.2 billion Catholics will usher in a new era in the history of the Catholic church.
In his reaction, Rev Fr Raphael Madu, secretary of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, Abuja said, "We're happy...the pope is from Argentina--meaning that there is still the universalism of the church.
"Even though Europe has about 60 cardinals in the conclave, they still went for to this very simple and down-to-earth Jesuit cardinal.
"And then he's the first to pick the name Francis among the popes. That he has not taken the name of his founder also shows how dedicated he is.
"He is humble--he has no driver, no cook for himself. He takes bus. Those who want to meet him simply meet him on bus and discuss what they want with him. Everybody is happy!"
Abuja-based priest, Rev Fr Msugh Agber said: "It's the Holy Spirit that chooses the pope no matter where he comes from--whether from Africa, Asia, Europe anywhere--it doesn't matter where he comes."
Rev Sr Lucella Ukeagbu of Immaculate Heart of Marry Sisters in Onitsha, Anambra State, said the Catholic community in Nigeria and elsewhere is happy.
"A new president of the state [Vatican] has emerged. A family without head is like flock without herd," she said.
By Ben Atonko and Turaki A. Hassan