THEY rushed to kiss the red carpet he walked on and the chair he sat on. They surrounded the breadth and length of the security forces to touch his car. Fever Peach. Whimsical moments as the Pope mania gripped Nigeria. That was the scene 16 years ago when Pope John Paul II visited Nigeria. It was a long-lasting three day weekend of celebrations. The desperate followers and people in a despairing land were clinging to the hope that Pope John Paul had brought from Rome. Some had walked 60 miles while others two to three times that distance to see the pope in Nigerian soil.
Pope John Paul II's three-day visit to Nigeria, which ended on March 23rd 1998, was amazingly successful. It provided cheer in a year full of danger.
Then came Pope Benedict XVI who announced that he planned to make his first trip to Africa in March 2009, It was thought to create another euphoria to the first. Nigerians were disappointed to found out that the Pope would only visit Cameroon and Angola.
Currently, the National Catholic Reporter reported Friday January 24, 2014 that the pope intends to visit Philadelphia in late September 2015 during the Catholic church's World Meeting of Families. The international gathering takes place every three years. Will the current pope makes it to Africa. Will Pope Francis be coming to Nigeria? Will Nigeria host another loving Pope since Pope John Paul II in 98?