ABUJA, March 16 (Xinhua) -- Nigeria will send a high-power delegation to attend the inauguration of newly elected Pope Francis of the Roman Catholic Church in the Vatican City on Tuesday, according to a statement released by the presidency on Saturday.
The statement, signed by Reuben Abati, spokesperson of the Nigerian president, said the delegation would be headed by senate president David Mark.
Other members of the delegation, according to the statement, include the Minister of Aviation Stella Oduah, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Viola Onwuliri and the president of Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria Ignatius Kaigama.
Chaplain of the Presidential Villa Chapel Obioma Onwuzurumba and the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission John Opara would also join the west African country's delegation to convey a congratulatory letter from President Goodluck Jonathan to Pope Francis, the statement added.
The statement said the delegation was given the mandate to fully represent Nigeria at the inauguration and also attend the mass to be held at the Vatican City on Tuesday.
Pope Francis, who succeeded Pope Benedict XVI (now addressed as Emeritus Pope), was elected on March 13 by the College of Cardinals in the Vatican City to lead more than 1 billion Roman Catholic Church members spread across the world.