Free Nigerians from Poverty by Renouncing “unfriendly policies”: Catholic Archbishop

Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama administers the Sacrament of Confirmation at St Joseph Mukasa’s Parish of Abuja Archdiocese. Credit: Abuja Archdiocese

The people of God in Nigeria can be freed from poverty if political leaders in the West African nation renounce “unfriendly policies” and refrain from “self-serving leadership and sterile political ramblings”, a Catholic Archbishop in the country has said.

In his Sunday, March 20 homily at St Joseph Mukasa’s Parish of Abuja Archdiocese, Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama reflected on how Moses led the Israelites with courage in very difficult times and urged Nigerian leaders to emulate him.

“Our leaders can lead Nigerians to freedom from poverty if they renounce offending their people with unfriendly policies, reject empty political sophistry, self-serving leadership and sterile political ramblings,” Archbishop Kaigama said during the March 20 Eucharistic celebration when he administered the Sacrament of confirmation to 218 candidates.

The Nigerian Archbishop challenged Nigerian political leaders to use the country’s resources for the good of the people of God. 

He emphasized the need for Nigerian politicians to trust in God saying it was such trust that enabled Moses to provide for the Israelites “throughout their days of wilderness-wandering”.


“If Moses, trusting God could provide water and bread for the people throughout their days of wilderness-wandering, why should Nigerian leaders even with the great material blessings we have be unable to provide adequate infrastructure, basic necessities and social insurance for all citizens?” Archbishop Kaigama posed.

He cautioned followers of Christ in Africa’s most populous nation against the spirit of complacency saying that Christians receive Christ in various ways such as the Holy Eucharist and other Sacraments including meditation on the word of God “but not always leading a life, renewed in grace.”

Reflecting on the Sunday Gospel, the Nigerian Archbishop urged Christians to fix their eyes on the person of Jesus Christ during this Lenten Season, adding that God never gets tired of cleansing those who turn to Him.

“Lent invites us to fix our eyes on Jesus no matter the difficulty or how badly we have failed. God is never tired of washing us clean and bringing us back unto Him. We should never get tired of seeking His face of mercy,” he said.

The Local Ordinary of Abuja Archdiocese went on to make reference to the parable of the fig tree in the Sunday Gospel reading saying the gardener represents God’s patience with “our spiritual unfruitfulness and waits for our spiritual regeneration” to bear the fruits of the Holy Spirit.

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“The fig tree that does not bear fruit refers to nominal Christians who are tied to Jesus only by an outward profession, but without the fruits of the Holy Spirit, and so bear the fruits of immorality, impurity and shamelessness, idol worship and magic, hatred, jealousy, violence, anger, ambition, division, factions, envy, drunkenness, orgies and the like,” he said.

Addressing himself to Parishioners of St Joseph Mukasa Parish, Archbishop Kaigama said, “Your story shows that you gradually evolved from a small community to a parish of great potential now. I thank the Society of Jesus fathers for supplying pastoral leadership to this parish.”

“I count on your collaboration to assist me in my mission in the Archdiocese of Abuja, so that together we can witness more fruitful pastoral, educational, and social services to the people,” the Archbishop who has been at the helm of Abuja Archdiocese since November 2019 said.

Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.