Nigerians Hope for “individual spiritual rebirth, national transformation”: Archbishop

Archbishop Ignatius Ayau Kaigama welcomed at at Gishiri in the Church of Annunciation Pastoral Area of Abuja Archdiocese. Credit: Abuja Archdiocese

The people of God in Nigeria are hoping to have a taste of a “spiritual rebirth” at individual level and a “national transformation” as a country amid feelings of devastation occasioned by political and economic challenges,  the Local Ordinary of the country’s Abuja Archdiocese has said.

In his Sunday, March 26 homily at Gishiri in the Church of Annunciation Pastoral Area of his Metropolitan See, Archbishop Ignatius Ayau Kaigama likened Nigerians to dry bones in the First Reading from the vision of the Prophet Ezekiel, adding that the Prophet’s “hope is still valid for us”.

“We still hope to experience an individual spiritual rebirth and national transformation even if we now feel devastated, politically, and economically; lost many opportunities, God still makes a promise of regeneration and restoration,” Archbishop Kaigama said.

Spiritual rebirth is necessary, he said, because some Nigerians are engulfed in what he referred to as the “corruption of sin” that has made them not to be ashamed of committing evil.

Archbishop Kaigama said he found it regrettable that some Nigerians “pride themselves in sinful habits such as murder, abortion, banditry, terrorism, drug/alcohol abuse, as though they are a new moral code to be emulated.”


The Nigerian Catholic Church leader added, “What our people suffer is not only a deprivation of social, economic and material needs but also a separation from God, a kind of ‘spiritual exile’”.

The 64-year-old Archbishop who started his Episcopal Ministry in April 1995 as Bishop of Nigeria’s Jalingo Diocese encouraged the people of God in Africa’s most populous nation to hope in God, saying, “God still offers us a renewed opportunity in grace to heal and to restore.”

Reflecting on the Gospel Reading of the fifth Sunday of Lent when Jesus brought back Lazarus to life, the Catholic Archbishop called on Nigerians to “come out” of their limitations and sinfulness and to remain optimistic amid their individual and collective challenges.

“Jesus summons us to come out of the tomb of hopelessness to build again with patience and hope. He is asking us to ‘come out’ of our small tombs of unforgiveness, resentment, sadness, fear, regret, and sinfulness,” he said. 

He added, “Let us not give in to the false conclusion that everything remains closed in the tomb and ends up in failure.”

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On the recent polls, Archbishop Kaigama said, “Our elections at different levels may have been imperfect and at worst, manipulated by all who had the expertise and dexterity to do so, but that cannot be the end. We still have a future.”

“Something greater will happen. We should not take God’s silence for granted. Nigerians who cheat, manipulate, and rig, will know sooner than later that the Supreme Judge (God) is not oblivious of their misdeeds,” he added. 

In his March 26 homily, Archbishop Kaigama also urged followers of Islam and Christians in the West African country to cease religious animosity and promote peace and unity.

“Muslims and Christians who belong to the ‘Abrahamic faith’ must sincerely pray for the peace, unity, healing, and progress of our nation, using religion to build rather than to destroy,” he said.

He added, “The false sense of religious superiority and the rate at which some Nigerians weaponized religion before, during, and after the elections in Nigeria was/is sickening,”


Archbishop Kaigama decried religious fanaticism promoted by some preachers in the country and posed, “Where will this very poor and irrational understanding of religion take Nigeria to?”

The Nigerian Catholic Church leader urged Catholics in the West African nation to use the remaining period before Easter to reexamine their journey of faith on the basis of the three pillars of the Lenten Season: prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.

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.