Speaking at the same Episcopal Ordination event on behalf of Archbishop Lucius Iwejuru Ugorji, the President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), Archbishop Matthew Man-oso Ndagoso of Kaduna Archdiocese congratulated the newly ordained Bishop.
Archbishop Man-oso Ndagose said that the President of CBCN was calling for collaborative ministry in the newly created Catholic Diocese in order to “achieve the desired progress and growth in the diocese and peace among all persons and tribes in the whole community.”
On his part, the Local Ordinary of Jalingo Diocese from whose territory Wukari Diocese was curved reiterated the Apostolic Nuncio’s advocacy for unity in diversity.
“I believe the new Diocese of Wukari led by its Chief Shepherd, Most Rev. Mark Maigida Nzukwein, with the full and total support and cooperation of the presbyterium, religious, lay faithful and people of good will, will be the symbol and beacon of hope, joy, unity and peace not only to the Catholic faithful, but also to the whole of Christendom and the people of other faiths in the diocese, Taraba State, Nigeria and beyond,” Bishop Charles Michael Hammawa said.
Bishop Hammawa added, “Please embrace and practice forgiveness and live together in unity that peace may reign.”
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In his maiden speech as Local Ordinary of the Nigerian Diocese, Bishop Maigida said the new Diocese offers an opportunity for the entire community “to see how the reality of faith has been lived out over the years … amidst the shadow of the persistent challenges of gross intolerance that has led to a series of intra-tribal, inter-ethnic and inter-religious conflicts.”
“Beyond the euphoria of today’s unique celebration, we, the inhabitants of the newly established Diocese (that is, the Jukun, Chamba, Kuteb, Tiv, Ichen, Jibu, Mambila, Kaka, Panso, Kambu, Hausa Fulani, Ndoro, Indola, Jebou, Tigun, Badaki, Yuguben, Ibo, Ogoja and many others) should take advantage of this unique occasion to calmly reflect on the sacred responsibility of seeing in the face of the other, the image of God,” the Nigerian Bishop said.
“No matter our ethnic extraction,” he went on to say, “we are, in the first place, brothers and sisters.”
The new Nigerian Catholic Bishop who was appointed Bishop on December 14 was born in 1969 in Jenuwa Nyifiye in the Diocese of Jalingo.
He was enrolled for his Philosophy studies at St. Thomas Aquinas Major Seminary in Makurdi from 1987 to 1990 and for his Theology studies at St. Augustine's Major Seminary in Jos from 1991 to 1995.
He was ordained a Priest on 15 July 1995 for the Diocese of Jalingo.
As a Priest, the Bishop served in different capacities, including Parish Vicar, Parish Priest, Diocesan Chaplain for Youth, Secretary to the Bishop of Jalingo, and Diocesan Director of the Pontifical Missionary Works, among other Priestly responsibilities.
The alumnus of the Pontifical Salesian University was at the Rome-based institution of higher learning between 1999 and 2002 where he obtained a Licentiate in Catechesis and Youth Pedagogy.
Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.