Archbishop in Nigeria Urges Newly Appointed State Officials “to stick” to Party Manifestos

Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama giving a homily at St. Rose of Lima Pastoral Area, Katampe of Abuja Archdiocese. Credit: Abuja Archdiocese

Recently appointed officials in Nigerian States need “to stick” to the principles that were outlined in the manifestos of political parties in the West African nation, the Catholic Archbishop of the country’s Abuja Archdiocese has said.

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led Federal Government of Nigeria and Governors of various Nigerian States have recently appointed and inaugurated officials, including Commissioners, and Special Advisers.

In his Sunday, August 27 homily at St. Rose of Lima Pastoral Area, Katampe, of his Metropolitan See, Archbishop Ignatius Ayau Kaigama said, “The new State Commissioners, Federal Ministers, political Advisers, etc. should stick to the principles of fairness, equity, and justice, in line with the electoral mandates and manifestos of their political parties.”

Making reference to the First Reading of the 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time, Archbishop Kaigama said that the rejection of the “proud and wicked” Prime Minister, Shebna, and the exaltation of the humble and faithful Eliakim, presents a lesson that the leaders of Africa’s most populous nation need to learn.

“Our leaders both in government and in other spheres of society must learn from the rejection of Shebna,” the Nigerian Archbishop said, and added, “Leaders entrusted with positions of authority must place the people first.”


He added, “Shebna lost God’s favor because of unholy political alliances, and for attempting to immortalize himself by beginning to construct his own tomb in a special place on the mountain.”

Like Shebna, the Local Ordinary of Nigeria’s Abuja Archdiocese since November 2019 said, “leaders can easily become possessed by power and see themselves as political idols or champions to be hailed instead of seen as servants.”

Also reflecting on the Sunday Gospel reading in which Jesus praises Peter’s answer about his identity as the Christ as having resulted from his relationship with the Father, Archbishop Kaigama urged leaders and their subjects to embrace "an authentic and intimate relationship with God.”

“We appeal to our newly appointed Federal Ministers and other leaders in the country to imbibe the virtue of humility as they carry out their work in the spirit of servant-leadership, using their talents to benefit all and not their ethnic, religious, or political constituencies,” he said.

Addressing himself to the parishioners of St. Rose of Lima, Archbishop Kaigama urged them to emulate the Apostle Peter and “cultivate a personal relationship with Christ.”

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“We must also develop a filial relationship with the Holy Father, Pope Francis, the Successor of St. Peter,” the Catholic Bishop who started his Episcopal Ministry in April 1995 as Bishop of Nigeria’s Jalingo Diocese said.

He added in reference to the Acts of the Apostles, “Remember well that the early Christians, were united in prayer, heart and mind, broke bread, and shared material things with one another.”

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.