He continued, “I am so glad that after 25 years of consistent and unbroken years of priestly service we are gathered to celebrate Fr. Peter as we thank God for him and with him. Congratulations Fr. Peter.”
The Nigerian Catholic Archbishop further recalled the collaboration he has received from Fr. Hassan over the years, saying, “As a priest, he worked very closely with me. I remember how we used to work well into the night, typing, and duplicating documents.”
“Fr. Hassan has shared his talents with me and helped me as the Bishop of Jalingo, Archbishop of Jos and even now as Archbishop of Abuja. Thank you for the good work you do quietly when I ask you to help me,” he said during his September 21 homily.
Archbishop Kaigama highlighted other accomplishments he said Fr. Hassan has “excelled in”, including his ministry at “St. Augustine’s major seminary as a professor, dean of formation, dean of studies, acting rector, head of the department of theology, etc.”
“It has been this unwavering dedication to duty that has led to Fr. Peter’s recent appointment as the rector Magnificus of St. Augustine’s Major Seminary, Jos,” the Local Ordinary of Abuja further said, underscoring the fact that he was not the only one lauding the “good” Priestly ministry of Fr. Hassan.
He went on to acknowledge with appreciation Fr. Hassan ability to establish and maintain good relations with others, saying, “As a Dean in Jalingo deanery cathedral administrator, chaplain to various groups, diocesan secretary, education secretary, parish priest of Kona parish and in many other assignments he blended so very well with the people.”
“This is because of his maturity, broad-mindedness, and the ability to embrace all without prejudice, jealousy, or hatred,” Archbishop Kaigama said about Fr. Hassan, adding, “He is indeed a priest according to the order of Melchizedek.”
He went on to challenge members of indigenous communities in Jalingo Diocese to go beyond their tribal affiliations, saying, “Since Fr. Hassan whom we celebrate today has the capacity to transcend narrow ethnic boundaries, let me encourage the various tribal groups which make up Jalingo Diocese to strongly unite: Jenjo, Wurkum, Karim, Mumuye, Kutep, Tiv, Ichen, Jukun-Kona and others.”
“I would like to see more friendship and harmony between Mumuye and Jukun-Kona of Jalingo Local Government,” the Catholic Archbishop who was at the helm of Jalingo Diocese for five years said, and added, “There must be a healing of memory, forgiving the past so that we can be a formidable force in the economic, political, and social spheres.”
He cautioned against underestimating Christian values, and called for unity that is founded on the Sacrament of Baptismal “because the water of baptism is thicker than the blood of tribe”.