Catholic Archbishop in Nigeria Urges Government to Flush Out Terrorists from Forest Hideout

Archbishop Ignatius Ayau Kaigama of Nigeria’s Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja. Credit: ACI Africa

Archbishop Ignatius Ayau Kaigama of Nigeria’s Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja has called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led government to drive away terrorists who have inhabited the Sambisa Forest.

In his Thursday, March 21 homily at the Karmo Deanery Cathedraticum, Archbishop Kaigama also suggested transforming the Sambisa Forest, a notorious hideout for terrorists in Maiduguri in North Eastern part of the West African Nation, into productive agricultural land for food security in the country.

“It is sad that we as a nation cannot fight insecurity in our country and for several years now, the government has not been able to address the lingering insecurity which has led to food shortage and food inflation,” the Nigerian Catholic Archbishop said.

The Local Ordinary of Abuja Archdiocese said, “We have a vast land in Sambisa forest where Boko Haram terrorists, bandits and other criminal elements are hiding. Why not bring all our soldiers, our air force, our navy, our police, our paramilitary organizations, and go to Sambisa and flush them out?”

“That big desert, that big place, will now be transformed into an agricultural land for food production and food security for our nation,” he added.


Archbishop Kaigama urged the Nigerian government to invite experts to convert the desert land of Sambisa into fertile farmland for crop cultivation.

“There is nothing wrong admitting that we need help and wherever we can find help let us explore that possibility,” he said.

The Catholic Church leader, who started his Episcopal Ministry in April 1995 as Bishop of Nigeria’s Jalingo Diocese  added, “The government can invite the Israelis; they will show us how to transform the desert to a flourishing farmland. If we have abundance of food in our country, then the animals will not be going from place to place, and there will be no more fighting, especially the herders/farmers clashes that have claimed a lot of lives in our country will be reduced.”

The Local Ordinary of Abuja Archdiocese since November 2019 also announced plans to consecrate the Archdiocese of Abuja and the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

“For us as an Archdiocese we will be consecrating the Archdiocese to the immaculate heart of Mary during our next general assembly which is coming up in November this year,” Archbishop Kaigama said.

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He continued, “We have taken this decision because of the intercessory role of our blessed mother so that she will help us in this challenging time of our nation Nigeria, we are not only consecrating the diocese but the entire federal capital territory of Nigeria because our blessed mother is the patroness of our country and we needs to honor her.”

Abah Anthony John is a Nigerian Journalist with great enthusiasm and interest for Catholic Church Communication and Media Apostolate. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Mass Communication from Benue State University, Makurdi, Benue State Nigeria. He has vast experience in Print,  Electronic and Multi-Media Production.