Nigerian Archbishop Seeks Government Partnership in Environmental Conservation

Archbishop Ignatius Ayau Kaigama of Nigeria’s Abuja Archdiocese. Credit: Archdiocese of Abuja/Facebook.

The Catholic Archbishop of Nigeria’s Abuja Archdiocese has asked the federal government to collaborate with the Church to ensure that there is a clean and healthy environment in the West African country.

Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama who made the appeal during the launch of a climate improvement program said, “Nature has been wounded and the Church needs to be part of the healing process.”

“We are interested in collaboration with the government. We must work together to beautify the earth and to create harmony and order in our society,” Archbishop Kaigama said during the launch of the seven-year program dubbed, "Care for Our Common Home".

In his message during the June 19 event, the Archbishop also asked the Nigerian government not to frustrate initiatives by the Catholic Church in her effort to serve people of God in the West African country.

“When we are doing it our way, providing the quality schools and clinics that we are able, sometimes we suffer a lot of interference from the ministries. They disturb us with taxes and so on. They believe that we are making money," the Nigerian Archbishop recalled.


The country’s leadership, he further said, should not "forget that we have been doing this for years and our work is with the poor."

Also speaking during the Holy Mass, Fr. Omokugbo Ojeifo, a member of the Clergy of Abuja Archdiocese said the current global tribulations are because of environmental pollution and climate change.

“Climate change could have been responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic which has cost the world lives and economies. I urge churches, organizations, schools and families to take seriously the need to adopt renewable sources of energy and avoid wastes among other measures,” said the Nigerian Cleric.

He added, “What matters are the little concrete actions that we take today. What can we do to cut down on waste of food and water? Do we conserve energy by turning down electrical appliances before leaving our homes? Parishes should be made to ask how they can promote renewable energies in their Parishes and institutions.”

The “Care for Our Common Home” program, explained Fr. Ojeifo, will be centered on seven themes helpful in addressing environmental challenges.

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The seven themes include, the Priest said, "Our response to the cry of the earth, our response to the cry of the poor, the ecological economy, the adoption of a civil way of life, ecological education, ecological spirituality and community engagement.

The Archdiocese of Abuja has reportedly grouped the society under it into seven groups to help members of the groups implement the seven-year plan for climate change intervention.

“The groups include families, parishes and dioceses, schools and universities, hospitals, businesses and farms as well as religious institutions. The diocese has prepared a plan to ensure that the various groups play their roles in ensuring a safe climate for Abuja and Nigeria in general,” said Fr.Ojeifo.

The June 19 event was in response to Pope Francis' Encyclical Letter, Laudato Si'.