Abuja, 17 July, 2021 / 7:30 pm (ACI Africa).
The Local Ordinary of Nigeria’s Abuja Archdiocese has decried ethnic discrimination in the West African nation characterized by what he has described as a “go-back-to-your-home mentality.”
In his homily during the Eucharistic celebration at Christ the King Kubwa Parish of Abuja Archdiocese, Archbishop Ignatius Ayau Kaigama called for “social cohesion” achieved through adherence to the message of Nigeria’s “national anthem.”
“Very often we hear, ‘Go back to your State, to your tribe; here is not your land.’ After having been born in a place, schooled and worked for an entire life, one is still considered a stranger and does not qualify to obtain an indigene certificate,” Archbishop Kaigama said Sunday, July 11.
Contrary to Europe and the US where people with Nigerian origins hold various offices, he observed, “back home it is unthinkable to find a Nigerian holding a lucrative or influential position outside of one’s state of origin; no matter how qualified the person may be, despite what we sing in our national anthem about being bound in freedom, peace and unity.”
He cautioned against discrimination based on ethnicity and nationalism saying, “Had the father of former US President Barack Obama been required to present an indigene certificate before settling and studying in the United States, Obama might not have been born there, not to talk of being elected to the prestigious office of the President of the United States.”