Archbishop in Nigeria Advocates for Wise Leadership, Cautions against “blind guides”

Archbishop Ignatius Ayau Kaigama during Mass at Holy Cross Gwarinpa Parish of Abuja Archdiocese.Credit: Archdiocese of Abuja

Archbishop Ignatius Ayau Kaigama of the Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja in Nigeria has called on religious and political leaders in the West African country to lead with wisdom by working on their own faults before correcting others so as to free themselves from “blind guides.”

In his Sunday, February 27 homily at Holy Cross Gwarinpa Parish of Abuja Archdiocese, Archbishop Kaigama reflected on the day’s Gospel Reading and underlined the need for wise leadership. 

“Jesus speaks in the Gospel about leaders who should see clearly and have the wisdom to lead others, since a blind man cannot lead a blind man. Leaders with the responsibility of governance must remove the log in their eyes so that they can better help others to remove theirs,” the Nigerian Archbishop said in his homily during the dedication of Holy Cross Parish church in his metropolitan See.

He said that leaders need to examine themselves critically and to work on their errors before correcting the faults committed by others so as to save the society from what he referred to as “blind guides.”

“What we find in our society today is sadly the reality of ‘blind guides’. There are some religious men and women who pose as ministers of God, but are ignorant about what true religion is,” Archbishop Kaigama said.


Reflecting further on the Sunday Gospel passage, the Nigerian Catholic Archbishop cautioned leaders against the tendency to see themselves as “excellent guides” saying that such an attitude might make them not to see their errors thereby leading people into a ditch, for “a blind man cannot lead another blind man.”

He said that Nigerian leaders who misuse their leadership positions fought for those positions not to serve people but for their own selfish gains including material possessions.

“There are some leaders who occupy big positions of responsibility today but lack the disposition to make such offices function properly. Some fight and even kill to occupy such offices, but are only guided by their quest for material possessions and could be regarded as ‘blind guides’”, he said.

Archbishop Kaigama challenged leaders in the West African country to “expunge hypocrisy and deception” so as to bear good fruits for the benefit of the country and its people.

He underlined the need to listen to each other saying that if listening is prioritized in the West African country, peace and solidarity will be the order of the day and that the nation will progress.

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“Our nation would achieve greater progress when we truly listen to one another in mutual respect,” Archbishop Kaigama said, and explained, “Government leaders must listen to its citizens, politicians must listen to the people they represent, employees must listen to their employers, the north to the south, one religious adherent to the other.”

Listening, he said, “is the path to enduring peace, greater solidarity and harmony in our society and the best way to resolve problems such as the lingering fuel scarcity in the nation.”

The Archbishop who has been at the helm of Abuja Archdiocese since November 2019 congratulated parishioners of Holy Cross Parish for erecting a place of worship and challenged them to go beyond physical buildings and to make their hearts “a more befitting home for God.”

“The dedication of this physical building is an invitation to also build beautiful spiritual and social relationships with God and with one another. We must make every effort to also obtain the graces to make our hearts a more befitting home for God,” he said.

The Nigerian Archbishop also reflected on this year’s Lenten Season and urged the people of God in Africa's most populous nation to examine themselves and to bear fruits that will attract more people to Christ.


“As the season of Lent begins on Wednesday this week, we need to look inside our hearts, reorder our steps, bear good fruits and inspire others to seek Christ,” Archbishop Kaigama said in reference to this year’s Lenten Season that begins March 2.

He encouraged other faithful under his pastoral care worshiping in open places to keep their Catholic communities alive despite the challenges they face saying that with time, they will also have buildings to worship in.

“This dedication is an invitation to hope, especially for the many new Pastoral Areas in different parts of our Archdiocese. Some of them gather to pray in temporary places for worship, with no permanent church land, no church edifice or rectories,” he said, and added, “One day, they too will be able to celebrate in a beautiful church such as this.”

Archbishop Kaigama also reiterated Pope Francis' call for prayers and fasting for the end of war in Ukraine, saying that the country’s warring situation has occurred due to absence of human compassion.

“The worsening Russia-Ukraine war situation is a failure in human compassion and the consequence of failure to listen to the voice of reason. The Holy Father, Pope Francis, has called for prayers and fasting on March 2, Ash Wednesday. May all troubled parts of the world find peace,” the Nigerian Catholic Archbishop said February 27.

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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.