Nigeria “graduating” from Crisis to “other criminal elements”: Catholic Archbishop

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

A Catholic Archbishop in Nigeria has decried the fact that the country is witnessing crisis after crisis, the latest that is part of the series of “criminal elements” being last week’s bombing of a train, an incident in which at least nine lives were lost.

In his Sunday, April 3 homily, Archbishop Ignatius Ayau Kaigama of Nigeria’s Abuja Archdiocese said that,  just like the prodigal son in the Bible, the country is lost and needs to “embrace God’s therapeutic and reassuring welcome” to counter the challenges that the people face.

“In Nigeria, we seem to be graduating from the gruesome killings, kidnappings, the skyrocketing prices of goods in the market; the lingering fuel scarcity; the ASUU strike action, to the bombing of trains by terrorists and other criminal elements!” Archbishop Kaigama said.

The Nigerian Archbishop underlined the need for individuals and the nation as a whole to embrace God’s warm welcome in order “to move on with greater optimism, to turn a new leaf in our socio-economic, political and religious undertakings.”

He said that the issue of insecurity especially the recent train bombing should be handled before it escalates to massive bombings that could go to an extent of targeting planes.


“Who knows what, with our lackadaisical approach to issues we will wait until a plane full of passengers is brought down, God forbid, before we frantically set up investigation panels and committees which will definitely arrive at nothing,” Archbishop Kaigama said.

He reflected on the day’s Gospel passage about the adulterous woman and said that the dignity of women should be respected. He said that society should refrain from tolerating the “excesses of men” while demonizing women.

“They made her to stand in the full view of everyone but could not do the same to the man who was caught in the act with her,” Archbishop Kaigama said in reference to the Biblical adulterous woman, and added, “While our society seems to tolerate the excesses of men, it hardly condones the slightest mistakes from women.”

The Nigerian Catholic Archbishop likened the incident of the adulterous woman to the current situation in Africa’s most populous nation and said that women are still treated unfairly both culturally and politically.

“This is seen in the imbalanced treatment reserved for women in our socio-economic and political life, not to talk of the cultural biases that subordinate women, an obvious demonstration of our inability even today to respect the dignity of the woman,” he said.

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The Local Ordinary of Abuja Archdiocese challenged the people of God in the country to condemn the sin and not the sinner just the way Jesus condemned the sin of the woman and not the woman herself.

He said that Nigerians need to put behind bitterness and hostility towards one another to benefit from the divine transformation that is desperately needed.

“Let us learn to admit when we are at fault instead of the blame game or senseless rationalization of sins and offenses, or even claiming that ‘it is the work of the devil!’ the Nigerian Archbishop said.

He explained, “The woman that was caught in the very act of adultery accepted the indisputable fact that she was a sinner in need of mercy. Let us learn to be merciful and compassionate to one another.”

Archbishop Kaigama cautioned the people of God in the country against the mentality of self-righteousness and the attitude of judgment especially in the event of a call to conversion from evil, including the inhuman killings in the country.


The 63-year-old Archbishop made reference to Pope Francis’ Encyclical letter on fraternity and Social friendship, Fratelli Tutti, and called for the spirit of common humanity among all the Nigerians.

“We should seek to outdo one another in love rather than hate, forgiveness rather than revenge and embrace each other in the spirit of a common humanity,” the Nigerian Archbishop said, and added, “We are all brothers and sisters.”

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.