Catholic Archbishop in Nigeria Blames Killings, Kidnappings to “cumulative effect of sins”

Archbishop Ignatius Ayau Kaigama during Holy Mass at Our Lady Queen of Nigeria Pro-Cathedral of the Archdiocese of Abuja on Easter Sunday. Credit: Archdiocese of Abuja

Banditry and other anti-social activities in different parts of Nigeria emanate from cumulative sins committed by citizens of the West African nation despite their religious affiliations, a Catholic Archbishop in the country has said.

In his Easter Sunday homily at Our Lady Queen of Nigeria Pro-Cathedral of the Archdiocese of Abuja, Archbishop Ignatius Ayau Kaigama said  that sin is “a gross disobedience to God” and that it hurts the individual who sins and the entire society irrespective of whether they are Muslim or Christian.

“The brutal killings, kidnappings, immoral and anti-social activities in different parts of Nigeria are brought about by the cumulative effect of sins in the nation,” Archbishop Kaigama said.

The Nigerian Catholic Archbishop said that the harsh social realities Nigeria is currently experiencing can only be minimized when people of God in the country will not only stop offending God but offending each other too.

He cautioned Nigerians against the habit of blaming the political class alone while forgetting to work on their inner self.  He said that all Nigerians should strive to abide by God’s law rather than accusing politicians for every misdeed in the country.


“In Nigeria, we have the habit of only blaming those in political leadership, but forgetting that in our private lives we violate God’s laws and also violate neighbors’ integrity and rights saying like Cain, ‘Am I my brother's keeper?’” he said.

Archbishop Kaigama added, “I am however impressed by the recent outbursts of righteous anger cutting across gender, age, religious and ethnic affiliations.”

“One sees videos of Christians lampooning Christian preachers who exploit the name of Jesus for their selfish aims, to the detriment of their gullible followers. A Catholic lady challenged some Catholic Priests against being disrespectful to parishioners and being materialistic instead of working for the salvation of souls,” he said.

The Local Ordinary of Abuja Archdiocese continued, “An Islamic Sheikh not succumbing to religious sentiments was critical of the lackadaisical attitude of government to the safety of lives following bombings, kidnappings, and endless acts of insecurity.”

He went on to reflect on the EndSars protests among other efforts by Nigerians to have a peaceful country and said that it is encouraging for people to unite irrespective of their differences to call their leaders to order.

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“It is encouraging that people are taking on leaders irrespective of whether they are of similar religious or ethnic affiliation and challenging their lacklustre performance,” Archbishop Kaigama said, and added, “By the ‘Endsars’ protests, the youths successfully passed a judgment on the failure of government to secure them and provide for them and their future.”

He said that the coming together of Nigerians to protest against corrupt leaders is an indicator that “there is no doubt that there is anger across religious and ethnic lines against leaders who milk the country dry and rob the citizens of a decent life.”  

Making reference to the country’s general elections slated for 2023, Archbishop Kaigama said that the people of God in Africa’s most populous nation are insincere about those vying for different political seats.

He said that Nigerians are in need of leaders that are not only selfless but equally empathetic and with the ability to prioritize their needs.

“Even as governance appears to take the back seat as the drums of campaigns ahead of the 2023 general elections are rolling out, many are questioning the sincerity of politicians vying for public offices,” the Nigerian Archbishop said.


He explained, “Nigerians want selfless and empathetic leaders, not those paranoid, defensive and antagonistic towards critics.”

Archbishop Kaigama said that the people of God in Nigeria need a leader who will address their issues, which he said affect their daily lives. He said that Nigerians do not need leaders that will operate “in their comfort zones”.

“Nigerians detest leaders operating in their comfort zones and who do not feel the discomfort and pain of the lack of electricity, potable water, fuel or the social dislocation caused by the frequent disruption of schools and medical services due to strikes by workers pressing for their legitimate rights,” he said.

The Nigerian Archbishop who has been at the helm of the Archdiocese since November 2019 reflected on Easter Sunday gospel on the empty tomb and initial testimonies of the risen Lord and encouraged Christians to forge forward irrespective of the challenges they face.

“Christ’s resurrection is victory of life over death, of hope over despair, and of love over hatred; victory of good over evil, unity over rivalry, generosity over selfishness, peace over violence, co-existence over strife, justice over iniquity, and truth over falsehood,” Archbishop Kaigama said.

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He explained, “Christians should boldly witness and proclaim the risen Lord in a world darkened by sin, gripped by fear, violence, wars and corruption.”

He cautioned Nigerians on the possible misuse of digital media forums, saying, “Our social media platforms are sometimes filled with sad, fake and bad news; just as our world is invaded by the virus of immorality and acts causing hopelessness and needless pains.”

Archbishop Kaigama underlined the need for “Muslims and Christians whose Ramadan and Easter coincide this year” to unite towards fighting social vices such as corruption and injustices.

“Amidst the religious and political voices of hatred and violence, Muslims and Christians whose Ramadan and Easter coincide this year again, should go beyond mutual courteous felicitations to be instruments of fostering social harmony and peaceful co-existence, speaking and acting against corruption, injustice and greed; doing everything to overcome ethno-religious and socio-political hostilities,” the 63-year-old Nigerian Archbishop during his Easter Sunday homily.

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.