Follow Christ amid “darkness of insecurity, corruption”: Nigerian Archbishop to Students

Archbishop Ignatius Ayau Kaigama with students of Louisville Girls’ Secondary School Abuja. Credit: Abuja Archdiocese/Facebook

The Archbishop of Nigeria’s Abuja Archdiocese has urged the students at a Catholic sponsored in his Metropolitan See to follow Jesus Christ and “shine out as the light of Christ” amid a myriad of challenges in their country.

In his Sunday, June 26 homily at Louisville Girls’ Secondary School, Archbishop Ignatius Ayau Kaigama reflected on the Gospel Reading for the Thirteenth Sunday from Luke. 

Underscoring the theme of discipleship, the Nigerian Archbishop who was at the “private, Catholic post-primary school for girls” that is under the auspices of the Sisters of St. Louis (SSL) urged the students to be “followers of Christ with good focus”.

“It is expected that you will not only be good students but also followers of Christ with good focus, exemplary conduct and shine out as the light of Christ in the midst of so much darkness of insecurity, corruption, immorality and violence in our contemporary Nigeria,” Archbishop Kaigama said.

He added, “By your education you are being prepared for these challenges, and hopefully, for a brighter future. I am here to bless you and pray with you and to encourage you to devote more time and energy to your study.”


The Nigerian Archbishop who was at the school to “confirm 52 students, to give first communion to 13 students, in addition to the 4 students baptized and to receive one student into the Catholic Church” emphasized the need for the students to devote their time to studies, saying, “We need more genuine disciples in the Church and good citizens in the civil society.”

He went on to challenge the staff of the girls’ school that is located in Gwagwalada in Abuja to help in shaping the “young girls” as future leaders of the West African Nation “through their exemplary conduct and dedication to duty.”

Speaking on the issue of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike in the West African country, Archbishop Kaigama urged the students to tap into the “academic programs” and “morals” at their Catholic school where learning goes on uninterrupted.

He said, “Dear students, you are lucky that in a Catholic school like yours, regular teaching is guaranteed, morals are built into the academic programs, and there are no needless interruptions as the type occasioned by ASUU strike, which has left students for so long stranded at home, simply because government has failed to meet the legitimate demands of teachers.”

Making reference to the Sunday Gospel reading, Archbishop Kaigama cautioned the students against “focusing on material prosperity and miracles” at the expense of embracing the cross that is “part of their Christian calling”.

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The message in the Gospel according to Luke, he said, “is directed at those who are finding it hard to accept the cross as part of their Christian calling and witnessing but only focusing on material prosperity and miracles.”

The Nigerian Archbishop listed “procrastination” and “divided loyalty” as some of the hindrances that stand in the way of students in their studies.

Making reference to procrastination, he said that students “think there is a lot of time, so they keep postponing the good things they should do. They have excuses for their failures or mistakes.”

“Procrastinating students are those who do not prepare long before exams but prefer to go for night vigils, believing that prayers alone will make them pass exams or by exam malpractices,” the 63-year-old Archbishop who started his Episcopal Ministry in Nigeria’s Jalingo Diocese in April 1995 said.

He went on to caution students against divided loyalty, saying, “Today provides the opportunity for us to ask for the grace to be true disciples of Jesus – disciples who are faithful and committed, able to say an unconditional ‘yes’ to Jesus.”


Making reference to the Second Reading, St. Paul’s letter to the Galatians, Archbishop Kaigama urged students to be careful about self-indulgence that involves “seeking only the kingdom of this world instead of the kingdom of heaven.”

Reflecting on the First Reading that narrated the handing over of prophetic ministry from the aging Elijah to the comparatively younger Elisha, the Archbishop said that in life, a time comes when those holding power are required to hand over to others.

“We must create space and opportunities for the younger people,” he said, and regretted the fact that “this is what Nigerian politicians are unwilling to do.”

The Local Ordinary of Abuja Archdiocese thanked parents for both their “moral and material support” to the SSL girls’ secondary school, which he said is of great importance in the “face of government denying faith-based schools the support that can make education for children less expensive.”

Making reference to the parents, he said, “Your children are here like the disciples of Jesus to learn and to improve themselves to be agents of positive change in our society.”

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In his June 26 homily, Archbishop Kaigama further called upon the authorities in Africa’s most populous nation to be challenged by the U.S pro-life ruling on June 24 and uphold human life.

“In our country today where life is taken at will and people kidnapped even from their homes, the Supreme Court ruling in the US on Friday, in favor of the protection of human life in the womb, should impel our authorities to protect life both in the womb as well as outside,” the Archbishop who has been at the helm of Abuja Archdiocese since November 2019 said.

Turning his attention to 2023 general elections in the West African nation, he said, “It is gratifying to note that the youths of this country are intelligently teaming up beyond the sentiments of tribe and religion, hopefully, to elect in 2023, decent and people-centered leaders who can bring the needed change and progress to Nigeria and Nigerians”

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.