Pioneer Catholic Bishop of Zaria Diocese in Nigeria Dies at 66 after Short Illness

Late Bishop George Jonathan Dodo who died on 8 July 2022 following a brief illness. Credit: CBCN

The first Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Zaria in Nigeria has passed on at the age of 66. 

Bishop George Jonathan Dodo died on Friday, July 8 following “a brief illness,” the Vice Chancellor of Zaria Diocese has announced a statement shared with ACI Africa.

“With gratitude to God I have been directed to announce the passing unto glory of our Bishop, Most. Rev. George Jonathan Dodo, the pioneer Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Zaria,” Fr. Abraham Bisan Nake says in the July 8 statement. 

Fr. Nake adds, “This sad event took place in the early hours of Friday, 8th July, 2022 after a brief illness.”

Bishop Dodo has been at the helm of Zaria Diocese since March 2001. Pope John Paul II erected the Nigerian Diocese from the Archdiocese of Kaduna in December 2000. 


Born in April 1956, the late Nigerian Catholic Bishop was ordained a member of the Clergy of the Archdiocese of Kaduna in June 1983.

At the time of his death, Bishop Dodo was serving as a committee member of the Mission and Inter Religious Dialogue Department of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria

He served as the chairman of Kaduna State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) from December 2012 to 2019.

Following the news of the Bishop’s demise, Nigerians have taken to social media to mourn him and condole with the people of God in Zaria Diocese. 

“Our thoughts and prayers with the people of the Catholic Diocese of Zaria Diocese, Kaduna Archdiocese and the entire Catholic Community in Nigeria and the world at large. May the soul of Bishop Dodo and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercies of God rest in Peace. Amen,” officials of Fides Media, the Communications Directorate of Nigeria’s Awka Diocese, say on Facebook.

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On his part, Evang Paul Oluebube Chimeremma says, “O Death where is thy sting? Just woke up this morning to hear the sad news of the death of Most Rev. Dr. George Jonathan Dodo the Roman Catholic Bishop of Zaria, Nigeria. May the Lord whom you have served so well here on earth receive you in heaven, that you may join the company of his saints and angels, Amen.

Rest in peace our Lord Bishop. We commiserate with the entire Catholic parishioners of Zaria and the World at large. May his soul rest in peace, Amen,” officials of the Diocese of Bomadi have said on Facebook

In the July 8 statement announcing the Nigerian Bishop’s death, the Vice Chancellor of Zaria Diocese says, “While we enjoin all to pray for his peaceful repose, information regarding his burial will be announced as soon as possible.”

Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.