Claims that Nigerian Archbishop Endorsed Political Candidate “false news”: Disclaimer

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

News reports alleging that the Local Ordinary of Nigeria’s Abuja Archdiocese has endorsed the vice-presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) party in the 2023 election are false, the Archdiocesan Communications Director has said in a disclaimer. 

In the Thursday, July 14 statement, Fr. Patrick Alumuku makes reference to a republished news article in which Archbishop Ignatius Ayau Kaigama states why he admires Mr. Kashim Shettima. The said article was originally published in 2016. 

It has come to the notice of the Department of the Social Communications of the Archdiocese of Abuja a false news which has gone viral on the endorsement of Kashim Shettima as the APC Vice Presidential candidate,” Fr. Alumuku says. 

The Nigerian Priest seeks “to set the records right”. He says, “At no point has the venerable Archbishop either in his personal capacity or as the Metropolitan of Abuja Ecclesiastical Province made such comments."

Fr. Alumuku says that Archbishop Kaigama “has not and will not endorse any candidate as his flock cuts across political parties and he would not prefer one candidate above the other.”


The Catholic Priest explains that Archbishop Kaigama, like other Catholic members of the Clergy, are prohibited from actively participating in politics. 

"Those familiar with the norms of the Catholic Church understand that Canon 285 § 2 admonishes that 'Clerics are to avoid those things which, although not unbecoming, are nevertheless foreign to the clerical state,’" he says. 

Fr. Alumuku adds, "Endorsing a candidate of a particular party by any cleric as purported is certainly foreign to the clerical state and not a possible action by Catholic Cleric."

For this reason, the official of Abuja Archdiocese says, it is "unthinkable that Archbishop Kaigama who knows better the workings of the Church as a top cleric in the Nigerian sphere, would make such alleged endorsement."

"How could he when such posture contradicts the very essence of his episcopal ministry?" Fr. Alumuku poses rhetorically. 

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According to the Communications Director of Abuja Archdiocese, the fact that the fake news came out after the APC presidential candidate announced his fellow Muslim as his running mate shows that “the loyalists of the ruling party have been at their wits end explaining to Nigerians the soundness of their choice."

He says that since Bola Ahmed Tinubu announced the former Governor of Borno as his running mate in the 2023 presidential election, APC loyalists have been using “the good names of reputable Nigerians to launder the image of Shettima.”

Fr. Alumuku says the peddlers of the fake news are out of touch with the reality of the Catholic Church in Nigeria. 

He explains that the republished news article still refers to Archbishop Kaigama as the President of Catholic Bishops' Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), a post that he no longer holds. 

"Archbishop Kaigama ended his tenure as President of Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) since 2018. After him, there have been two successors, yet the bearers of the false news presented him now in 2022 as the President of CBCN, which he longer is,” Fr. Alumuku says in his July 14 disclaimer.  


The Nigerian Catholic Priest says that it is "a shame" that comments, which the Archbishop made years ago have "been reinvented by mischievous makers to mean endorsement of Shettima as Tinubu’s vice presidential candidate."

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.