Let’s Unite in Search of Solutions amid “so many challenges”: Archbishop to Nigerians

Archbishop Ignatius Ayau Kaigama administers the Sacrament of Confirmation at St. Joseph the Worker Kugbo Parish of the Archdiocese of Abuja. Credit: Abuja Archdiocese

The Archbishop of Nigeria’s Abuja Archdiocese has emphasized the need for the people of God in the West Africa nation to unite in search of solutions to the “so many challenges” in the country. 

In his Sunday, October 9 homily at St. Joseph the Worker Kugbo Parish of his Metropolitan See, Archbishop Ignatius Ayau Kaigama said, “In the face of so many challenges Nigerians are tempted to generalize and to have a blurred vision about national realities.”

“We have either consciously or unconsciously been pushed into complaining so often that we tend to curse the darkness instead of lighting a candle,” Archbishop Kaigama said.

He added, “In the ugly situation of our country, in the tearful events that hit us every now and again, we must be united in seeking remedies, such as sincerely seeking the intervention of God and making very wise political choices.”

The Nigerian Archbishop made reference to the Gospel Reading of the Twenty-eighth Sunday of Ordinary Time on the cure of ten lepers, saying, “The common tragedy of their leprosy forced them to see one another as people in need of help.”


“This is what I hope our poverty, misery, insecurity, etc. in Nigeria will do by binding us together and leading us to treat one another with greater respect and dignity, beyond borders or artificial barriers, so that we can make informed and wise political choices in the next elections,” Archbishop Kaigama said.

The Nigerian Archbishop who has been at the helm of Abuja Archdiocese since November 2019 added, “The lessons of the Covid-19 pandemic must not also be forgotten in a hurry where irrespective of class, race or social status, humanity was placed on the same plane, to battle for survival.”

“Gratitude can shift our focus from what is lacking in our lives to becoming aware of how much we have been given,” he further said, adding, “Our perseverance in hardship is one of the ways of showing thanks to God for what He has bestowed on us.”

Archbishop Kaigama went on to highlight some of the challenges Nigerians face, saying, “It is common knowledge that many Nigerian leaders steal humongous amounts of money meant for improving the lot of their people.”

“Without compunction they steal from vulnerable people such as IDPs, HIV patients, COVID-19 victims, innocent school children, prisoners, pensioners, etc. Perhaps this is why many Nigerians have become cynical, bitter, and unable to see things positively,” the Local Ordinary of Abuja Archdiocese who started his Episcopal Ministry as Bishop of Nigeria’s Jalingo Diocese in April 1995 said.

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These groups, the Nigerian Archbishop said in reference to the vulnerable people in Africa’s most populous nation, “See the half empty glass instead of the half full glass, where in the midst of so many social deprivations, violence, crimes, divisive tendencies and all sorts of anti-social behaviors multiply.”

He challenged the electorate in Nigeria to use their “ballot papers judiciously” and vote for candidates characterized with “compassion and sensitivity” during the 25 February 2023 general elections.

“God can take away the socio-economic and political leprosy bedeviling our dear nation if we call on Him with a sincere heart, and use our ballot papers judiciously to elect leaders of compassion and sensitivity; leaders whose gratitude to Nigeria and Nigerians will not let them turn their back on the people in scandalous ingratitude,” Archbishop Kaigama said October 9.

He added, “Let us choose our leaders not from those who take everything as if it is owed to them but from the ranks of those who do not take the patience and endurance of Nigerians for granted.”

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.