"Perplexing": Catholic Archbishop on Swearing in of Nigeria’s President Despite Petition

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

It is “perplexing” that Bola Ahmed Tinubu has been sworn in as Nigeria’s new President despite the fact that the Presidential election petition has not yet been heard and determined, Archbishop Ignatius Ayau Kaigama of the country’s Abuja Archdiocese has said.

The swearing in of 71-year-old Tinubu took place on Monday, May 29 at the 5,000-capacity Eagle Square in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, amid enhanced security, according to media reports.

In his Pentecost Sunday Message published on May 28, Archbishop Kaigama says, "We all know that various court cases are pending. It would have been much better to conclude the courts cases about the elections first before the inauguration, but the law being the ‘ass’ that it is, sometimes allows things that are perplexing."

"Justice must be seen to be done for those sworn in, and also for those who may have genuine grievances and believe they have incontestable facts and evidence that would be in their favor. Our courts must provide a very strong hope for all Nigerians, not the ‘last hope’ as people often say, (because God is our last hope)," he says.

The Nigerian Catholic Archbishop adds, "Let justice and truth prevail at all times and in all places so that our nation will be the better for it, namely, that we all act justly, love tenderly and walk in humble fellowship with God.”


He goes on to underscore the need for Nigeria to join the league of nations with mature democracies "by calling what is wrong by its name and what is an aberration or controversial, what it is without fear or favor."

The Local Ordinary of Abuja since December 2019 also invokes the Holy Spirit to transform the West African nation and her people, giving them the “strength and courage to go on despite the rough and tough times”.

"May the Holy Spirit bring to Nigeria and Nigerians a new spirit, style, behavior, attitude, and destroy the spirit of condescending perception we have of one another,” he implores.

May the Holy Spirit, Archbishop Kaigama further implores, “engender the spirit of other-centeredness rather than self-centeredness; purify especially our government officials of corrupt tendencies; enable court judges to be influenced only by truth and justice and not by who has greater influence or resources."

The 64-year-old Archbishop who started his Episcopal Ministry in April 1995 also invokes the Holy Spirit for the “positive transformation” of the hearts of all leaders in Africa's most populous nation.

More in Africa

“May the Holy Spirit give the ordinary Nigerian citizens the grace to live well; that irrespective of bad and corrupt governance and tough times, they will remain faithful to their conscience before God,” he says in his May 28 Pentecost Sunday message 2023.

He further invoked the power of the Holy Spirit to “help us to do away with very strong and damaging religious prejudices; ethnic conflicts that lead to untold destruction to lives and property.”

May the Holy Spirit, Archbishop Kaigama continues, “blow away the ill wind of acrimonious politics and reckless use of resources meant to develop and prosper the ordinary 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.