Pioneer Bishop of Nigerian Diocese Urged to Speak Out against “reckless spilling of blood”

Bishop Gerald Mamman Musa of Nigeria's Katsine Diocese. Credit: Nigeria Catholic Network

The pioneer Catholic Bishop of the newly erected Diocese of Katsina in Nigeria has been urged to prioritize the denouncing of the “reckless spilling of blood” in his Episcopal See.

In his homily during the Tuesday, December 12 Episcopal Ordination of Mons. Gerald Mamman Musa, Bishop Augustine Ndubueze Echema of Nigeria’s Aba Diocese asked the new Bishop to “speak up in the face of injustice.”

“Like your brothers, Most Rev. Mathew Ndagoso of Kaduna Archdiocese and Most Rev. Matthew Kukah of Sokoto Diocese, you will become another voice to denounce the mindless and reckless spilling of blood here in the North and other parts of the country,” Bishop Echema said during the event that was held at St. Martin de Porres Catholic Church in Kaduna.

He added, “You must continue to tell the criminals and all those involved, that the shedding of innocent blood is wrong.”

“You are being empowered today, to speak up in the face of injustice, to join other Bishops in Nigeria to become the voice of the voiceless and to cater for the many displaced families and refugees in your homeland,” Bishop Echema said.


He continued, “As a Chief Shepherd and Pastor, you are to give constant attention to the socio-political happenings in our nation.” 

The Local Ordinary of Aba went on to call upon the new Bishop to pay careful attention to the socio-political happenings in Africa’s most populous nation, cautioning him against indifference regarding the plight of the suffering masses.

He said, “We as pastors cannot sit on the fence and turn our back on the oppressed and the suffering masses; we are to intercede and advocate for the oppressed, weak and the marginalized in our society.”

On October 16, Pope Francis made public the erection of the Catholic Diocese of Katsina, and the appointment of a new Bishop for the Nigerian Diocese. 

The newly consecrated Nigerian Catholic Bishop who was born in January 1971 in Zamfara State was ordained a Priest of Sokoto Catholic Diocese in June 1996.

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In his December 12 homily, Bishop Echema reminded the new Bishop of the mission of Christ that he accepted to continue when he embraced Christianity and Catholicism. 

“His mission is very clear, to heal the afflicted in Nigeria, comfort those who mourn and to announce the goodness of Christ; to liberate those in prison, liberty for our people held in captivity by Boko Haram, herdsmen, kidnappers and to bring succor to our teeming youths, who are wallowing aimlessly without a future,” he said.

The Nigerian Catholic Church leader implored, “As we consecrate you today, I humbly implore God to strengthen you, and bless you with an ever burning zeal and undaunted courage through the intercession and maternal care of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church and the apostles whom you have become one of their successors.”

In his maiden speech as Bishop, the Local Ordinary of Katsina Diocese thanked Pope Francis for the Episcopal appointment, and pledged to pursue “primary evangelization in rural and urban areas.”

“We are aware of the challenges ahead of us, which include setting up the needed administrative structures for the diocese,” Bishop Musa said, and added, “We will engage in primary evangelization in rural and urban areas, pastoral care of people who are physically sick, emotionally traumatized, educationally backwards and promote vocation to Priestly and Religious Life.”


Bishop Musa continued, “We shall adopt a holistic approach to evangelization.”

The newly consecrated Bishop called upon the people of God and members of relevant entities to partner with him “in building the new Diocese, by investing in their work of evangelization, educating the poorest of the poor, empowering people and supporting the training of seminarians.”

Katsina Diocese, the 60th Catholic Diocese in Nigeria, was dismembered from the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto. It is the seventh suffragan Diocese in the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Kaduna, alongside Kafanchan, Kano, Kontagora, Minna, Sokoto, and Zaria Dioceses.

Measuring 29,000 square kilometers, the newest Nigerian Diocese starts off with a population of 9,669,439 of which 19,000 are Catholics, the Vatican statistics show. St. Martin de Porres Church in Katsina is to serve as the Cathedral Church of the new Episcopal See.

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.