NIGERIA: Cardinal Onaiyekan Retires, Archbishop Kaigama Transferred to Abuja

ABUJA, NOVEMBER 12, 2019 (CISA)-Pope Francis has appointed Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama as archbishop of Abuja.

He takes over from John Cardinal Onayekan who has attained 75 years, the retirement age for bishops and cardinals in the Church.

“The Holy Father has accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the archdiocese of Abuja, Nigeria, presented by His Eminence Cardinal John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan. He is succeeded by Bishop Ignatius Ayua Kaigama, currently coadjutor bishop of the same archdiocese,” reads an announcement made in Vatican on November 9.

Archbishop Kaigama, former President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) was until his recent appointment, the archbishop of Jos, a position he has occupied for the last 19 years.

Reacting to the appointment, President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria commended John Cardinal Onaiyekan for his contributions to the spiritual life of Christians in the country.

“As His Grace, Archbishop Kaigama begins a new phase of his ministry, the President joins all members of the Catholic Church across Nigeria in praying for a successful and memorable tenure in office that will see the Church accomplish great things for the unity and prosperity of the nation, while complementing government’s efforts at human and material development,” reads a statement signed by Femi Adesina, President Buhari’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity.

Archbishop Kaigama has previously served as President of the Episcopal Conference of West African Catholic Bishops and former Chairman of the Plateau State Interreligious Committee for Peace.

Archbishop Kaigama, 61, was ordained priest on June 6, 1981, and consecrated bishop on April 23, 1995.