16 things you need to know about new Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, Archbishop Kaigama

Following the acceptance of the resignation of John Cardinal Onaiyekan, Pope Francis has formally appointed Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama as the new Archbishop of Abuja. Here are some snippets about the archbishop you need to know.

1. His full name is Ignatius Ayau Kaigama.

2. He was born on July 31, 1958.

3. Kaigama is of Jukun tribe from Kona in Taraba State.

4. He studied at St. Augustine’s Major Seminary in Jos, Plateau State.

5. He was ordained a priest on June 6, 1981.

6. Kaigama earned a doctorate in theology  from the Pontifical Gregorian University 1991.

7. Pope John Paul II appointed him bishop of the newly established Roman Catholic Diocese of Jalingo on February 3, 1994 but was consecrated as bishop on April 23, 1995.

8. On May 18,  2000, Pope John Paul named Kaigama to succeed Gabriel Gonsum Ganaka as Archbishop of Jos.

9. Archbishop Kaigama was President, Nigerian Catholic Bishops Conference from 2012 to 2018.

10. He is President,  Episcopal Conference of West African Catholic Bishops.

11. Kaigama is Chairman, Plateau State-convened “Interreligious Committee for Peace”.

11. Together with the late Emir of Wase, Alhaji Haruna Abdullahi, Archbishop Kaigama  has been involved in promoting mutual understanding between Christians and Muslims.

12. On July 25, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI named Kaigama, member of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelisation.

13. During his leadership, the Catholic Bishops Conference in Nigeria in 2014, supported legislation to make participation in a same-sex marriage a crime punishable by 14 years imprisonment.

14. Archbishop Kaigama condemned foreign aid programs for a disproportionate emphasis on contraception. In 2014, he said: “In the first place, children die in infant mortality, in inter-tribal wars and diseases, but yet you come to say ‘decrease your population and we will give you economic help.’ We want food, we want education, we want good roads, healthcare. We are being given the wrong things and we are being asked to accept, simply because we are poor.”

15. Pope Francis named him Archbishop Kaigama Coadjutor of Abuja on March 11, 2019.

16. Kaigama became Archbishop of Abuja when Pope Francis accepted the resignation of his predecessor, John Cardinal Onaiyekan on November 9, 2019.