Fred Ezeh, Abuja
New Archbishop of Abuja Catholic Archdiocese, Most Rev. Ignatius Kaigama, confirmed on Tuesday, that he won’t be a replica of Emeritus Archbishop of the Archdiocese, Cardinal John Onaiyekan, who was known for being a vocal and social critic.
He said his primary role as Archbishop of Abuja is perform his priestly, kingly and prophetic responsibilities as assign to him by the Holy Father, Pope Francis, and not to be an antagonist who, perhaps, derive joy and pleasure in discrediting people, either in government or outside the government.
At his maiden press conference in Abuja, alongside Cardinal Onaiyekan, the former Archbishop of Jos Catholic Archdiocese, appreciated the great role played by Cardinal Onaiyekan, in uplifting the Catholic Church in Abuja and beyond.
He said: “I am primarily here as a Priest and not a political or economic analyst. I am also not here as a social critic. I am here to exercise my prophetic, priestly and kingly responsibilities as a Priest.
“I don’t intend to set out another government or believe that I can make everything right in Nigeria within a short time. But I will be concerned about what is happening in Nigeria and speak out when the need arises.
“Part of my prophetic work has to do with issues of social justice, equal opportunities, good governance, amongst others. I won’t hunt for problems but when they come, I will do my best to tackle them with my Priestly skills and experience.
“I must emphasis that I won’t be a replica of His Eminence, John Onaiyekan. He is John Onaiyekan and I am Ignatius Kaigama. We are two different people with our uniqueness and differences in age, status, experience and several other things. You don’t expect that I suddenly become a replica of His Eminence, Cardinal John Onaiyekan.
“In as much as I will rely on his counsel and already established platform, I will be myself, use my strength, experiences and potentials to make positive impact in the lives of people. People will be terribly disappointed if they want a replica of Cardinal John Onaiyekan in me.
Meanwhile, Cardinal Onaiyekan, in his remarks, congratulated the incoming Archbishop of Abuja, and expressed confidence in the capacity and experience of the new Archbishop to succeed beyond him.
He promised to support him in prayers and every other way possible for the good of Catholics in Abuja and beyond.