Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The Holy Father, Pope Francis, has accepted the retirement of His Eminence, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, as the Metropolitan Catholic Archbishop of Abuja.
The Chancellor of the Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja, Rev. Fr. Sebastian Musa, announced Onaiyekan’s retirement in a statement made available to Sunday Sun in Abuja.
Musa said Pope Francis accepted the retirement of Onaiyekan and appointed Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama as Archbishop of Abuja.
He added that both the retirement of Onaiyekan and the appointment of Kaigama are with immediate effect.
A priest of Jukun origin from Taraba State, Kaigama was until his appointment, the Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Jos and immediate past President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN).
“May I humbly request that you kindly remember in your prayers, our Archbishop Emeritus – John Cardinal O. Onaiyekan, Archbishop Ignatius A. Kaigama.
“Through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of the Apostles, May God in His love and mercy, continue to guide and bless our archbishops and the archdiocese. Amen,” Musa prayed.
Onaiyekan’s retirement is sequel to his earlier letter informing the Supreme Pontiff of his decision to proceed on retirement, having clocked the retirement age of 75 on January 29, 2019.
Following the notification, Pope Francis had on March 11, 2019, named Archbishop Kaigama as the Coadjutor Archbishop of Abuja.
Born on July 31, 1958, Kaigama studied for the priesthood at St. Augustine’s Major Seminary in Jos, and Rome respectively.
He was ordained on June 6, 1981 and was appointed bishop of Jalingo by Pope John Paul II, now Saint Pope John Paul. Kaigama was consecrated bishop on April 23, 1995.
In 2000, Kaigama was again appointed by Pope John Paul II to succeed the late Archbishop Gabriel Ganaka as Archbishop of Jos.
Meanwhile, efforts to reach Onaiyekan and Kaigama on the development were unsuccessful. While Onaiyekan is perceived to be abroad, Kaigama did not respond to calls placed across to his mobile line, nor a text message from Sunday Sun.