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POPE Francis has appointed the former President of Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) Ignatius Kaigama as the new Catholic Archbishop of Abuja.
Kaigama replaces John Cardinal Onaiyekan who clocked the retirement age of 75 on January 29.
Pope Francis, who was represented by Apostolic Nuncio to Nigeria, Archbishop Antonio Guido Filipazzi, made the announcement Monday in Abuja at the opening ceremony of the first plenary meeting of the CBCN.
Kaigama, who is currently the Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Jos and is a priest of Jukun origin from Taraba State.
“We congratulate and pray for Archbishop Kaigama. I know that it is not easy for him. But I told him like Abraham, go out of your land in the land God will show you and God will bless you and make you the father of many people,” Filipazzi said.
Born on July 31, 1958, Kaigama studied for the priesthood at St. Augustine’s Major Seminary in Jos, and Rome respectively.
In 2000, Kaigama was appointed by Pope John Paul II to succeed the late Archbishop Gabriel Ganaka as Archbishop of Jos.
The new Abuja Archbishop Kaigama was ordained on June 6, 1981, and was appointed Bishop of Jalingo by Pope John Paul II, before he was later consecrated as bishop on April 23, 1995.