In a heartfelt celebration, the Archbishop of Abuja Diocese, Most Rev. Ignatius Kaigama, extolled the contributions of John Cardinal Onaiyekan to national unity during a mass organized to honor the revered figure on his 80th birthday

A Pillar of Peace and Unity

Archbishop Kaigama expressed profound admiration for Cardinal Onaiyekan’s unwavering commitment to preaching peaceful coexistence and fostering genuine inter-religious dialogue in Nigeria. He emphasized the impact of Onaiyekan’s inter-religious initiatives, describing him as an intellectual colossus, a loyal son of the Church, and a patriotic Nigerian.

“Cardinal Onaiyekan’s desire for peaceful and harmonious coexistence, coupled with genuine inter-religious dialogue, has resonated not only within Nigeria but has taken him to different parts of the world,” stated Kaigama.

Exceptional Dedication

Describing Onaiyekan’s commitment as exceptional, Kaigama highlighted the cardinal’s multifaceted role in managing significant responsibilities simultaneously. From overseeing the large Metropolitan area of Abuja to presiding over the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria and holding prominent positions in regional and continental Episcopal Conferences, Onaiyekan’s dedication has earned him admiration and excellence.

“God has blessed Cardinal Onaiyekan with unusual strength and ability to combine so many things at the same time,” praised Kaigama.

A Cardinal’s Legacy

Recognizing Onaiyekan’s influential role in the Catholic Church, Kaigama acknowledged the cardinal’s elevation by the Pope, stating, “No wonder, the Pope honored him by making him a Cardinal.”

As the Catholic community gathered to celebrate Onaiyekan’s milestone birthday, Archbishop Kaigama expressed gratitude to the faithful for their sacrifices and contributions to the occasion.

The mass and celebration not only honored Cardinal Onaiyekan’s 80 years but also celebrated his enduring impact on national unity, inter-religious harmony, and his exceptional service to both the Church and the Nigerian nation.



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