The President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), Most Rev Ignatius Ayau Kaigama, has paid a solidarity visit to the Bishop, Clergy, Religious and the entire Laity of the Catholic Diocese of Kafanchan.
The President who was accompanied on the visit by the Secretary General of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, Rev. Fr Ralph Madu, the Deputy Secretary General, Rev. Fr. Zachariah Zamjummi, as well as the Director of Social Communications, Rev Fr Chris N Anyanwu noted that he had come in the name of the CBCN to specifically see the Local Ordinary of the Diocese of Kafanchan, Most Rev Joseph Bagobiri who had been hospitalized for over six months on ground of ill health and also to commiserate with Kafanchan Diocese and the entire people of Southern Kaduna for the unfortunate crisis that has for so long engulfed the area.
“We have come on behalf of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) on a two-fold mission. Firstly, to see you since you came back from your medical trip abroad. We have known your health condition and you have been the focal point of our prayers and Masses for a long time. We are happy that you are fairly ok now and that you are responding to treatment. It is our prayer that God will renew your energy and grant you total healing. Secondly, to commensurate with you, the priests, religious and laity of the Catholic Diocese of Kafanchan on the unfortunate crisis that has befallen your Diocese and the people of Southern Kaduna in general.” Kaigama said.
“Again, we come as a family in solidarity with you to bring you greetings and assurances of prayer from the CBCN that is being continuously offered for you and the Diocese of Kafanchan. As Christians who believe in prayers, we know that it is the only power we have to make an appeal to God on your behalf.” He continued.
The CBCN President who is also the Archbishop of Jos made a prophetic reassurance of the end of the Southern Kaduna conflict in no distant time.
“We have equally come to announce the good tiding that is borne out of our faith and conviction that the crisis and violence in Southern Kaduna where your Diocese is located which has destabilized the people and brought untold, hardship and tensions will become a thing of the past in the power of the God who makes the impossibility to be possible.”
Receiving the CBCN President and his entourage, in the presence of his Vicar General, Rev. Fr. Ibrahim Bawa Yakubu and some representatives of the Priests and laity of the Diocese, the Catholic Bishop of Kafanchan, Most Rev. Joseph Bagobiri expressed gratitude for the visit of the CBCN President and his entourage.
“Thank you for your presence and kind words of encouragement. You have exhibited a visionary leadership since your election as the President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria. You have equally touched every aspect of lives that affects the Church and the society.” Bagobiri noted.
Continuing, he said: “Your visit today has again demonstrated your love for our diocese. I am able to be here today because of your collective prayers. Many of the Bishops have also visited me here as well as while I was away for my medical trip. I am particularly touched by the spirit of solidarity exhibited by our conference towards me as a person and the Catholic diocese of Kafanchan since the crisis that engulfed the people of Southern Kaduna. In particular, I express my deep appreciation for your prayers and financial assistance. This sentiment of gratitude will be further be carried on officially to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria.”
On his part, the Vicar General of Kafanchan Diocese, Rev. Fr. Ibrahim Bawa Yakubu also extended his thanks to the CBCN President for what he described as a ‘historic visit.’
“Ever since we found ourselves in this crisis situation, we have enjoyed the solidarity of the Catholic Bishops’ of Nigeria. First, was the visit of the Bishops of Kaduna Ecclesiastical Province led by Most Rev Matthew Ndagoso. And now, we are honored with this historic visit of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria. We want to thank God for the initiative of this visit as well as your financial support for our Diocese. We also thank God that our bishop who has been sick is with us today after his absence in the Diocese for almost six months.”
Concluding, he noted: “There is a persecution that can bring down the church and there is another persecution that can bring up the church. Our people will come back from this crisis to regain their land and be stronger in their faith. May the Good Lord continue to strengthen our resolve to remain faithful to Him even in the midst of provocation and persecutions. And may He grant you all journey mercies as you go back.” He concluded.
The CBCN President, Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama , on behalf of the Bishops Conference, presented a cheque of 20 million Naira to the Diocese of Kafanchan.