New Catholic Archbishop ordained in Ibadan

The governors of Oyo and Ekiti were among the dignitaries that attended the event.

The Catholic Archdiocese of Ibadan got a new archbishop on Friday as Gabriel Abegunrin, Bishop of Osogbo Diocese, was ordained to replace, Alaba Job, who recently retired after 43 years.

The ceremony was overseen on behalf of Pope Francis II, by the Apostolic Nuncio, Augustine Kasujja, also an Archbishop, at the SS Peter and Paul Major Seminary, Bodija, Ibadan.

Mr. Kasujja said the concluding leg of Mr. Abegunrin’s traditional installation as Archbishop would be performed by the Pope himself in Rome in June.

The preceding Archbishop, Mr. Job, having attained the age of 75, the canonical age of retirement, had applied for retirement which the Pope approved on October 29, 2013.

While delivering the homily, the Bishop Emeritus of Ekiti, Michael Fagun, congratulated the new Archbishop and charged Mr. Abegunrin to see the position as a new and bigger challenge. He also called on the Pope to expedite action in appointing a new bishop for Osogbo diocese so that Mr. Abegunrin could concentrate on his new duties.

Mr. Fagun asked the Archbishop to be careful in dealing with politicians and the rich.

“The job you are taking up today is one that demands tolerance and acceptance of everyone, irrespective of who they are but you must exercise caution in dealing with politicians and the wealthy in the society.”

The cleric also used the occasion to berate Nigerian politicians, who dumped their parties for another, saying their action was not in the interest of the nation and its people.

Mr. Abegunrin, in his acceptance speech, said he was coming to Ibadan to minister to the spiritual needs of people of all faiths, and not the over 350,000 Catholics in the state alone.

“Together let us sow the seed of faith in our neighbours so that Ibadan may truly become city of God,” he said.

He described Mr. Job as a great man who had accomplished a lot for God and the church and thanked the retired archbishop for his selfless and dedicated service in Ibadan in the past 43 years.

Among the attendees at the programme were Governors Abiola Ajimobi and Kayode Fayemi of Oyo and Ekiti States respectively; Iyiola Omisore, former Senator; traditional rulers, businessmen, and other eminent personalities across all walks of life.

Also, 43 of the 60 Catholic bishops in Nigeria and many priests attended the ceremony.

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