Pope Francis officially announces Cardinal Onaiyekan’s retirement

Pope Francis

Pope Francis on Saturday officially announced the retirement of His Eminence, John Cardinal Onaiyekan as the archbishop of Abuja Dioceses.

Head of communications, Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja, Joseph Ishu, confirmed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).


Pope Francis has appointed Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama as the new archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja.

Mr Ishu, however, noted that the date for the installation of the new Archbishop would be communicated in due time.


Kaigama was the Archbishop of Jos from 2000 to 2019, when he became first Archbishop Coadjutor and then Archbishop of Abuja.

Cardinal Onaiyekan also confirmed his retirement, saying it was long overdue.

Onaiyekan said that it was time for transition and time for a new leader to come and continue where he had stopped.


Born on January 29, 1944, Onaiyekan was archbishop of Abuja from 1994 to 2019 and was made a cardinal in 2012.

He has served as president of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) and bishop of Ilorin.