In spite of Persecutions, We’ll not relent…Bishop Kundi
By: Joy Odor
Christians in the Northern part of Nigeria are often persecuted for their dogged belief in Christ many are killed, many short changed in their places of work but have remained steadfast in their belief as they trooped out in their numbers to felicitate with one of their own, Most Rev Julius Yakubu Kundi, who was ordained and installed as the new Bishop, of Catholic Diocese of Kafanchan.
Kundi took over from the late Bishop Danladi Joseph Bagobiri who died at Saint Gerard Catholic hospital in Kaduna on 27th February, 2018 after a brief illness.
The Apostolic Nuncio to Nigeria, His Grace, Most Rev Antonio Guido Filipazzi who consecrated and ordained the new Bishop at an event held at the New Township Stadium Kafanchan, the headquarters of Jema’a LG Area of Kaduna State, charged Kundi to lead the Church with the fear of God.
According to him, the Catholic Church in Nigeria is one body, adding that the Church remains connected and is completely dependent on the Lord Jesus.
“Neither the Bishop nor anyone else should consider themselves Lords,” Filipazzi said urging the priests to lead as they received from Christ.
He urged Catholic faithful in particular and the people in general to support the new Bishop through prayers.
The new Bishop, Most Rev Julius Yakubu Kundi, said he feel grossly inadequate to replace late Bishop Danlami Joseph Bagobiri, describing him as a fearless, eloquent and advocate of social justice.
According to him, given the general yearnings of Southern Kaduna today, that it was hard to find a replacement of a great charismatic personality in the calibre of the late Bishop, adding that his memories still resonates in the heart of the Southern Kaduna people.
“As someone who was an eloquent speaker with a sweet voice in an excellent manner and someone the history of Southern Kaduna can never be completed without putting him in his right place, he was an advocate of social justice and passionate for social development.
“Although, some people consider him as controversial, majority consider him as one who meant well for the geographical jurisdiction of Southern Kaduna. Because of his radical opposition against all structures of injustice against the people of Southern Kaduna, which made him become both a spiritual leader and a political advocate,” Kundi said.
“As a spiritual leader, he led his people to God and as a political advocate; he protected his people against the action of Ceaser, we shall forever remain grateful for all his sacrifices and the numerous accomplishments he made to the Church and Southern Kaduna all through his life as our first Catholic Bishop, Kundi added.
He explained that the vacuum Bagobiri left is a big challenge adding that the majority of the people will expect a powerful replacement of a powerful leader, charismatic Man of God.
Kundi said he is trusting God totally to provide the grace for the responsibility ahead, but called on the Church to pray for him to achieve greatness in the discharge of his duties.
“The attack going on the farm lands of Southern Kaduna is worrisome. The contentious issues of politics in Southern Kaduna has grossly affected the faith and wounded the relationship we have enjoyed with people from other faiths.
“My journey as the new Catholic Bishop is to offer you love, encouragement, hope, vision and spiritual empowerment so that you live a better life in dignity, and prosperity, ” Kundi said.
The President, Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, His Grace, Most Rev Augustine Akubeze in his goodwill message congratulated the new Bishop.
“As you assume office, we wish you well and if you have any pastoral challenges you can consult anyone of us for advise.
” We know you’re living in a difficult time and in a difficult place. We know that your faith is being challenged by those who don’t want diversity of religion to exist and we also know that you’re facing persecution. The Church grows faster during the time of persecution. The more you persecute the Church, the faster the gospel spreads,” Akubeze reiterated while reminding Catholic faithful that they are ambassadors of peace.