By Sam Eyoboka
SENATOR representing Kaduna Central, Senator Shehu Sani has lament-ed the death of Catholic Bishop of Kafanchan, His Grace Bishop Joseph Danlami Bagobiri who recently joined the saints triuphant at the age of 61.
In a condolence message, the senator said the fallen cleric “symbolised the conscience of his people and his generation. He was a man of the poor and the oppressed. He was a man never shy, never timid on matt-ers of truth and justice.“
Continuing, the humna rights activist said Bagobiri “lived with dignity and departed with honour. His life was an example and an inspiration for modesty, responsibility and self-respect. He defended the downtrodden and the marginalized. He was the people’s bishop.”
According to him, “Bishop Bagobiri’s letter to the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of Nigeria shortly before his death was a proof of courage in a situation where many stooges would have kept quiet in the face of injustice because they want to be in the good books of a superior authority. Generations will remember you with pride; they will equally learn a lot from you. My Lord Bishop, adieu.”
The Catholic Diocese of Kaf-anchan in Kaduna State recently announced the sudden death of the diocesan bishop, Most Rev. Bagobiri.
A statement by Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Uchechukwu Okolo, the Chancellor, Kafanchan Dio-cese announced “with great shock but with total submiss-ion to the will of God, the pass-ing to glory of her Shepherd, Most Rev. Dr. Joseph Danlami Bagobiri which took place in the early hours of Tuesday, Feb-ruary 27, 2018.”
The national secretary of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, PFN, Apostle Emmanuel Kure, a fellow crusader for the rights of the oppressed in Southern Kaduna, confirming the development, said the man had died as a result complica-tions associated with kidney related ailment.
“The dogged fighter for rights of the oppressed has fallen. You’ll recall that on many occa-sions we had to collaborate in the battle to restore the dignity of the oppressed people of Southern Kaduna,” Kure tear-fully told our reporter.
We recall that it was the Kanfachan bishop recently broke ranks with his colleagues calling for an end to the Ahiara-Mbaise crisis.
In a statement personally signed by him, Most Rev Joseph Bagobiri, said: “The crisis that ensued with the appointment of Bishop Peter Okpalaeke as the second bishop of the dio-cese of Ahiara to succeed late Bishop Victor Chikwe has lingered on now for about five years.
“This could have been avoid-ed or resolved if CBCN had been courageous enough to fo-llow truth and justice, by listen-ing to the aggrieved party and presenting their case positively or in an empathetic manner as a united force to Rome.”
“When we were one year into this crisis, to be precise, at the second plenary assemble that took place at Otukpo, it was advised that insisting on the option of COMMANDING OBEDIENCE from the Mbaise faithful of Ahiara Diocese as against seeking to con-structively engage them in dialogue with a view to striking some fair and reasonable compromises as was the case with Warri Diocese, will not solve this problem,” he had said and incurred the wrath of the Catholic Bishops Con-ference of Nigeria, CBCN, who gave him an ultimatum to withdraw the statement.