Roman Catholic Diocese of Idah - Leadership

Leadership

  • Bishops of Idah Diocese (Roman Catholics) (Roman rite)
    • Bishop Ephraim Silas Obot (October 6, 1936 – April 12, 2009).
      • Bishop of Idah (December 17, 1977– April 12, 2009).
        • Auxiliary Bishop of Ikot Ekpene, Nigeria (June 28, 1971 – December 16, 1977).

Bishop Ephraim Silas Obot, was born in Adiasim, Ikot- Ekpene on October 6, 1936. He was ordained to the Catholic priesthood on June 29, 1968; appointed as a bishop and named as the Auxiliary bishop of Ikot Ekpene and to the Titular see of Iunca in Bzyacena on June 28, 1971. He was consecrated as a bishop on October 31, 1971 in Ikot-Ekpene. On December 17, 1977, he was appointed as the first bishop of the newly elevated Bishop of Idah diocese (until then an Apostolic Prefecture). In April 1978, he assumed control of the diocese of Idah, following his installation ceremony at the Cathedral of St. Boniface, Idah. He was the bishop until his death on Easter Day, April 12, 2009, at his episcopal residence.

He set up diocesan institutions and infrastructures within his new diocese of Idah. From four indigenous priests he met in 1978, Idah diocese later came to have close to to a hundred priests working within the diocese, and in other dioceses within Nigeria, Europe, and the United States.

  • Bishop Anthony Ademu Adaji (October 13, 1963 – ).
      • (Second) Bishop of Idah Diocese (June 1, 2009 – ).
    • Auxiliary Bishop since June 28, 2007 – May 31, 2009

Bishop Anthony Ademu Adaji became the Second Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Idah, named by Pope Benedict XVI on June 1, 2009, replacing Bishop Ephraim Silas Obot, who died on Easter Sunday, April 12, 2009, at his episcopal residence in Idah, and was buried on May 1, 2009. Bishop Obot had nominated and ensured Bishop Adaji's elevation, working alongside the Metropolitan of the Abuja Archdiocese, Archbishop John Onaiyekan, as auxiliary bishop of the same diocese in June 2007. The first recorded Christian activities in this area are attributed to the services of the Church Missionary Society, a branch of Anglicanism, especially members of the 1841 British Niger Expedition, that included the African and Yoruba ex-slave, Samuel Ajayi Crowther, later to become an Anglican Bishop. The first Catholic activities took place in Dekina in 1902. Catholic missionaries of the Congregatio Sancti Spiritus (Holy Ghost Congregation) were seemingly drawn into the area upon the invitation of the Society of African Mission (SMA) then based in Asaba for missionary collaboration around that territory. Initial efforts intended to establish the Catholic faith faltered after the missionaries and the Attah could not reach any conclusion. Later, Sir Frederick D. Lugard, invited these Catholic missionaries to explore the area of Dekina, coming in through Lokoja, and in 1902, Joseph Lichtenberger, became the first missionary and presumably said the first mass in this area. Even this missionary experiement later failed woefully, due to the adversity of the indigenous population and Islamic adherents, and the sheer lack of supportive resources and the arid environment, incapable of sustaining the rigors of the initial phase of this missionary encounter. The first Igala member and priest of the Nigerian Church founded Missionary Society of St. Paul, by the name of Anthony, became the first Bishop of Igala extraction—both as an auxiliary and later a full bishop.

  • Prefects Apostolic of Idah (Roman rite)
    • Fr. Leopold Grimard, C.S.Sp. (October 4, 1968 – 1977)

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