Dominic Cardinal Ekandem
Cardinal Ekandem was born in 1917 to the family of Chief Ekandem Ubo
Etok and Nwa Ibong Umana Essien in Ibiono; he was baptized in 1926. He
was ordained a priest on 7th December 1947. He was the first priest in
the whole of Ibibio, Efik and Annang lands of what was then Calabar Diocese.
He became the Rector of Queen of Apostles Seminary in 1952.
He was consecrated Bishop on 7th February, 1954. After his ordination,
he became the youngest in the episcopacy in Anglo-phone West Africa. In
1963, with creation of Ikot Ekpene Diocese, he was enthroned as its
bishop. After the Nigeria civil war, he became the Apostolic Administrator of
Port-Harcourt Diocese (1970-1973).
He first mooted the idea of a National
Seminary in the
the then Catholic Bishops' Conference of Nigeria. This misfired and was
branded unacceptable to the majority. Following the challenge of Pope
Paul VI in Kampala that African should be missionaries to themselves, he
presented a memorandum on his brain-child, the National Missionary
Seminary/Society of St Paul. The Pope was in full agreement but advised
him to get the full support of his brother bishops in Nigeria.
September 1976, during the Bishops' Conference in Kaduna, he presented
the idea to the Conference, though hotly debated it sailed through with
the implementation Committee of three bishops (Usanga,Ganaka and Adelakun) put in place, to consider the "project" in all its
ramification. With the establishment of this missionary Institute, he
is therefore regarded as the Founder of this young society.
In 1981, he was appointed the Ecclesiastical Superior of Abuja
Independent Mission and subsequently as the first bishop of Abuja with a
personal title of Archbishop in 1989.
He was the president of C.B.C.N for two terms, and also the president of
AECAWA in 1977. He retired his position as Archbishop of the Abuja Archdiocese
His Eminence Dominic Cardinal Ignatius Ekandem, Archbishop Emeritus of
Abuja died on November 24th 1995 at Garki, Abuja. He was buried on 2nd
Dec. 1995 at Our Lady Queen of Nigeria Pro-Cathedral, Garki Abuja.