Revd Fr Dr Bitrus Maigamo, a Nigerian Catholic Priest, from the Catholic Diocese of Zaria, recently received an international Award as the Best Doctoral Dissertation Student for 2019/2020, by the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, Italy, reports Alexander Johnson Adejoh.
This was made known to Fides in an exclusive phone interview with Fr Maigamo, who was sent to Rome for further studies by his Bishop, Most Revd George Jonathan Dodo.
The First Class Ph.D holder, who was the Communications Director of Zaria Diocese, disclosed that he got the news from his project moderator immediately after his defence.
He said his moderator thanked him for choosing him as the moderator and told him the entire school was proud of him. He told Fides the Senate of the university also sent him a congratulatory message where he was formally informed that his work came out as the Best Research Work for 2019/2020.
Fr Maigamo’s work that won him the award was on “Islamic Extremism and it’s Challenges to the Catholic Missionary Activities in Northern Nigeria.” He said his success was not a one-thing affair but could be traced back to the journey that began from St Joseph’s Minor Seminary, Zaria.
He told Fides that his line of research was motivated by his quest to ascertain what he described as the ”unending dislike and misunderstanding” between the two major religious groups in Nigeria and how his study could possibly suggest solutions to the situation.
‘I once had good experiences with my Muslim friends”, he recalled, “we schooled and grew up together, we celebrated each other’s religious festivals not minding who was rejoicing, but recently all these good moments are long gone, mutual love and understanding no longer exists’, he lamented
‘The big question here is what went wrong? How did we miss the paths that was working for us all?’ he queried. His research was an effort to contribute his quota to this search, he said.
According to him, his vision was to pioneer the course for peaceful co-existence and mutual understanding amongst all, as a united country and a people who originated from God the Creator, not minding division created by religious sentiments.
Fr Maigamo who is the last child from the family of six brothers, has shown exceptional bravery and dedication in defending the mother Church. He recalled when he almost risked his life to save his parishioners during the 2011 post-election crisis that erupted in Zaria, Kaduna State.
Expressing delight in receiving what he termed “great honor” amongst so many candidates, the priest-journalist went further to thank his parents, Mr and Mrs Zachariah Maigamo, Catholic Bishop of Zaria Diocese, Most Revd Gorge Jonathan Dodo, his brothers and colleagues at all levels of education whom he called his mentors for shaping his knowledge and teaching him resilience.
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