The Life & Legacy Of Anthony Olubunmi Okogie, Archbishop Emeritus of Lagos, Nigeria

The Life & Legacy Of Anthony Olubunmi Okogie, Archbishop Emeritus of Lagos, Nigeria

He lived a decent life. Spread God’s word to the people through his works as a clergy. His opinion on strictly adhering to the church’s law about celibacy of the priests was strong, making him a staunch defender. Join our Content Creation Academy  If you want to learn about StorytellingContent Creation, and how to build your Online Business?

His foray into Nigeria’s military service divulged how clergymen are loyalists to state government whilst fulfilling their duties as God’s disciples.

More so, his incursion into the military helped expose the horrible experiences soldiers witnessed. Anthony Olubunmi Okogie is a paragon of virtue who struggles to live by God’s word and love.

Anthony Olubunmi Okogie is a man worthy of emulation by clergymen and common Christians alike.

The Early Life of Anthony Olubunmi Okogie

His eminence Anthony Olubunmi Okogie, known by all as Cardinal Olubunmi Okogie, whose years as a priest were eventful, shared his experiences all through the years from childhood to his senescence at age 85. He was born on June 16, 1936, in the Lafiaji neighborhood Lagos state, Nigeria, and hails from Esanland.

Cardinal Olubunmi Okogie was born into Uromi royal family by Prince Michael Okojie- son of late Onojie of Uromi, Ogbidi Okojie, and Lucy Adunni Okojie (nee Afolabi). His father is from Esanland, whereas the mother is a Yoruba and hails from Oyo town. He enrolled in seminary school in Ibadan during his teenage years upon discovering his love for serving God.

Life As A Priest

After his eminence, Olubunmi Okogie’s successful trial as a deacon, he ordained a catholic priest on December 11, 1966, during the first military coup in Nigeria. Cardinal Okogie holds a licentiate in sacred theology and had traveled to further his education as a priest in Rome but was called back to Nigeria.

After his return to Nigeria, cardinal Okogie was pronounced the vicar at Holy Cross Cathedral, Lagos state. In the following years, he got enlisted in the Nigerian army, where he worked as a chaplain.

Cardinal Okogie expressed that his stay in the Nigerian army was one stacked with experiences. He witnessed how Nigerian soldiers struggled during the war and the molestations they endured. He shared his encounter with General Benjamin Adekunle, the leader of the third Marine commando, during his stay.

This whipping wave of experience with Brigadier Adekunle and the rest was back when he was in Port Harcourt and was returning to Lagos. In the subsequent years, he was made an instructor at Kings College Lagos state.

Following his advancement as a clergy, Cardinal Okogie was consecrated as a titular bishop of Mascula and Auxiliary bishop of Oyo town in 1971.

That marked his foray into becoming bishops and archbishops in the church. As time passed, Cardinal Okogie was proclaimed an archbishop in 1973, just three years after his consecration as an auxiliary bishop.

At this time, he played a vital role in the Christian Association of Nigeria, earning him the president of the association. In furtherance, he was made the leader of the Bishop’s Conference in Nigeria from 1994 to 2000.

The Life of Okogie As A Cardinal

Cardinal Okogie was publicly proclaimed a cardinal in the general assembly of bishops in Rome back on October 21, 2003, by Pope John Paul II, and he held the title of Santa Maria del Monte Carmelo a Mostacciano, known in English as Blessed Virgin Mary of Mt. Carmel of Mostacciano.

Being among the few cardinals in Nigeria, he was among those elected cardinals for the papal conclave of 2005, where Pope Benedict XVI emerged as the Pope. Fast forward to 2013, cardinal Okogie was among the top elected cardinals for the papal conclave of the year in which Pope Francis, the recent Pope, was selected.

He was also a member of the Council of Cardinals for the Study of Organizational and Economic Affairs of the Holy See, Lagos.

Owning to his staunch defense of Roman catholic laws of priests’ celibacy, Cardinal Okogie strictly criticized the government’s approval of Condom factory in Nigeria.

Cardinal Okogie’s assertion On His 85th Birthday.

When cardinal Okogie turned 85 years, he expressed his gratitude to God for his stronghold on his life all through his years of service, stating his little beginnings in lafiaji neighborhood in Lagos to enrolling into seminary, becoming a priest, and 50 years of being in the episcopal ministry.

He acclaimed the journey so far brought challenges and chunks of experiences he can’t forget on a whim. He further expressed his bitterness about the repressed growth of the Nigerian economy over the years orchestrated by bad leadership which had played since Nigeria’s independence.

He aired his view that those that hold the scepter of power mismanage the resources endowed to the country by God. He voiced his comments, starting from the first republic and the misconduct of the leaders. The civil war that broke out in the country years ago, not only decimated thousands of people but also subjected many to abject poverty.

Cardinal Okogie grieves on the fact that until recent times, the wounds of wars of years ago are still being reopened by those in government who continually squander the resources that would have benefited an average citizen if things were fairly managed and shared accordingly.

He stated, as a matter of fact, how the military government turned Nigeria into a shadow of herself. The killings, violations of human rights, and confiscating of schools by the military government sprained the educational system for years.

He divulged how the second republic, which was as at then assumed would sweep in change, was based on profligacy, leaders’ extremities of nations rich resources and all.

The disorderliness witnessed during the third republic, where tussle for power and dominion was the everyday headline, forgetting the pressing need for amenities, jobs, and security are what an average citizen yearns to have.

He maintains that the disorderliness witnessed in recent years has, without doubt, gone far beyond its initial phase. That the economy has far exacerbated, but the painful part of it all, the ruling class is in no way looking to stem the economy’s downward trend. Hence Nigeria keeps getting worse and more inconvenient.

Cardinal Okogie, therefore airs his views to serve as a clarion call for all Nigerians to rediscover themselves and save all the current and future generations from impending doom. He maintains that at his current age, he’s still a full-time advocate for democracy and building a better Nigeria. To cap it off, Cardinal Okogie pleads for all hands to be on deck when working toward a better Nigeria.


The legacy of Cardinal Anthony Olubunmi Okogie is one that is ready to be carried on. He left a legacy so many will benefit from his achievements. His life was a testament to what a selfless and moral leader can bring about for society. He set the model for future leaders, and the world saw how great he was as a person and a Christian.

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