On Saturday, all roads led to Kotido Diocese as its new bishop, Reverend Father Dominic Eibu, was installed.
The new Bishop who is now the third Bishop of Kotido was consecrated and installed on 14th January, 2023 in an event held at the St Daniel Comboni Primary school led by Archbishop Emmanuel Obo of Tororo Arch diocese.
Bishop-elect Eibu, a Comboni priest born in Lwala, Kalaki district in Soroti Catholic Diocese, was appointed by Pope Francis on November 2022 to replace Bishop Giuseppe Filipe whose retirement was accepted upon reaching the mandatory age limit of 75 years
Speaking during the episcopal ordination, Archbishop of Tororo archdiocese, Bishop Emmanuel Obo urged the bishop elect to prioritise peace building among the Karamojong communities through his spiritual guide.
According to Obo, the new bishop elect should be guided by the spirit of wisdom in loving all the believers without discrimination.
Philippe Giuseppe, his predecessor, said the appointment of bishop Eibu was well thought and God fixed it right to provide the people of Kotido with leaders who will be able to take care of them with love, care and unity.
Giuseppe said he will continue guiding the bishop elect in some areas where he finds challenges for the smooth running of the church.
Reverend Father Eibu thanked his predecessor bishop Philippe for his great work of uniting the church together and vowed to take over for the continuous unity built among the Christians.
The new Bishop said he said has come as a servant of the gospel together with the people of Kotido in different capacities to work together on what is needed for the development in the region
Eibu urged the stakeholder in Kotido diocese to bring a message of conciliation to the families and neighbors as a startup journey for peace.
‘’I’m ready to fulfill my tasks and maintain the good legacy my successor has left behind, for now my main issue here is building peace and unity among ourselves as Christians,” added Bishop Eibu.
John Bosco Akore, the secretary for Kotido Elder Council said the appointment of Bishop Eibu is a continuous blessing for them after his successor who worked to the expectations of the believers.
Akore said Kotido is faced with a lot of challenges among them include high illiteracy levels which the bishop should try his best to fix the gaps.
He also urged the Bishop elect to extend the message of God to the traditional gatherings locally known as ‘’Akiriket’’ in order to balance the faith and ensure even the elders receive Christ in their hearts.
Akore said they are ready to work together with the new bishop for the betterment of people in Kotido district.
He added that the church through development arms should also emphasize agriculture to ensure that there is enough food in every household to address the hunger crisis.
David Erobu, the choir master in Anyara catholic parish in Kalaki district where the bishop elect comes from, expressed his happiness saying the presence of bishop Eibu will help to bridge the relationship between Teso and karamoja.
Erobu noted that these are two warring communities and this is the right time for the new bishop to preach the message of peace and forgiveness between the two communities so they can continue working together development.
Nachap Faith Ruth, working for the catholic diocese in Kotido said the former bishop managed to care for them like one family and the successor should also be able to take over from where his predecessor stopped.
Nachap says they had challenges which the former bishop fixed and therefore it is a task to bishop Eibu to take over the challenge.
Meri Jino, the LC5 chairperson for kaabong district said they want the church to focus on peace building because karamoja as a region is going through a lot of challenges caused by insecurity.
Jino noted that it is a task for the new bishop to bring together the different clusters in karamoja who are now raiding each other.
‘’I want the church to spearhead peace building, we have seen tribalism taking shape in the recent cattle raids, so let the church help us eliminate and bring together as Karamojong’’ Meri said.
Meri also added that as local leaders, they are ready to support and work together with a church to achieve the desired peace.
Born on 30 April 1970, Bishop-elect Eibu went to Moroto High School for his secondary education and Apostles of Jesus Seminary, also in Moroto for his high school.
Thereafter, he obtained a Diploma in Philosophical and Religious Studies from the Queen of Apostles Philosophical Centre in Jinja. In 1996, he obtained a degree in Philosophy from Pontifical Urban University in Rome, and another degree in Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome in 2002.
He gave his perpetual vows on 12th, January 2002, and was ordained a deacon in Rome in March 2002, and a priest on 15 August 2002, in Lwala, Soroti Diocese.
In 2005, Bishop-elect Eibu earned a Licentiate in Arabic and Islamic Studies from the Pontifical Institute of Arabic Studies and Islamology. His thesis was on Religious Freedom in Islam.
In his priestly journey, Bishop-elect Eibu has served as Director of Comboni Primary School in Khartoum, Sudan between 2005-2006, Vice provincial superior of the Comboni Province of Khartoum from 2008 to 2013, Member of the College of Consultors for the Archdiocese of Khartoum from 2013 to 2016, and Secretary of the Council of Priests in Khartoum Archdiocese from 2013 to 2016.
Other duties include; Secretary of Education Office in Khartoum Archdiocese from 2013 to 2016, Director of Sacred Heart Church School in Sakakini, Cairo, Egypt from 2017 to 2018, Member of the Education Committee of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) from 2017 to 2020, and Member of the Committee of Organisations collaborating with the UNHCR from 2017 until his latest appointment.
Since 2020, he has been a Member of the College of Consultors of the Apostolic Vicariate of Alexandria, Egypt, Vice provincial Superior of Comboni Province of Egypt-Sudan, and Parish Priest of Sacred Heart Church in Sakakini, Cairo. He speaks several languages including English, Italian, Arabic, French; Kumam, Ateso, Lango, Acholi, Ngakarimojong, Luganda and Kiswahili.