BIODATA OF REV. FR. ZACHARIA NYANTISO AYA SAMJUMI
SECRETARY GENERAL
CATHOLIC SECRETARIAT OF NIGERIA, ABUJA
 
Rev. Fr. Zacharia Nyantiso Aya Samjumi was born on 23rd November, 1968 into the Samjumi family, in a little village called Deokini in the present day Jada Local Government Area (LGA) of Adamawa State. His father, Pa Samjumi died while he was a toddler of about a year old. Popularly known by his nick name, Aya, until his ordination as a priest, young Zacharia was adopted by an uncle, Late David Isa Saba, under whose aegis he grew up in Jangbuno village in Fufore Local Government Area of Adamawa State. Two weeks after his birth, he was baptized by Rev. Fr. Patrick Francis Sheehan on 9 December, 1968. He was subsequently confirmed by Bishop Patrick Francis Sheehan in 1981.
 
At the ripe age of about seven years, Zacharia began his elementary education at Talli Primary School, Bosivani, five kilometres away from Jangbuno village, from 1975 to 1981. Thereafter, he gained admission into Government Day Secondary School, Karlahi, the District headquarters of their area, which is seven kilometres away from Jangbuno village, where he pursued his post-primary education and graduated with a West African Examination Council (WAEC) Certificate in 1986.
 
Under the promptings of the Holy Spirit, Zacharia felt called to the ministerial priesthood. He dully applied for and was admitted by the Diocese of Yola into St. Augustine’s Major Seminary, Jos (Makurdi Campus), where he was instructed in Philosophy. In 1990, he completed his studies in Philosophy, after which he went for one-year pastoral experience. During the said time, he taught in St. Peter’s Minor Seminary, Yola.
 
August 1991 saw him in the main campus of St. Augustine’s major Seminary, Jos. In the main campus in Jos, he was trained in Theology in accordance with the orthodox Catholic spirit of priestly formation. He graduated in May, 1995 with a diploma in Religious Studies from the University of Ibadan and BTH from Urbanian University, Rome. On 8 July 1995, he was raised to the Order of the Presbyterate in the Presbyterium of Yola Diocese by Most Rev. Patrick Francis Sheehan of blessed memory. His primary posting was to serve at the St. Theresa’s Cathedral, Yola.
 
Barely a year after his ordination, he was appointed to be the chancellor and Diocesan Secretary of Yola Diocese, a position he held from 1996 to 1998; 2000 to 2002. He combined this position with being the priest-in-charge of St. Charles Lwanga Pastoral Area, Ngurore, Jambutu Pastoral Area and Chaplain, Federal University of Technology, Yola during the number of years mentioned above. In July 2006, he was appointed the Cathedral Administrator of St Theresa’s Cathedral, Yola, as well as the Vicar General, Yola Diocese, a position he held until September 2009. Fr. Samjumi was also the Vice Chairman of CAN in Adamawa State from 2007 to 2009.
 
In 1998, Rev. Fr. Samjumi was sent on further studies in the prestigious Jesuit Fordham University in New York City, USA where he obtained Master’s Degree in Religious Education with a focus on Pastoral Counselling. He returned to the Diocese in January, 2000 and served in in the Diocese for about three years. Again, he was sent back to his alma mater in 2002, where he studied Educational Leadership, Administration and Policy to a doctoral level. He successfully graduated in 2006 and returned to his Diocese the same year.
 
In September 2009, Fr. Samjumu was absorbed as a staff of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, Abuja as the Unit Secretary for the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) Committee on Education. In 2010, he became the Director of the Department of Church and Society and in 2013, he moved to be the Director of Pastoral Agents Department and the Deputy Secretary General. In September, 2018, he was appointed the Secretary General of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria. He assumed office on 1st January, 2019.
 
Fr. Samjumi Zacharia loves reading meaningful books, sharing jokes, playing badminton, and listening to country music.


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