From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
The Holy Father, Pope Francis has appointed His Lordship, Matthew Hassan Kukah, Bishop of the Diocese of Sokoto as a member of the Dicastery for the promotion of human integral development.
Bishop Kukah joins the Dicastery on the promotion of integral development with a lot of experience in the areas of human rights, justice and reconciliation.
He is expected to join other members of the Dicastery drawn from different regions of the world to advise and promote the holy Father’s concerns on issues of justice and peace, human rights, torture, human trafficking, care of creation and other issues related to the promotion of human dignity and development.
Director, Social Communications,
Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Rev. Fr. Christopher Omotosho, in a statement said the appointment was contained in a letter to Bishop Kukah signed by His Eminence, Peter Cardinal Turkson, the Prefect of the Dicastery.
He said the appointment adds to Bishop Kukah’s string of national and international engagements within the universal Church, explaining that the appointment which is renewable, is for an initial period of five years, adding that the Council will be formally inaugurated on a later date.
Bishop Kukah was first appointed a Consultor and later a member of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue, Vatican City and served under three Pope’s.
He is currently the Chairman, Dialogue Committees of both the Regional Episcopal Conference of West Africa (RECOWA) and the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN).
Bishop Kukah was also a member of the official delegation of the Holy See that met with the Emir of Qatar when that country opened diplomatic relations with the Holy See in 2002.
In 2016, he was nominated by the Vatican to represent Africa on the Advisory Board of the Vienna based, King Abdulazeez International Interfaith and Intercultural Dialogue, KAIICID.
KAIICID is the fruit of the collaboration between the governments of Saudi Arabia, Austria and the Holy See for the promotion of worldwide Dialogue between world religions.