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Sunday, June 4, 2023

Former President Jonathan, Others Pour Encomiums On Bishop Kukah At 70

By Matthews Otalike

Former President of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, celebrates Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah as he clocks 70 years old saying the Bishop has been a moral beacon and conscience of the nation all through his life as a Priest.

Jonathan stated this in a message at the 70th birthday and fund raising for the development of the Kukah Centre at Abuja.

In his eulogy, Jonathan praised Most Reverend Matthew Hassan Kukah, the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto for “his love for the country and speaking truth to power all the time, without minding whose ox is gored.”

“All countries in West Africa and some other parts of Africa have people of both Christian and Muslim worshippers and they are living in harmony together but the dichotomy and crisis which religion creates among believers of both faiths is unacceptable.

“Part of the divisive tendencies among Nigerian Muslims and Christians is that Christians in the North of the country cannot access land to build churches by some Muslim land owners and the Government. In the same way, there are parts of the south that when a Muslim dies, they are unable to access land to bury the dead,” he said.

He emphasised the importance of harmonious relationship and sustenance of the oneness of Nigeria which he said can only be actualized through democratic governance.

Governor of Plateau State, Simon Bako Lalong who also spoke at the event said, Reverend Kukah cannot be cajoled into doing what he knows to be wrong adding that he has been constant in truth telling to every set of people in governance in Nigeria.

Apostolic Nuncio in Nigeria, Archbishop Antonio Guido Fillipazi said, one thing is central about Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah and it is that Kukah is a Catholic Priest and that is what people perceive of him.

He said he always looked forward to Bishop Kukah’s message each time Christmas comes around.

Chairman of the occasion and Governor of Sokoto State,  Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, defined Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah as an enigma, who believes in a united and just Nigeria and speaks out on ills of the society unabashedly.


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