By ABDALLAH EL-KUREBE
Sokoto— President Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday, urged the new Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Rt. Rev. Matthew Hassan Kukah, to use his good offices and ensure the sustenance of peace, unity and stability in the North in particular and Nigeria in general.
Jonathan, who spoke through Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, in Sokoto, during the Papal ordination of Bishop Kukah, stated that peace and unity were ingredients needed now in the country for its growth.
He said: “This is the only way we can secure a peaceful and more prosperous Nigeria.”
Describing Bishop Kukah as a detribalised Nigerian, who remains non-partisan, unbiased and consistent with his spiritual calling, Jonathan further stated that Kukah was a priest with a full bag of humour.
“He is a detribalised Nigerian and he is a Priest with a bag full of humour and humility. He is passionately religious.”
The President also said that Kukah, was an intellectual giant, a prolific writer and one that is a fit and proper choice for the job, as according to him, ‘’the new Bishop is an advocate of a greater Nigeria even at the risk of his life.
“He is not an arm chair critic but a social crusader who also wants justice, equality and fair play in all affairs of Nigeria.”
Also, in a congratulatory message to Kukah, the textile workers said that, ‘’the generality of our members, wish to formally congratulate you on your appointment as Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto by His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI.’’
According to a statement issued by the General- Secretary of the union, Comrade Issa Aremu, ‘’your new appointment/elevation is well deserved given your globally acknowledged hardwork, dedication and commitment in promoting the spiritual and physical well being of humankind.
‘’For Nigeria in particular, your appointment assumes special significance. Nigeria remains a God-given country of faithfuls of diverse faiths. Regrettably few clerics amplify our seemingly dysfunctional differences.
‘’As a tested broadminded cleric, we are encouraged and confident that you will make a significant difference to promote unity of faiths against the social ills of our society.
‘’We are (also) confident that you will use your new position to deepen the similarities of faiths with respect to Godliness, love, honesty, respect and dignity of humanity.Kindly count on our continuous support and prayers in your new assignment.’’