By Aiyeku Timothy
Pope Francis has appointed the Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Rev Matthew Kukah, into the Pontifical Council for human rights, justice and development.
The Director, Social Communications of Sokoto Diocese, Fr. Chris Omotosho, confirmed this appointment on Tuesday.
Omotosho said Kukah’s appointment is a positive development, stating that it would bring about a lot of developments and goodwill to the people of God, especially to the Nigerian Catholics.
“By this appointment, Bishop Kukah will join other members of the dicastery (Council) 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,” the statement read in part.
The statement added that the Council is expected to be formally inaugurated on a later date while the appointment is renewable for an initial five-year period.
The appointment was signed on behalf of the Pope by His Eminence, Peter Cardinal Turkson, the Prefect of the Council.
This appointment will come as a relief to the social commentator, who has come under attack from different quarters for his Christmas Day message.
In the Christmas message, he accused the President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government of nepotism and that he had reduced others in public life to second class status.
Individuals, Northern, Islamic bodies including Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), among others, have since attacked Kukah and condemned him for the speech.
Also, the Muslim Solidarity Forum told the Bishop to leave Sokoto, a warning the presidency condemned in an apparent move to douse tension.