We have 35 SMA Missionaries in Nigeria North.
Msgr Matthew Kukah appointed Bishop of Sokoto
Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - The Holy Father Benedict XVI on June 10, 2011 accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the Diocese of Sokoto (Nigeria), presented by His Excellency Mgr. J. Kevin Aje, in accordance with canon 401 § 1 of the Code of Canon Law. The Holy Father appointed Bishop of Sokoto (Nigeria), Rev. Monsignor Matthew Hassan Kukah, Vicar General in the Archdiocese of Kaduna.
Rev. Monsignor Matthew Hassan Kukah was born on August 31, 1952 in Kulu, Zango, in the Diocese of Kafanchan. After his elementary education, he went to St. Joseph Minor Seminary. He completed his studies in Philosophy and Theology at St. Augustine Major Seminary in Jos (1970-1976). He was ordained a priest on 19 December 1976 for the Archdiocese of Kaduna.
After ordination he held the following offices and carried out further studies: 1977-1978: assistant Priest in Kaduna; 1978-1979: Professor and Head of the students at St. Augustine Seminary, Jos; 1980-1981: Master in Peace Studies at the University of Bradford, England; 1981-1982: Rector of the Minor Seminary in Zaria; 1982-1986: Special Assistant to Cardinal Dominic Ekandem, in Abuja; 1987-1990: Doctorate (Ph.D.) at the University of London, England; 1990-1993: Under- General Secretary of the Episcopal Conference, 1994-2000: General Secretary of the Episcopal Conference; 1999-2001: Member of the Investigation Commission of Human Rights Violations of the Federal Government in Nigeria; 1999-2006: Consultant to the Pontifical Council for the Inter-religious Dialogue, Vatican; 2001-2003: Senior Rhodes Fellow at Oxford University, San Antonio College; 2003-2004: Master in Public Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, USA.
Since 2004, he has been Vicar general of the Archdiocese of Kaduna.
In addition, since 2004, he has been parish priest at St. Andrew's parish, Kakuri, Kaduna; from February to July 2005 he was secretary of the National Political Reform Conference of the Federal Government of Nigeria; since 2005: Chairman of the Ogoni-Shell Reconciliation of the Federal Government of Nigeria . From 2007 to 2009 he was also member of the Committee for the electoral reform in the Federal Government of Nigeria.
The Diocese of Sokoto, built in 1964 and a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Kaduna, covers a vast territory of 109,507kmq, with 14,133,000 inhabitants, of whom about 44,366 are Catholics. There are 17 parishes, 32 diocesan priests and 7 religious priests, 7 religious brothers and 28 religious sisters. There are 39 major seminarians. (SL) (Agenzia Fides 10/06/2011)
Maiduguri Cathedral attacked
AFRICA/NIGERIA-"The cathedral was badly damaged in yesterday`s attack" the Bishop of Maiduguri tells Fides
Maiduguri (Agenzia Fides) - " St. Patrick`s Cathedral was seriously damaged, windows and doors destroyed, the whole building was shaken to its foundations by the violence of the explosion", His Exc Mgr. Oliver Dashe Doeme tells Fides, Bishop of Maiduguri, capital of the State in northern Nigeria. Yesterday afternoon, on June 7, an armed group set off a bomb near the Cathedral. Two police stations were also hit, in a series of coordinated attacks attributed by local authorities to the sect Boko Haram. The death toll of the attacks is 11 people. "The situation in Maiduguri is very tense", said Mgr. Doeme, recalling that only "two weeks ago, another Catholic church was the target of an attack with explosives, as well as a secondary school ".
Boko Haram means "Western education is a sin" in haussa language. The sect has been responsible for several attacks in northern Nigeria. On June 6, an Islamic religious leader, who opposed the cult was killed in an attack in Biu, a town south of Maiduguri. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 08/06/2011)
Nigerian clashes continue to claim lives
Clashes continue in central Nigeria
Human Rights Watch are reporting that more than 200 people have died as a result on the ongoing tensions between different ethnic groups. According to Reuters Africa the source of the problem lies in the conflict between indigenous groups, mainly Christian or animist, and settlers who have come in from further north. Each is competing for control of fertile farmlands and economic and political power. As already reported in other articles most of the violence is in Plateau State. And with the Presidential elections due later this year tensions are sure to increase.
The Federal Government is conducting an investigation into reports that some soldiers were involved in the attacks on the Christian villages in Plateau State. Read more here.