One OF the Africa’s much admired
intellectual religious colossi and the
Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, His Lordship,
Most Revd Matthew Hassan Kukah,
Ph.D, was born during August break
to a Christian family of Mr. Kukah
on 31August, 1952 in Anchuna, Ikulu
Chiefdom in ZangonKataf Local
Government Area of Kaduna State,
Nigeria. He received his primary
education at St Fidelis’ Primary School
(SFPS), Zangon in ZangonKataf Local
Government Area, in Kaduna State,
Nigeria, West Africa. To achieve his
unquenchable desires as an intellectual
religious colossus, the young Matthew
without wasting a great deal of time
proceeded to St Joseph’s Minor Seminary
(SJMS), Zaria, where he obtained his
Senior Secondary School Certificate
Examination (SSCE) in the present day
WAEC and NECO in 1970and thereafter
he proceeded to St Augustine’s Major
Seminary (SAMS), Jos, Plateau State,
where he obtained a Bachelor Degree
in Philosophy and Theology from
the Urban University Rome in 1976.
BishopKukah was ordained a Catholic
priest in the Order of Melchizedek (Ad
on 19 December, 1976 by the Emeritus
Archbishop of Kaduna, Most Rev Dr
Peter Jatau, at Holy Family Parish which
was under Kaduna before Kafanchan
Diocese was carved out in 1995. Shortly after
his ordination he became Associate Priest in
Kaduna between1977 and 1978.
Bishop Kukah, like Oliver Twist who
wants to acquire more knowledge, as well
complements his intellectual religious
scholarship went ahead and obtained a
Diploma in Religious Studies at University of
Ibadan (UI) in 1976. As if it were not enough,
the workaholic Matthew obtained a Master’s
Degree in Peace Studies from the University
of Bradford, the United Kingdom in 1981.
In 1990, the assiduous Bishop, Matthew
HassanKukah bagged a Doctoral Degree in
Political Science from University of London’s
School of Oriental and African Studies
(SOAS) Oliver Twist Bishop Matthew Hassan
Kukah was dissatisfied with one Master’s
Degree and was very uncomfortable with
it; he had another Master’s Degree in Public
Policy at J F Kennedy School of Government,
Harvard University in 2004. Bishop Kukah
was a Senior Rhodes Fellow (SRF) at Oxford
University- St Anthony’s College between
2001 and 2003. Since then Bishop Matthew
Hassan Kukah became meteoric as Lecturer,
Dean of Students at SAMS, Jos (1978-79). He
was Rector, Junior Seminary, Zaria (1981-82),
and the like. He also received an Honorary
Noma Commendation (NNC) in 1994.
A forty-year-old priest and the intellectual
Catholic Bishop, Matthew Hassan Kukah
Ph D is a careful writer and his writing is
extraordinary. A good number of people
across the globe so much believe that he
might have attended the same school with the
late Literary Icon, Professor Chinualumugo
Albert Achebe (Chinua Achebe) and learnt
Literary Aptitude since his writing has
Achebe’s style. Even when Bishop Kukah
writes without putting commas, full stops
(periods), as well dotting i’s and crossing ‘t’s,
readers observe them through their mindful
eyes and consider it no mistake. And at the
same time they believe it is a matter of being
On the whole, when an endearing Bishop,
Matthew Hassan Kukah PhD writes and
preaches peace and sings justice, even if a
woman is roasting a two-slim-tuber-yam
over firewood in the kitchen for the last
born in the family, she forgets completely
and allows them become charcoal until the
husband reminds her of them with a quarrel,
but her answer would be: ‘Are you not aware
that Bishop Kukah is preaching peace and
singing justice and I was engrossed in it?”
And if it is in the church, everyone sleeps and
forgets about their problems.
Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah’s writing
has visual-auditory-tactile imagery even for
the blind. He himself would be telling a fairly
tale to the entire world to have got track of all
his scholarly journal articles, interviews, and
speeches. Whenever Bishop Kukah writes
a book, its beauty takes readers’ breath
away. On the one hand, he sounds unhappy
anytime he does not write and when he
speaks on peace and justice, one knows thatpeace is with African continent. On the
other hand, if Bishop Kukah does not
write, he normally speaks to the crowd
for more than three hundred and sixty-six
minutes about world peace. He is the first
author of the very first book,Witness to
Justice: An Insider’s Account of Nigeria’s
Truth Commission which earns him
international acclaim. Inarguably, Bishop
Kukah is the Beacon of Peace across
After Bishop Kukah’s Doctoral
convocation in 1990, his reputation as a
talented Intellectual Religious Colossus
spread like a boa constrictor caught in
an elephant trap. He was highly sought
after. He rapidly ran up a list of jobs that
read like a manual of careers: publisher,
lecturer, mediator, and the like.
Bishop Kukah is a voracious reader and
a seasoned scholar on African continent
like Walter Rodney. He writes on global
issues and brainstorms with a view to
finding lasting solutions to them. Bishop
Kukah at his own age as a forty-year-old-
Catholic priest, his prolific writing has not
reached menopause. He is generally liked
by all students and academics at all levels
of higher learning. He has on several
occasions granted interviews on topical
issues bothering the nation at large. Bishop
Kukah is the most quoted authority on
Peace Studies of his generation.

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