Biography of Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah

One of Nigeria’s foremost public intellectuals, Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah has delivered numerous public lectures across Nigeria and worldwide, written several books and hundreds of articles on various aspects of governance, faith, human rights and public policy in Nigeria. His contributions have added moral input, shaped public policy and service. He served as secretary general of the Bishops’ Conference and in several federal government panels. He singlehandedly negotiated an end to the long drawn out conflict between Shell Petroleum Development Corporation and the people of Ogoniland in Rivers State, Nigeria.

Bishop Kukah’s humble background, his wide pastoral experience and networks across the country, have motivated his work in promoting stronger national unity through interfaith dialogue and promotion of economic and social justice for all citizens. As a result of his wide range of experience and exposure, he has often been referred to as a rabble-rouser for peace and nation building in Nigeria.

Education

  • Studied Philosophy and Theology at St Augustine Major Seminary and University of Ibadan (1970-1976)
  • Masters in Peace Studies, University of Bradford (UK) (1981- 1982)
  • PhD, University of London (1990-1993)
  • Senior Rhodes Fellow, St Antony’s College, Oxford (2001-2003)
  • Masters in Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School of Government (2003-2004)

Activities Prior to the Formation of the Kukah Centre

  • Lecturer and Dean of Students, St Augustine’s Seminary (1978-1979)
  • Rector, Junior Seminary, Zaria (1981-1982)
  • Member, Human Rights Violations Investigation Commission (1999-2001)
  • Secretary, National Political Conference (2005)
  • Chairman, Ogoni Shell Reconciliation (2005-present)
  • Member, Electoral Reform Committee (2007-2009)
  • Pro Chancellor and Chairman of Council, Nasarawa State University, Keffi
  • Deputy Chairman, BOT, American University, Yola

Experience in the Clergy:

  • Ordained in 1976
  • Associate Parish Priest, Kaduna (1977-1978)
  • Cardinal’s Special Assistant, Abuja Catholic Church (1982-1986)
  • Deputy Secretary General, Catholic Bishops Conference (1990-1993)
  • Secretary General, Catholic Bishops Conference (1994-2000)
  • Vicar-General, Archdiocese of Kaduna (2004-2011)
  • Ordained Bishop of Sokoto Diocese (2011-present)
  • Chairman, Committee on Inter-religious Dialogue, Catholic Bishops’ Conference, Nigeria (2012-present)
  • Member, Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, Vatican City (2012-present)
  • Chairman, Committee on Inter-religious Dialogue, Regional Episcopal Conference of West African, RECOWA (2012-present).