The Bishop of Sokoto, H. E. Mgr. Matthew Hassan Kukah, visited the Secretariat of COMECE on Tuesday, 16 May 2023, to participate in a dialogue meeting with EU and Church representatives on the current situation in Nigeria.
The meeting resulted in a fruitful discussion on Nigeria’s challenges following the presidential elections held on 25 February 2023.
Mgr. Kulak highlighted the positive role of healthy public institutions and solid social fabric in promoting a functional democracy in Nigeria.
In particular, he stressed the need to strengthen the rule of law and implement public policies that serve all citizens, without distinction of faith and social class, towards a responsible and integral development that leaves no one behind. Mgr. Kukah also warned against the risks of the instrumentalisation of religion and called on Nigerian society to create a favourable environment for social, economic and labour advancement.
The meeting was co-organised by COMECE and the Community of Sant’Egidio. The Nigerian Bishop was received by COMECE General Secretary Fr. Manuel Barrios Prieto and other Church and EU representatives, including H.E. Mgr. Noel Treanor (Apostolic Nuncio to the European Union), Vincent Depaigne (EC Coordinator for Art. 17 Dialogue), Marcela Szymanski (Aid to the Church in Need), Jan De Volder (Comunità di Sant’Egidio).
In May 2020, COMECE called on the European Union, its Member States, and the entire international community to increase their efforts to stop violence in Nigeria and promote national dialogue and peace.
A few months later, in July 2020, the then President of COMECE, H.Em. Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich SJ, sent a letter to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria, expressing solidarity to the Christian communities facing a situation of continuous attacks that, in some cases, reaches levels of criminal persecution.