History was made in the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, kudos to the Bishop of the Diocese, Most Reverend Matthew Hassan Kukah. Three oldest priests of the Diocese were robed as Monsignoris, thereby becoming "members of the Papal Household" The oldest of the them, Right Reverend Joseph Keke, was ordained for the Diocese of Sokoto in 1975. The other two, Monsignors Joseph Atado and Eugene Nwachukwu were ordained in in different months in 1979. It will be recalled that Monsignor Joseph Keke was abducted by bandits sometime in 2021. He was deeply traumatized and released unharmed although a younger priest abducted with him was murdered by the criminals. Their crowning was their elevation by the Holy Father, Pope Francis and they were robed by their Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah, assisted by some other priests. During the ceremony at a Mass at the Holy Family Catholic Cathedral Sokoto, twenty other persons were honoured as Papal Knights of St. Gregory the Great, St. Sylvester and medalists of Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice and Benemerenti. Six Knights of St. Gregory, one of them, Matthews Otalike, the Chairman of CAMPAN in Sokoto Diocese; and five Knights of Pope St. Sylvester. The medalists honoured by the Pope were ten. However, one of them, a retired elderly Catechist was not alive to receive the medal but his first son traveled down to Sokoto from Katsina state to receive his father's award.
The investiture was held on Friday, a working day yet the Cathedral was filled to capacity for the ceremony by Catholics, non-Catholics and friends from all parts of Nigeria to witness epochal event. During the Mass in which about 51 priests assisted Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah, the over three hours event appeared as one hour as every person stayed to listen to the scintillating and enriching homily of the Bishop. In the homily, Bishop Kukah said the choice of the honorees was deliberate to represent the entire Catholic and Christian community and not because they were the best among the people. He urged them to see the honour from the Holy Father as a recognition of their work and an encouragement to do more all through life. Bishop Kukah who has come to be known and accepted by Nigerians of all faith as the conscience of the nation, lamented that the nation is severally broken. He urged Nigerians to not only pray but also act in their little ways in truth and justice so as to reposition the country. He also advised all Nigerians to mindful of their words because most wars are triggered by careless and uncontrolled expression of thoughts. On the part of priests, Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah said the three persons elevated to Monsignors are still priests and that there should be no dichotomy in their rank as clergy. During the investiture, officials of the Association of Papal Knights and Medalists in Nigeria came to Sokoto to assist in dressing the new Knights and Medalists. They are the National President of the Association, Dame Esther Uduehi KSG, the Vice-President, Sir Steve Adehi, SAN, KCSS, National Secretary, Vrenzak Dawap and Provincial Secretary, Sir Philip Arage KSG.