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“Political elites should explain reasons for hatred, violence in Nigeria, says Bishop Kukah

By Murtala Adewale, Kano
06 December 2022   |   8:25 am
The Bishop of Sokoto diocese, Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah says the hatred and violence against one and across zones in Nigeria has no religious or ethnic inclination. Bishop Kukah made the declaration in a paper presented at the National Inter-Religious Conference on; Harnessing Nigeria’s Religious Diversity for Sustainable Peace and National Development, organized by the…

Bishop Matthew Kukah

The Bishop of Sokoto diocese, Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah says the hatred and violence against one and across zones in Nigeria has no religious or ethnic inclination.

Bishop Kukah made the declaration in a paper presented at the National Inter-Religious Conference on; Harnessing Nigeria’s Religious Diversity for Sustainable Peace and National Development, organized by the Kano state government.

Bishop Kukah insisted Nigerians must ask the political leaders to explain how they handle the nation’s identities and manage the concept of fairness and justice, while the country witnessed a volume of hatred and violence.

While the issue of Muslims Muslim’s presidential ticket failed to lay to rest, Kukah said the frustrations and anger of Christians against the APC’s decision is fueled by the insecurity and fear of uncertainty. He said Muslims would feel the same if it were a Christian-Christian joint ticket.

Kukah, whose paper was presented by the Chairman of the Christians Association of Nigeria, Kano state chapter, Bishop John Namaza, said he might not be able to provide a definite answer on the real sources of disaffection in the country, claimed that there is a threshold of deprivation in the land that led to reactive violence.

He said Christians in Nigeria have been upset by the Buhari administration because of the skewed nature of his appointments and how they perceived its have favoured Northern Muslims.

” The President and his team say, but other Christian leaders have done the same. You may not agree, but that is not the issue. The issue is what the aggrieved persons feel at a critical point. The point is that when people feel that others are better than them, they get jealous and may resort to violence to resolve their discontentment.

“The challenge, therefore, is not that people are angry or are tempted to violence, but the reasons are, who left the door of justice open for injustice to enter? Why, when and how did injustice creep in? Today, northern Nigerians romanticize the past by evoking the spirit of the Sardauna of Sokoto and we all create the impression that we all were well.

“Mention is made of how people like Audu Buba, Sunday Awoniyi, Jolly Tanko Yusuf and others were incorporated into power. The past was not perfect but at that time, people felt a sense of belonging. Today, with the creation of states which balkanized the north, how do people feel? We cannot answer these questions if we do not create the space to answer one another”.

Kukah emphasized that beyond the politics of religion, region, social class and ethnicity, Nigeria can only achieve national cohesion if it can address some salient national issues. Part of the national issues begging for urgent attention, according to him include the concept of common citizenship, National Integration, Secularism and actualization of freedom of democracy

On the concept of the theme of the conference, Kukah declared that no Muslim or Christian can claim to be more holy if they could not embrace, respect and honour one another and our faiths. He call on politicians to make politics more honourable by treating all Nigerians as free citizens in a free country under God.

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