VINDICATED: If they had listened to me instead of threatening me, North would have been a better place — Kukah

The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah has once again called for urgent decisive and effective solution to the escalating security challenges facing the country, particularly the Northern region.

Kukah who made the call in his Christmas sermon delivered on Saturday, titled, ‘A nation still in search of Truth and vindication,’ said if his precious call a year ago, was taken seriously and acted upon instead being issued threats, the insecurity now eating the North raw, would have been mitigated.

Kakah was heavily criticized, threatened and was even told to move out of Sokoto his home state, over his 2020 Christmas homily where he criticized the Buhari administration of nepotism, and said the Buhari has failed so badly that the only reason he is still president, is not only because he's not a Christian, but also not a Muslim from the South.

Kukah particularly angered Muslims with his sermon when he said the president is furthering his Islamic agenda in the country simply because Christians are non-violent people, a statement Muslims interpret as suggesting that Islam is a violent religion.

“This government owes the nation an explanation as to where it is headed as we seem to journey into darkness,” he said in his 2020 Christmas sermon.

“The spilling of this blood must be related to a more sinister plot that is beyond our comprehension. Are we going to remain hogtied by these evil men or are they gradually becoming part of a larger plot to seal the fate of our country?

“President Buhari deliberately sacrificed the dreams of those who voted for him to what seemed like a programme to stratify and institutionalise northern hegemony. He has pursued this self-defeating and alienating policy at the expense of greater national cohesion.

“Every honest Nigerian knows that there is no way any non-Northern Muslim President could have done a fraction of what President Buhari has done by his nepotism and gotten away with it.

“There would have been a military coup a long time ago or we would have been at war. The President may have concluded that Christians will do nothing and will live with these actions.

“He may be right and we Christians cannot feel sorry that we have no pool of violence to draw from or threaten our country. However, God does not sleep. We can see from the inexplicable dilemma of his North,” he said.

Now, in his latest sermon a year later, Kukah noted that the Northern region could soon become ‘Arewanistan’ (coined from Afghanistan) in view of the persistent killings going on in the region unabated. 

Kukah said, “In their sleep, on their farmlands, in their markets, or even on the highway, innocent citizens have been mowed down and turned into burnt offerings to gods of evil. 

“Communities have been turned into gulags of misery, death, pain and perfidy. We must move quickly before Arewa, our beloved Arewa, descends into Arewanistan.”

On threats he received following his 2020 Christmas sermon, he said, “At about this time last year when I raised the alarm about the perilous state of affairs in northern Nigeria, all kinds of accusations were levelled against me, especially by my northern brethren.

“When the Catholic Bishops protested openly against the killings of our people in March 2020, we were accused of acting against the government with religious motives being imputed to our noble intentions. Now, we are fully in the grip of evil.

“Today, a feeling of vindication only saddens me as I have watched the north break into a cacophony of quarrelsome blame games over our tragic situation.”

According to him, “Tales and promises about planned rescues have since deteriorated into mere whispers. Nothing expresses the powerlessness of the families like the silence of the state at the federal level. 

“Today, after over seven years, our over 100 Chibok girls are still marooned in the ocean of uncertainty.

“Over three years after, Leah Sharibu is still unaccounted for. Students of the Federal Government College, Yauri, and children from Islamiyya School, Katsina are still in captivity. This does not include hundreds of other children whose captures were less dramatic.

“We also have lost count of hundreds of individuals and families who have been kidnapped and live below the radar of publicity. We have before us a government totally oblivious to the cherished values of the sacredness of life.

“The silence of the Federal Government only feeds the ugly beast of complicity in the deeds of these evil people who have suspended the future of entire generations of our children.

“Every day, we hear of failure of intelligence, yet, those experts who provide intelligence claim that they have always done their duty diligently and efficiently.

“Does the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria not believe that he owes parents and citizens answers as to where our children are and when they are coming home?

“Does the President of Nigeria not owe us an explanation and answers as to when the abductions, kidnappings, brutality, senseless, and endless massacres of our citizens will end? When will our refugees from Cameroon, Chad or Niger return home? We need urgent answers to these questions.

“While I commend the efforts of our security men and women, I call on the President, in collaboration with the governors who are doing their best to preserve and protect their people to develop a more honest, open and robust strategy for ending the humiliation of our people and restoring social order to our people. We have borne enough humiliation as communities and a country.”

Having paid tribute to several northern Christians who, fell victim of the insecurity in the region, Kukah also tasked religious leaders to stand firm in the face of what he called the injustice in the country, saying: “When the politicians embark on outright favouritism or nepotism, we must not be carried away by the belief that our religion is being favoured.

“Religious leaders must stand together and condemn lack of fairness to any group because the powerful and the powerless all need to be saved,” he added.

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