Bishop Matthew Kukah
By Chidi Nkwopara
The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Most Rev. Matthew Hassan Kukah, has described the Nigerian government as “Islamic fundamentalists without bombs.”
The Bishop’s view was made available to Vanguard in Owerri by the Diocesan Director of Social Communication, DDSC, Rev. Fr. Chris Omotosho.
According to the DDSC, the Bishop, who was apparently angered by the seemingly endless waste of lives, equally reasoned that “the only difference between the government and Boko Haram is that Boko Haram is holding a bomb.”
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Making reference to the beheading of 10 Christians by Islamist militants in Nigeria which has sparked worldwide condemnation, the Bishop accuses the government of “using different methods to achieve the same goal of Islamic dominance.”
Kukah, who was particularly irked by the Christmas Day attack by loyalists of Islamic State West Africa Province, ISWAP, as well as an attack by Boko Haram terrorists on Christmas Eve, also expressed disgust with the Federal Government, when he spoke to members of Catholic Charity Aid to the Church in Need.
Bishop Kukah also accused the Federal Government of “using the levers of power to secure the supremacy of Islam, which then gives more weight to the idea that it can be achieved by violence.”
His words: “They have created the conditions to make it possible for Boko Haram to behave the way they are behaving. On Boxing Day 2019, ISWAP released a video beheading 10 Christians and shooting one Muslim, saying they were avenging the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghadi, Daesh, ISIS leader, and other senior Daesh members killed during a US raid in October.”
Bishop Kukah recalled with grief that the beheading of the 10 Christians followed a Christmas eve attack by Boko Haram, in which seven were killed in coldblood, adding that the United Nations estimated that over 2.2 million people have been displaced by Boko Haram’s actions between 2013 and 2015.
The cleric fumed that more than 11,000 innocent people were killed by the rampaging Islamist group.
It was the considered opinion of the Bishop that “the Nigerian government, by packing key government positions with hardline Muslims, gives tacit approval to such groups.
“If the people in power don’t do enough to integrate Christians, then they give oxygen to Islamism. If they have countries where everybody in power is Muslim, then you give vent to the idea that Islam should be supreme.”
Accuses West of parasitism
Bishop Kukah hit the western nations hard, accusing them of being happy to mine the resources of Africa, but least interested in defending its people.
Accrding to him, “the western nations are not doing enough. They have shown that the resources of Africa are more important than the ordinary people.
“Clearly, the Western nations could have reduced the influence of Boko Haram by 80 or 90 percent. They have deliberately not done enough. The only thing preventing Nigeria from being engulfed in civil war is the peaceful tenets of Christianity.”