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…Mind your language – FG warns

Bishop Mathew Kukah has accused the Nigerian government of using different methods to achieve the same goal of Islamic dominance like Boko Haram.

He said this while reacting to the December of 10 persons suspected to be Christians by extremists in Nigeria.

The Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, in his disgust with the Nigerian authorities, further compared the government with Boko Haram, saying the only difference is that the later makes use of a bomb to achieve their aims.

He condemned the Christmas Day attack by the Islamic State West Africa Province, and that of Boko Haram on Christmas Eve.

A press statement from the Bishop’s media team quoted him as speaking in the United Kingdom with Catholic Charity Aid to the Church in Need.

He said, “The only difference between the government and Boko Haram is (that) Boko Haram is holding a bomb.

“They are 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. With the situation in Nigeria, it is hard to see the moral basis they have to defeat Boko Haram.

“They have created the conditions to make it possible for Boko Haram to behave the way they are behaving,” he added.

Bishop Kukah said the Nigerian government, by packing key government positions with hardline Muslims, gave 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 is Muslim in power then you give vent to the idea that Islam should be supreme.”

He, however, hit out against western nations, who, he said, are happy to mine the resources of Africa but not ready to defend its people.

He said, “Western nations are not doing enough. They have shown that the resources of Africa are more important than ordinary people.

“Clearly, the Western nations could have reduced the influence of Boko Haram by 80 or 90 percent but they have deliberately not done enough.”

Bishop Kukah said the only thing preventing Nigeria from being engulfed in a civil war was the peaceful tenets of Christianity.

“Christians have every reason to feel insecured, also there is a general feeling of their marginalisation from the political process. If the principles of our religion were different, there would be a civil war by now.

“It is the glory of our religion that this hasn’t happened. It is difficult to preach peace in this context. Any resolution depends on how Christians decide to react. They won’t use violence but what will they do?”

Reacting to the comment, the Federal Government advised Bishop Kukah to use his office to work for religious harmony in Nigeria, rather than indulge in actions that are capable of dividing the country along religious lines.

In a statement issued in Abuja, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the statement credited to Bishop Kukah, in which he compared the Federal Government with Boko Harama, is not only disingenuous, but also a great disservice to the men and women in uniform who are daily battling the Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorists to keep all Nigerians safe.

The Minister reiterated the federal government’s position that the Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorists do not subscribe to any religion, irrespective of their pretence to such, but are driven by their primitive propensity to kill mindlessly and destroy without restrain, irrespective of their victims’ greed, gender and tribe.


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