Matthew Hassan Kukah, the Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Sokoto said that the toxicity of Nigerian politics is poisoning religious body in the country. He reiterated that it is time to face the problem head on instead of turning around and running away.
Speaking at the 70th Anniversary lecture at the flag-off ceremony of the Logo and Mascot launch of the order of the Knights of Saint Mulumba, KSM Nigeria on Saturday, he gave barking dog analogy to describe the turbulence in the country’s religiosity.
He illustrated a scenario from Veterinarian perspective, while acknowledging that he is not a one. He said “Though I am not a Vetinarian, but I was told that when a dog is barking, you walk towards it because if you turn back, it would attack. My point is that we Christians must walk towards the barking dog.”
Bishop Kukah contined, “Now Nigeria is being ranked as the 9th worst country for Christians to live in. We are number nine and Iran is number eight, everywhere I go, people keep asking me what is happening to Christians and Muslims in Nigeria. Toxic politics has now poisoned our religion.”
“As I speak, for past three weeks my Priest, a young man and a sister are still in captivity even though the Nigerian state wishes to pretend that we are not negotiating with the kidnappers but as I am talking we are negotiating with the kidnappers because I don’t know how else to get back my priest.
“It is a very painful experience, my own blood relations have been kidnapped, I lost a Priest last year to kidnappers, I have lost a Seminarian to kidnappers and somehow we like to pretend we have a government, of course we have the apparatus of government, we have the scaffolding, but this scaffolding is important because people are able see access and appropriate resources of state.
“As to what the state needs to do, they are still far away from that reality. It is a very painful and sad reality that as at the last conversation with the kidnappers we have negotiated up to N20 million which I do not have.
“And the kidnappers think this is chicken fee. And I am supposed to pay money to people who are murderers, who would murder anybody, I am supposed to pay money to people who are buying aeroplane and killing people as you hear about Southern Kaduna last week, I was supposed to pay money to people who are prepared to destroy our country and there seems to be no sign to end this madness,” Kukah emphasized.