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Market Digest Nigeria

Politics

My opinion was based on justifiable evidence – Bishop Kukah replies critics

The Bishop of the Sokoto Diocese of the Catholic Church, Matthew Hassan Kukah has reacted to the criticisms that has continued to trail his Christmas message titled, “A Nation in Search of Vindication,” where he noted that “President Muhammadu Buhari had succeeded in sacrificing the dreams of Nigerians on the altar of nepotism by pursuing Northern hegemony.”

However, following the backlash his message has been getting, Kukah has come out to set the record straight by saying his words were twisted out of proportion as he never called for a coup to topple Buhari’s government.

In a message issued on Tuesday, December 29, after a press conference with selected journalists at the St Bakhita Secretariat in Sokoto, Kukah said Nigerians should get his accurate statement and not to rely on lies being peddled about in his name.

The statement reads:

“I am pained and very sad that my emergency critics never see that many innocent lives are being lost on a daily basis. The loss of lives in the last 10 years, even before the advent of this administration, calls for concern.

“The reactions are a reflection of every citizen that make up Nigeria. It is sad that when you drop something in Nigeria, everybody goes back to their enclave and abandon the larger picture. I am someone who never takes offense to what people say about me.

“What I said was my opinion based on evidence and what has happened in Nigeria, and if you looked into the records, there is evidence that justifies that statement, and if anyone thinks I am wrong, they should come out with a superior position.

“It is unfair for a journalist or news medium to report that I called for a coup while expressing my personal view about Nigeria.

“I have no plan and will never play partisan politics for any reason. Those who link my message to partisan politics are only playing to the gallery.

“Take, for instance, brilliant Nigerian youths making comments about Chelsea or Arsenal and have never been to England. Does that make them players of such club sides?

“So, why will someone think because Bishop Kukah is speaking, therefore he is a politician? People who make this argument are totally ignorant of elementary politics and ignorant of the role of a Priest.

“The truth is that a lot of us have not seen a priest saying what I am saying. The truth of the matter is we are all in politics, but party politics for me, no. I am not a member of any political party and I cannot be. If it comes to voting, I do my right.

“Whatever I said can please or displease anyone, but that is my own opinion and doesn’t stop others from saying their own opinion. If you think my motive is wrong, say yours.

“I have no problem with Muslims, Christians, or any other religion but what I don’t like is when someone is using a religious issue to play politics, it is wrong.”

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