Youths Must Unite To Combat Security Challenges, Says Kukah

Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Revd Mathew Kukah (File)

 

The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Mathew Kukah, has challenged Nigerian youths to work together in tackling the security challenges facing the country.

Bishop Kukah made this call on Saturday in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

“Young children, please remember that in Plateau State, only last week, there were perhaps many young children like you getting ready and preparing for graduation but now they have graduated to the grave,” he said.

Beyond the attacks in which at least 100 people were killed in Plateau last weekend, the renowned cleric also decried killings that have claimed many lives in Benue, Zamfara, Kaduna, Katsina and other states.

As the government and security officials work to find solutions to the killings that have continued to defy efforts made so far, the bishop said parents share some of the blame in the security challenges.

He, therefore, wants parents to better perform their roles of seeing to the welfare of their children, especially giving education to the girl-child.

“Too many parents are outsourcing parenting. We have transferred our responsibility to machines. Our society is not going to grow if we don’t give our women a voice,” he said.

Kukah’s comments a week after suspected herdsmen attacked Xlands, Gindin Akwati, Ruku, Nhgar, Kura Falls and Kakuruk in Gashish district, Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau State.

During the attack, 100 people were confirmed killed, six people were injured while at least 50 houses, two vehicles and 15 motorcycles were burnt.

The attack has been widely condemned by the President, state governors, lawmakers and various groups, including Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) which urged the government to review the nation’s security architecture.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the Nigerian Governors Forum and former President Olusegun Obasanjo are among those who have paid condolence visits to the state.

In reaction to the killings, many Nigerians and groups have criticised efforts so far made to halt the bloodshed called on the government to take more drastic and decisive action.

Among those, who condemned the continued killings was Nobel laureate Professor Wole Soyinka who warned in a five-page statement that “The Nation Is Dying” as things stand and urged the President to speak a language that “murderous herdsmen” understand.

 

Security Threats: Bishop Kukah Asks Christians To Take Responsibility

The Catholic Archbishop of Sokoto Diocese, Reverend Father Matthew Kukah has urged members of the Christian community to assume full responsibility and unite against security threats.

Kukah, who was the keynote speaker at the Catholic Men’s Guild Conference in Lagos on Saturday, also urged Nigerians to identify the root cause of the religious crisis in the nation and take up the challenge of protecting one another.

“The notion that we are living in the country that Christians are on one side and Muslims on the other side and that ethnicity is such a major factor is to miss the point. We must locate our conflict and crisis in a completely different context.

“Human agency may be important but the reason why the state exists is because people organise to ensure the security of one another. So, the question is how did we get to the point where the guns that are purchased with our resources have been turned against us.

“It is not so much the government’s position, it is that we are entering public life not dressed as Christians. It is not by our crosses. The Catholic church must take full responsibility for our inability to recruit men and women into public life,” he said.

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Others that the conference also emphasised the importance of Christians to take up the challenge of protecting one another.

The security threat to the church, according to clerics and speakers at the conference is largely contributed by denominational and ethnic division, as well as the inability of Christians in public leadership to question systems that are inimical to the Christian faith.

Renowned economist, Pat Utomi, at the conference, however, discouraged Christians from picking up arms.

“If you pick up arms, all you do is just descend into a vortex. But the pen, organizing can be much more mightier than the sword.”

 

Bishop Kukah Calls For Introspection In Easter Message

Mattew Kukah, Politicians

 

The Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Bishop Matthew Kukah, has asked Nigerians to look inwards and re-order their priorities so as to provide solutions to the various socio-political and economic problems burdening the nation.

He made the appeal in a special Easter message addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari, the country’s political leaders and other citizens.

Bishop kukah reminded the President that the country is being divided by religion and ethnicity, which he believes threaten the very foundation of the nation.

He said: “I believe that this country is so split both vertically and horizontally today that all of us must honestly identify our many sins of omission and commission so that we can honestly seek a solution.

“This is a time for us to genuinely face what looks to me like an impending calamity. The gathering clouds are clear for us to see and even those who cannot see can hear the rumbling and rolling sound of thunder. We ignore them at our own risk.”

While he acknowledged the President’s efforts in delivering on his major campaign promises of security and the anti-corruption fight, he urged him to find ways of reconnecting with the people to genuinely address their yearnings and aspirations.

“We have never felt so alienated from one another. The bogeyman of religion, region and ethnicity, which we thought we had overcome by the sheer nature of your support base, has come back with a vengeance to haunt and threaten the very foundation of our existence.

“Mr. President, you are too distant from your people. There is a sad feeling that you do not share in the pain and suffering of your people. You must very quickly find a way of connecting with your people,” the Bishop said.

Furthermore, he accused political leaders of being consumed by materialism and abandoning their responsibilities to the people, promoting hatred, intolerance and corruption and being mere contraptions to grab power.

Religious leaders were not spared as the Bishop also accused them of falling into the temptation of presenting their churches and mosques as platforms for partisanship.

He, however, advised the leaders to “reduce the culture of godfatherism, and focus on building the foundation of a strong political culture”.

For the citizens he warned them against being manipulated by politicians, the businessmen/women, the religious leaders, and to defend their dignity as human beings and children of God.

“Defend your dignity as human beings and children of God. Do not allow the rich and powerful, who are rich because you are poor, to divide you.

“Rise and defend your right to food, health, shelter and the rest, because poverty is not a divine inheritance,” he said.

According to him, defending oneself does not mean turning o violence but rather, recognizing ones rights.

“Easter teaches us the message of love and of gentleness and of true strength. It tells us that to defend oneself does not mean to turn to violence or to any other misdeed or evil. But it means to recognize one’s dignity as a child of God and remember that each one is created and called to enjoy the fullness of life.”

Bishop Kukah Demands Clearer Policy On Fighting Corruption

Bishop KukahThe Bishop of Sokoto Catholic Diocese, Reverend Father Mattew Kukah, says the present administration lacks the ability to communicate hope to the people of Nigeria.

Bishop Kukah said this in an interview with Channels Television in Katsina State.

He said that the present administration lacks the ability to design both short and long term mission that can keep the citizens engaged.

Bishop Kukah further said that fighting corruption is a good thing that ought to be in a bigger policy as the country needs practical plans that suggest where the Buhari administration taking the nation.

However the popular Bishop said that the present government should be given more time as he believed they will fulfil their election promises to Nigerians.

Pope appoints Kukah to Vatican’s Pontifical Council

Pope Benedict XVI has appointed the Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Sokoto, Matthew Hassan Kukah, as a member of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, Vatican City.

Matthew Hassan Kukah with the Pope Benedict XVI

The 13-member Council is the highest decision and policy-making body for the Council for the Holy Father.

Kukah’s appointment is coming after the appointment of the Archbishop of Abuja, John Onaiyekan as a Cardinal.

The Bishop has recently had sundry of appointments and awards.

In May, the President of the Conference of Bishops of English and French speaking West Africa appointed Kukah as the Chairman of the Commission on Culture, Inter-religious Dialogue and Ecumenism.

In February, he was elected Chairman of the Commission on Inter-religious Dialogue for the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria.

He had earlier served the Council in five-year tenure when Francis Cardinal Arinze served as the President of the Council.

He was a delegate at the just-concluded Synod of Bishops for the New Evangelisation in the Vatican.