Kukah warns against using religion for politics

The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Matthew Kukah, has warned politicians against using religion to manipulate politics in the country.

He added that such move comes with a grave consequence just has it happened in Germany during the reign of Adolf Hitler.

Kukah spoke in Abuja on Wednesday during the presentation of his new book, “Broken Truth,” which was part of activities lined up for his 70th birthday.

He said, “If you look at history, there is a consequence for using religion to manipulate politics. We just need to look at Germany. The consequences are there to see in Hitler.

“The problem is that the Nigerian political elites lack the mental capacity to understand the consequences of the fire they are stoking because there is nothing to suggest that the average person who is living in the north, who is Fulani, who is a Muslim, or who is Hausa, can say that they are proud of the Nigerian political system, beyond a very tiny percentage.

“So, if you decide that you want to give privilege to a religion or an ethnic group, what will happen is that others automatically become outsiders.”

He also explained that agitations are ongoing in the country because the citizens are more intelligent than those steering the affairs of the country.

Kukah added, “The agitation that persists in Nigeria is largely borne out of the fact that those who govern us are not aware of how much mental progress ordinary people have made.

“Those who are being governed are more intelligent and endowed. And it will not have been a bad thing if people who don’t know seek knowledge.”

Congratulatory messages

Meanwhile, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.); and the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, on Tuesday, congratulated Kukah on his birthday.

Buhari’s congratulatory message was contained in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.

 “President Buhari joins the Catholic Church, friends and associates in celebrating with the priest on the milestone.

“The President notes the contributions of the priest, teacher, scholar and writer to national discourse,” the statement read in part.

Atiku, on his part, described Kukah as a civic intellectual and formidable good governance advocate whose contributions towards Nigeria’s democracy had been vast and proven.

His congratulatory message was contained in a statement by his media adviser, Paul Ibe.

“Bishop Kukah is widely misunderstood because he speaks truth to power; a task that often attracts adversaries in our kind of society,” he said.

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