Leadership (Abuja)

Nigeria: Politicians Using Religion to Destroy the North - Kukah

The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah, yesterday lashed at political office seekers for using religion to destroy the north.

Kukah, who made this comment when he was delivering his sermon during Yakowa's burial, said: "Those who project Islam as the basis for power have now created crisis that has threatened the foundation of our society, especially in Northern Nigeria.

"Those who use religion, have used the north, and left it poorer that they met it, more divided than when they started. The result is that rather than seeking out men and women of honour and integrity into public life, our country has lost the sense of common vision to create a decent society. We no longer trust the other; only those who worship with us, feed like us and dress like us," he said.

Speaking on the alleged celebration of Yakowa's death by some people, Bishop Kukah described such persons as 'scoundrels' who constitute "the toxic waste of our humanity, who will dance and rejoice at the nakedness of the fathers and mothers in the market place. They should not distract us Christians and Muslims as we hold hands together across the country."

Kuka lamented that "years and years of corruption and abuse of power have turned the otherwise noble profession of politics from being a vocation into a dark temple of money and power, occupied by those who worship the same idol," adding that "Nigerians believe that the good public officer is not the one who is most qualified, most honest, the one with the greatest capacity to do good, but rather the one who is a member of our own circle of greed."

He, however, excluded Yakowa from this group.

"But Mr. Yakowa," he observed, "has managed to build a bridge to unite a people who have started to believe in one another as brothers and sisters despite the difficulties. He was relentless in the pursuit of peace. The result is that he has rather, successfully, blunted the sharp cutting edge of religion in our public lives."

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