Bishop of Sokoto Catholic Diocese, Matthew Kukah, has dismissed claims made by some Nigerians that his Christmas day message was a call for a coup to overthrow the Buhari-led administration.
Kukah in his Christmas day message said that Nigeria would have suffered a military coup or be thrown into a war if a non-northern Muslim president was in power and has done a fraction of what Buhari has done since assuming office in 2015. Kukah accused President Buhari of nepotism and others. Read here.
The Arewa Youths Consultative Forum has since called for his arrest and prosecution. According to them, the clergyman was calling for a coup against the Buhari administration.
At a press conference held today December 29, Bishop Kukah stated that he never called for a coup. In his words;
”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 ten 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.”he said
Kukah dismissed calls for his to drop his priestly garment and join politics to effect the changes he so desires to see in
”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.”he said