The Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Mathew Kukah has accused the federal government of using methods different from the approach of Boko Haram to achieve the same goal of Islamic dominance in Nigeria.
A press statement from the Bishop’s media team on Tuesday evening quoted him as speaking in the United Kingdom with Catholic Charity Aid to the Church in Need.
Kukah was reacting to the recent beheading of 10 persons suspected to be Christians by extremists in Nigeria.
He compared the federal government with Boko Haram, saying the only difference is that the terrorists use bomb to achieve their aims.
He condemned the Christmas Day attack by the Islamic State West Africa Province, and that of Boko Haram on Christmas Eve.
“The only difference between the government and Boko Haram is (that) Boko Haram is holding a bomb.
“They are using the levers of power to secure the supremacy of Islam, which then gives more weight to the idea that it can be achieved by violence. With the situation in Nigeria, it is hard to see the moral basis they have to defeat Boko Haram.
“They have created the conditions to make it possible for Boko Haram to behave the way they are behaving,” he added.
Bishop Kukah said the Nigerian government, by packing key government positions with hardline Muslims, gave tacit approval to such groups.
“If the people in power don’t do enough to integrate Christians then they give oxygen to Islamism.
“If they have countries where everybody is Muslim in power then you give vent to the idea that Islam should be supreme.”
He, however, hit out against western nations, who, he said, are happy to mine the resources of Africa but not ready to defend its people.
He said, “Western nations are not doing enough. They have shown that the resources of Africa are more important than ordinary people.
“Clearly, the Western nations could have reduced the influence of Boko Haram by 80 or 90 percent but they have deliberately not done enough.”
Bishop Kukah said the only thing preventing Nigeria from being engulfed in a civil war was the peaceful tenets of Christianity.
“Christians have every reason to feel insecure, also there is a general feeling of their marginalisation from the political process. If the principles of our religion were different, there would be a civil war by now.
“It is the glory of our religion that this hasn’t happened. It is difficult to preach peace in this context. Any resolution depends on how Christians decide to react. They won’t use violence but what will they do?”