By Onuminya Innocent
As reactions continue to trail his Christmas message, Bishop of Sokoto Catholic Diocese, Matthew Hassan Kukah, has denied calling for a coup.
In a press briefing with some selected journalists held at St Bakhita Secretariat in Sokoto on Monday night, KuKah urged Nigerians to get the accurate statement rather than relying on different lies being peddled about in his name.
According to the Bishop, the message was based on his love for the country and has no political or ulterior motive.
“I am saddened and pained that my critics never saw that many innocent lives were being lost on daily basis. The loss of lives in the last ten years, even before the advent of this administration, calls for concern”, he stated
He furher added that the reactions were reflections of every citizens that made up Nigeria, stressing that “it is sad that when you drop something in Nigeria, everybody goes back to their enclave and abandons the larger picture. I am someone who never takes offence of what people say about me.
“What I said was my opinion based on evidence and what had happened in Nigeria and if you looked into the records, there are evidence that justify that statement and, if anyone thinks I am wrong, they should come out with superior position.
“It is unfair and unjust imagination of those who said I called for a coup while I am expressing my personal view about Nigeria,” he noted.
Recalled that Kukah had in his 2020 Christmas Message said President Muhammadu Buhari was presiding over a country with prospects of a failed state.
He also maintained his stand that there was no way any non-Northern Muslim President could have done a fraction of what President Buhari had done by his nepotism and gotten away with it.
The Federal Government had earlier said it was graceless and impious for any religious leader to use the period of Christmas, which is a season of peace, to stoke the embers of hatred, sectarian strife and national disunity.
It also said calling for violent overthrow of democratically elected government was not what a religious leader should engage in.
To those calling him to drop his priesthood cassock and join the political fray, the outspoken cleric said if he was to join politics, it would have been during the time of late Aminu Kano and not now.
“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 clubsides?
“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 religious issue to play politics, it is wrong.”