The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Hassan Kukah, has tackled his critics who demanded his arrest after criticising the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Recall that while delivering his Christmas message, Mr Kukah had alleged that Mr Buhari’s acts of nepotism could have led to a coup if he was a non-northern Muslim, triggering many pro-government groups to tag the statement as felony against the Nigeria state.
Addressing select newsmen in Sokoto Monday night, Bishop Kukah said his message was based on his love for the country and had no political or ulterior motive
He said: “I am pained and very sad that my emergency critics never see that many innocent lives are being lost daily. The loss of lives in the last ten years, even before this administration’s advent, 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 offence 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 noted.
On his alleged political affiliation with the opposition Peoples Democratic Part, PDP, Mr Kukah said: “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 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 fact 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.”