Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Matthew Kukah, has declared that there is no problem between the two major religious groups of the country, the Christians and the Muslims.
Bishop Kukah, who was speaking on a television show on Monday, said that the problem of the country was with leaders irresponsible leaders who used religion as a tool of oppression rather than for liberation.
He said, “There is no problem between Christians and Muslims. There is a problem between irresponsible leaders who don’t want to govern properly; irresponsible Christian religious leaders who have now seen religion as a tool of oppression instead of a tool for liberation.
“This has been the thrust of my argument, because these are two areas of study. With all sense of modesty I have spent a good part of my life studying theology and studying religion and society,” he noted.
The clergyman who was responding to questions on the roles of religion and ethnicity in the politics of Nigeria, explained that the country had failed at building a governance that put the welfare of citizens over anything else.
He said, “If you are watching a football match or any game at all, that’s why there are referees. If the referee does not do what needs to be done and allows supporters to jump onto the field, you can see for yourself that referees are punishing coaches who overreach themselves by stepping even if it is just one inch, into the field. They are punished; sometimes they are taken off the pitch.
“Now, this is really what a state is supposed to be. Because without the state, it will be all of us against each other. And that is why the state is called a leviathan. You put so much power so that the state can protect us. The Nigerian state has proved itself to be incompetent, grossly malfunctioning, unable, and unwilling to commit the welfare of citizens as the principal basis of governance.”