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Outspoken cleric and Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Most Rev. Matthew Hassan Kukah has warned persons, especially politicians fanning embers of religious disharmony to tread with caution.
Bishop Kukah who spoke at the 50th birthday of the National Organising Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Osita Izunaso and the 11th anniversary of his Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) in Abuja, yesterday, said “what Nigeria needs at the moment is national integration and cohesion.”
“I want to use this opportunity to make this point, and I am happy that members of National Assembly are here. The point I want to make is that this country has gone through so much. We have shed so much innocent blood; we’re still going through the problems of Boko Haram, through the problems of (Niger Delta) Avengers and we’re still going through the problems of Biafra. Everywhere you turn in Nigeria, the country is grinding. I want to emphasis that the greatest problem we face now is national integration. Therefore, it saddens me to hear that politicians are again beginning to play with the idea of Sharia law. I think we must tread with caution because the timing for the conversation is very wrong.
“For the past 40 of 50 years, we have this conversation about Sharia law, I can tell you that it is nothing other than a gimmick by politicians seeking extra mileage. People must realise that religion is in the heart.

“Therefore, the issues of religion and other things affecting the country are too sensitive to be left in the hands of the politicians. Whoever the responsibility of marketing our country has been entrusted must ensure that national cohesion is an important project.
“I want to say that if there are christians who are not satisfied with Nigeria and they want to live in a Christian state, maybe they should relocate to Zambia where the President is in charge of a Christian state. If there are Muslims who think that this country is not good enough, that it is  a Christian state, maybe they should relocate to Saudi Arabia where they can live under the Koran. Let me emphasis that this country does not belong to Moslems, Christians, it does not belong to APC or PDP, men and women in power, but to all of us; and whether we like it not, all of us have a claim in this country. Therefore,  keeping the country united, ensuring fairness, equity is the reason we have politics. Politicians must, therefore, take politics seriously because politics is a noble profession, and those God has given so much must be ready to render account. Nigeria is a great country and it is time for us to buckle up and bind together,” he charged.
The chief host, Senator Izunaso assured the physically challenged that the bill before the National Assembly was receiving appropriate attention. He said if  passed into law, it will establish Persons with Disability Commission and reserve certain percentage of employment for persons living with disability.
“For many years now, we have dedicated October 30 to celebrate Kpakpando Foundation. Three members of the foundation won gold medal in the Rio Paralympic Games. We are sponsoring 6,000 physically challenged persons in higher institutions. While two are studying in the UK and Belgium, over 2,500 disabled persons have graduated in several disciplines including law,” he noted.


In attendance were the governors of Jigawa, Imo, Sokoto, Bauchi, Kano States among others, representatives of the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, the Speaker House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, the National Chairman of APC and other national leaders, among many other dignitaries.

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