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Show Me Where I Sinned Against Islam And I Will Apologize – Bishop Kukah

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Show Me Where I Sinned Against Islam And I Will Apologize - Bishop Kukah
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The Archbishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah says he is ready to apologise if he is shown any part of his Christmas sermon that insulted Islam.

Kukah was reacting to a statement by the Islamic groups JNI, who alleges that he bit the finger that fed him despite being accepted and tolerated.

Bishop Kukah also asked the Islamic groups to show him where and how in all his sermon that he insulted Islam or Muslims.

In his response to the JNI’s statement, Kukah noted that the JNI Secretary dwelt more on politics rather than humanity to have accused him of firing an arrow at the heart of Islam and Muslims in Nigeria.

He explained, “Dr Aliyu has accused me of being an enemy of his religion, Islam. He accused me of what he calls, firing an arrow at the heart of Islam and Muslims in Nigeria.”

Bishop Kukah explained that the statement said he has been accorded respect and accommodated in Sokoto and has turned around to bite a finger that has fed him.

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Kukah added, “He poses a question: How can Muslims continue to be hospitable to one who proves to be an ingrate many times over? How can Muslims be comfortable in associating with a bitterly vindictive person disguised in the garb of a religious cleric?”

Bishop Kukah noted that his area of research is religion, politics and society, saying that he is concerned about how religion can help to form good citizens and also how the state can create an environment that enables citizens to achieve this.

“In all of my writings over the last forty or more years, I have never written a single paper or article on Islam as a religion. If there is any scholar anywhere who knows, let him or her say so.

“I have written about religion focusing on how both citizens and the state deal with it, with a focus on politicians. My concerns are summarised in what the late Professor Bala Usman loosely referred to as the manipulation of religion. This manipulation is what has turned religion into a weapon of war in Nigeria,” he explained.

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Bishop Kukah requested, Dr Aliyu as a matter of honour and based on the text of my sermon to formally identify where in his sermon he attacked Islam or all Muslims in Nigeria, assuring that he would be more than happy to apologise for the offensive part of the statement.

He further stated, “The relevant paragraphs in my sermon focused on the two painful themes of nepotism and the haemorrhaging of lives in our country, a fact that as I said, most religious leaders and statesmen and women have alluded to.

“How a critique of government policies suddenly becomes hater of Islam and the north, beggars belief.”

He called on Dr Aliyu to clarify and validate his accusations against him and advance the reasons why he should incite violence against him.

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Bishop Kukah noted, “I am unaware of anyone in Sokoto who has accused me of any misdemeanour or actions aimed at undermining the state or anyone, no least the faith of Islam.”

He reiterated, “I believe that today, nepotism poses a serious threat to our country.”

He added that the issue of the insecurity and how the north has become so affected, saying, “My belief was to add my voice to the voices of millions of Nigerians, Muslims, Christians, Traditional rulers, Statesmen and all who have shown genuine concern.”

He opined that it would be a great pity and a disservice to their efforts at national cohesion if they resort to the kind of diversionary threats that Dr Aliyu has embarked on.

“It only makes the job of insurgents easier if we become enemies to one another,” he noted.

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2023: YPP To Begin “Ballot Revolution” In Nigeria

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2023: YPP To Begin "Ballot Revolution" In Nigeria
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…to ensure young people change narrative in governance

The Young Progressives Party (YPP), Monday, disclosed of embarking on ‘ballot revolution’ ahead of 2023 with massive sensitization of young people to change the narrative.

This was made known by the National Chairman of YPP, Hon Amakiri Bishop, while expressing dismay with the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), and the leading opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), for not meeting the yearnings and aspirations of the citizenry, particularly young people.

According to Bishop, it is high time there is a paradigm shift in the political system where young people are in the saddle of leadership as seen in other climes and this will warrant the support of all Nigerians irrespective of their backgrounds.

He also explained that the ‘ballot revolution’ is not a bloody one but all about preparing the minds of young people in the country to get into mainstream politics and supporting themselves to take over political leadership at all levels through the ballot box with their vote card and determination to change the old guards.

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He said: “We will need a multi-stakeholders’ approach of all of us. And for me I think it is time we put a stop to this gerantocrats that have brought us to where we are today.

“And if we want a departure from the ugly trend, all of us must be part of those critical stakeholders in the business of nation building.

“All these slogans of PDP’s Power to the people or Next Level of the APC it’s not true, there are mere political gimmicks. Let’s talk about a New Level. I don’t believe in the next level.

“So we in the YPP, we will start a ‘ballot revolution’ and not the one that resort to violence and bloodshed. We will go on ballot revolution in a legitimate manner in peace and harmony so that we can bring our young people on board because they have the intellectual capacity and also they have the political sagacity.

“The youths have the mental and numerical strength and we will tap into that resources and see how we can galvanize them. Instead of agonising, I think we can begin to organise ourselves.

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“So we organise and reach out to all levels as well as the critical stakeholders and see how we can begin to provoke a conversation that will bring us together as a people in the business of nation building and take the nation to a new level that will be beneficial to all Nigerians.”

He also made it clear that young people should not allow themselves to be toyed and deceived by politicians who do not mean well for the country with evidence to show their actions towards young people.

“So I think that you and I have an obligation, I mean a sacred obligation to our generation to see how we can rescue our unborn generation. So please if responsibility has beckoned on us, let’s take advantage of the opportunity that we have now, while we are still alive. And that is why I am passionately driven about what contribution I will make during my life time.

“If you look at the founding fathers of the African black race they have all paid their dues, I mean the likes of Nelson Mandela, Kwame Nkrumah, Thomas Sankara, Julius Nyerere amongst other notable pan-Africanists that have championed the emancipation of our people at different times.

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“What can we say that we have done in our time, even when we are going through today’s political brigandage and so on. I think we should all be critical stakeholders in this business of nation building.”

He also lamented that past and current sufferings of citizens in Nigeria have been appalling, hence need a shift from the old story.

“If you have political or democratic instability, as we can see, any country that experiences political instability, the people that bear the brunt are the citizens. And even among the citizens, those who feel the pain are the lower class.

“The upper and middle classes don’t feel the heat. So the people that feel the heat the most are those in the lower class.

“This is a call to us all to see how we can galvanize our interests and take our country back from the brink again.”

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Religious Fanatics Seek To Divert Attention By Twisting Kukah’s Statement – Soyinka

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Religious Fanatics Seek To Divert Attention By Twisting Kukah’s Statement - Soyinka
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Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, has faulted critics of the Christmas speech of the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Matthew Kukah, saying they are religionists diverting attention from the cleric’s central theme.

The playwright said he had studied the transcript as reported in the media and found nothing in the speech that denigrated Islam.

He, however, noted that he was not among the most religion besotted inhabitants of the globe, saying that alone, he was told, disqualified him from commenting on the subject.

Kukah in the speech summed up the country’s woes ranging from insecurity, poverty to citizens’ frustration under the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).

A Sokoto-based Muslim Solidarity Forum had called on Kukah to “quickly and quietly leave the seat of the Caliphate” or immediately stop what it termed his malicious vituperations against Islam and Muslims and tender unreserved apology to the Muslim Ummah. The presidency has faulted the forum’s position.

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Soyinka spoke in a statement on Monday titled, ‘The Kukah offence and ongoing offensives.’

He said, “One of the ironic features of religionists is, one is forced to conclude, a need to be offended. It is as if religion cannot exist unless it is nourished with the broth of offence.

“This may be due to an inbuilt insecurity, a fear that even the ascribed absolutes of faith may be founded on nothing more than idealistic human projections, not grounded in anything durable or immutable, hence the over prickliness, aggressiveness, sometimes even bullying tendencies and imperious posturing.

“This leads to finding enemies where there are none. In certain social climates, it degenerates into inventing enmities in order to entrench theocratic power. In its own peculiar way, this is actually a rational proceeding. A perceived threat to a collectivity tends to rally even waverers round the flag.”

According to Soyinka, some of the most extreme of the violent forces that recently assaulted the governance citadel of the world’s powerful nation sprung from religious and quasi-religious affirmations.

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He said, “On a personal note, I have studied the transcript as reported in the media and found nothing in it that denigrates Islam but then, I must confess, I am not among the most religion besotted inhabitants of the globe.

“That, I have been told, disqualifies me from even commenting on the subject and, quite frankly, I wish that were indeed the case.”

He recalled an instance when the now Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, came under attack by the Christian community “for allegedly insulting the divine persona of Jesus Christ? What did el Rufai say exactly? Nothing new or startling. All he did was deploy a common, everyday figure of speech to describe an overwhelming challenge.”

SOKAPU demands arrest of people threatening Kukah

In a related development, Southern Kaduna people under the aegis of the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union have reacted to the threat to life of Bishop Mathew Kukah by Nigerian Muslims.

They are kinsmen to Kukah, the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, who came under attack by Muslim faithful over his Christmas day homily.

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The union demanded the arrest of those who threatened Kukah with eviction order over his Christmas homily.

SOKAPU National President, Jonathan Asake, at a world press conference in Kaduna on Monday, warned that nobody had monopoly of violence and that no harm must befall the Catholic bishop.

This was just as he criticised the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), over his alleged discriminatory postures towards other Nigerians apart from those from the “core North.”

Asake said only the likes of the Sultan, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar and emirs from the core north could criticise the current Buhari regime and go scot-free in the country today.

He recalled the treatment meted out on a former Minister of Defence, Gen. TY Danjuma (retd.), and the former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Dr. Obadiah Mailafia, on their comments on the nation’s insecurity.

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Pope Francis Gives Bishop Kukah Special Appointment

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Pope Francis Gives Bishop Kukah Special Appointment
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Pope Francis has appointed the Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Matthew Kukah, as a member of the Dicastery for the Promotion of Human Integral Development.

The appointment was contained in a letter to Kukah signed by the Prefect of the Dicastery, Peter Cardinal Turkson, according to a statement on Monday by Christopher Omotosho, the Director, Social Communications, Catholic Diocese of Sokoto. “By this appointment, Bishop Kukah will join other members of the Dicastery drawn from different regions of the world to advise and promote the Holy Father’s concerns on issues of justice and peace, human rights, torture, human trafficking, care of creation, and other issues related to the promotion of human dignity and development,” the statement partly read.

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It noted that the appointment, which is renewable is for an initial period of five years, while the Council would be formally inaugurated on a later date. The recent appointment adds to Kukah’s string of national and international engagements within the universal Church. He has previously appointed a Consultor and later a member of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue, Vatican City where he served under three Popes.

Kukah, whose wealth of experience in the areas of human rights, justice, and reconciliation, has been commended by many, is currently the Chairman, Dialogue Committees of both the Regional Episcopal Conference of West Africa and the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria. The cleric is also known for his non-sentimental and frank criticisms of the regime of President Muhammadu Buhari.

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