By: Joy Odor/Kaduna
The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Mathew Hassan Kukah has berated Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El -Rufai for accusing Southern Kaduna Christian Clerics on Channels TV during the crisis, of using the killings of its natives by armed herdsmen to receive financial support from churches overseas.
Bishop Kukah who made the confrontation at the funeral mass of the Catholic Bishop of Kafanchan, Late Reverend Joseph Danlami Bagobiri, strongly condemned Governor El -Rufai over his handling of the Southern Kaduna crisis.
He decried the violence that had engulfed Southern Kaduna since 1992, pointing out that Southern Kaduna had experiences of judicial terrorism.
According to him, research has shown that in the last many years, Christians are the most prosecuted group of people in the world.
Bishop Kukah added that despite all the prosecution which is in the DNA, Christians stand strong to preach the world of God either welcomed or unwelcomed.
“We re-enact the essence of our faith, we celebrate the assurance of Christians that the future of life after death is not a subject to fear or subject to uncertainty nor it is a subject to speculations.
“No other faith in the entire history or the world speaks about the afterlife with the certainty that Christianity does and our hope is anchored on testable, verifiable evidence of scripture that after his crucify that Jesus rise from the death.
“The Governor of Kaduna State leveled two accusations against religious leaders whom he accused of selling a narrative of what he described as a policy of exclusion in the Channels Television programme during the crisis.
“Citing the Governor, Kukah said “these religious leaders wanted only a people of a particular indigenous or religious group to live in parts of Southern Kaduna. “Secondly, he said, some Church leader had collected money from missionaries abroad to bury their dead and to rebuild thousands of churches that had been destroyed.
“I am not sure which religious leaders he was talking about, but at least the two most prominent religious leaders in Southern Kaduna would be Bishop Bagobiri and the Emir of Jema’a. As I have said, my encounter and experience with both the Emir of Jema’a and Bishop Bagobiri led me to a totally different conclusion.
“People now live in fear and distrust. Kafanchan is now divided, same thing in Zaria. If you take a look at Gonin-Gora settlement in Kaduna, you see that there’s division. This is what late Bishop Joseph Danlami Bagobiri would not tolerate” Kukah stressed.
Bishop Kukah described Bishop Bagobiri as one who was averse to injustice and was a lover of man, not minding one’s religious background or ethnicity.
He praised late Bishop Bagobiri for his undiplomatic way of talking about the violence and injustice that had engulfed Southern Kaduna, especially under the present dispensation.
His words: “Bishop Bagobiri’s life was an effort at managing the conflicting demands of the troubled society that has become so prone to violence and it is possible to speak about the Bishop Bagobiri without paying attention to the circumstance that provided the context for his range and frustration.
“Bishop Bagobiri loved peace and this was evident in his efforts at bringing people together; he hated injustice with a passion. I think it is imperative for us to place important context where Bishop Bagobiri comes from, what it is that made him seemingly and angry but also a very patriotic Nigeria.
“Today is a special day for Southern Kaduna people and the people of Kaduna State. It is a day of reckoning. It is as much a day of sowing as a day of reaping. “It is a day of promise and a day of hope. The mixes of gathering suggest very clearly that this is not an ordinary funeral ceremony.
“Certain burials made certain demands. They set the records straight. They create urgency now, no one should expect that the burial of someone like Bishop Bagobiri should be a simple ceremony of burying a Bishop” he said during his exhortation.
Bishop Kukah continue to informed that the people of Southern Kaduna have keep stock of their variables sacrifices and contribution to the development of Nigeria and the North, their massive contribution of civil war and how they have weep so little.
He lamented that for over thirty years after creation of Kaduna State in the 90’s, no Southern Kaduna person has been considered worthy to be a minister, saying their perceived in the national and exclusion from the members of power was partible and clear deliberate crafted.
“We must set the record right, because it was after 1999 that a network of roads showed up in southern Kaduna and the rest become history because then Senator Makarfi was no longer answering Alhaji because he was said to have favored southern Kaduna people.
Speaking at the funeral, the immediate past Governor of Kaduna state, Alhaji Mukhtar Ramalan Yero, says late Catholic Bishop Bagobiri would remain an inspiration to citizens of Kaduna state and a true peace crusader whose love for unity amongst the diverse religious communities was beyond measure.
He called for amoral reorientation of children by parents with a view to raising future leaders who would take the country to enviable heights, saying most conflicts that have been witnessed over the years were due to lack of knowledge of communal living.