The federal government has warned the Bishop of Sokoto Catholic Diocese, Most Rev. Mathew Hassan Kukah, to refrain from stoking the embers of hatred and disunity.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who reacted, in a statement issued in Lagos on Saturday, to remarks made by Bishop Kukah, noted that resorting to scorched-earth rhetoric at this time could trigger unintended consequences.
The bishop had said there could have been a coup or war in the country if a non-northern Muslim was the president and did a fraction of what President Muhammadu Buhari has done.
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Bishop Kukah, who said this in his 2020 Christmas message on Friday titled: “A Nation in Search of Vindication”, noted that nepotism had characterised the administration of President Buhari.
Kukah in his message said: “This government owes the nation an explanation as to where it is headed as we seem to journey into darkness.
“The spilling of this blood must be related to a more sinister plot that is beyond our comprehension.
“Are we going to remain hogtied by these evil men or are they gradually becoming part of a larger plot to seal the fate of our country?
“President Buhari deliberately sacrificed the dreams of those who voted for him to what seemed like a programme to stratify and institutionalise Northern hegemony by reducing others in public life to second class status.
“He has pursued this self-defeating and alienating policy at the expense of greater national cohesion.
“Every honest Nigerian knows that there is no way any non-Northern Muslim president could have done a fraction of what President Buhari has done by his nepotism and got away with it.
“There would have been a military coup a long time ago or we would have been at war.
“The president may have concluded that Christians will do nothing and will live with these actions.
“He may be right and we Christians cannot feel sorry that we have no pool of violence to draw from or threaten our country.
“However, God does not sleep. We can see from the inexplicable dilemma of his North.”
But Alhaji Mohammed in a statement through Mr. Segun Adeyemi, Special Assistant to the President (Media), Office of the Minister of Information and Culture said while religious leaders had the responsibility to speak truth to power, such truth must not come wrapped in anger, hatred, disunity and religious disharmony.