• Sunday, July 14, 2024
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BusinessDay

Face your ministry, FG replies Bishop Kukah

Some captions have emerged to capture the travails of countries such as Kenya, and Nigeria. These words were used by Uhuru Kenyatta in his insightful speech, and repeated by Bishop Kukah in his gripping homily. ‘Illiberal Democracy.’ ‘Tyranny of the Majority’.

The President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government has responded to comments by Matthew Kukah, the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto. Kukah had accused the president of causing unprecedented divisions in the country.

Responding through Shehu Garba, the spokesperson for the president, the government classified the Kukah’s Easter sermon as hate speech.

“For a man who has been spreading hate for decades, nothing new in the homily, except for the fact that while millions of Christians were remembering the Lord’s crucifixion on Friday, His descent on Saturday, His resurrection on Sunday, and subsequent appearance to his disciples, Bishop Matthew Kukah was playing politics,” Shehu said on Tuesday.

Making reference to several bible verses, the spokesman said the Bishop should face his work as a clergyman or officially drop the responsibility and join politics.

“We respectfully ask Bishop Kukah to leave government to the voters and the politicians they elect, while he concentrates on his job, as it is expressed in James 1:27: ‘Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world,” Shehu wrote in the statement.

Read also: Kukah to Buhari: You have divided our people

“Should he feel compelled for whatever reason to criticize the government for what he views as their mistakes the Bible makes clear how it should be done: “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness”, he wrote quoting another bible verse.

He said Nigeria knows too well Kukah’s views of the government. He has made quite clear how much he dislikes them from the day they were elected.

“Whether expressing his political views is a good use or an abuse of religious office is for others to decide. But the people of Nigeria have spoken – twice: They support this government at the ballot box. They have not been swayed by hateful talk from any bully-pulpit.

Kukah’s Easter sermon was on the state of Nigeria’s government — ‘Nigeria: Before Our Glory Departs’ — It was delivered before his congregation in Sokoto.

He spoke about how the government in several ways has degraded the state of Nigeria.

“With everything literally broken down, our country has become one big emergency national hospital with full occupancy,” he said.

“The government has slid into hibernation mode. It is hard to know whether the problem is that those in power do not hear, see, feel, know, or just don’t care. Either way, from this crossroad, we must make a choice, to go forward, turn left or right or return home. None of these choices are easy, yet, guided by the light of the risen Christ, we can reclaim our country from its impending slide to anarchy.”