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‘Nigerian govt uninterested in tackling insecurity,’ Kukah tells US Congress

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The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Matthew Kukah, said on Wednesday the Federal Government has sufficiently demonstrated the lack of political will to tackle the country’s security challenges.

Kukah, who stated this during a virtual presentation of reports on the persecution of Christians in Nigeria by armed bandits and other criminals in the northern part of the country to the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission in Washington DC, United States, said the citizens are yet to see any tangible efforts on the part of the federal government to address the problem.

The cleric stressed that the attacks on Christians in Nigeria have religious undertone.

He said violence against Christians in the country was a recurring experience of many years, but the spate of the attacks had increased at an alarming rate in the last 10 years.

The Catholic Bishop, who is one of the major critics of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, also accused the Nigerian leader of deliberately appointing more people of his ethnicity and faith into public offices.

Kukah said: “The extremists target mainly Christian schools in the North, indoctrinate the children, and end up converting the girls to wives, cooks, spies, sexual slaves and so on.

“The story of Leah Sharibu suggests very clearly that there is, in many instances, a relationship between the conditions in which people find themselves and the faith they believe in.

“In 2020, some of our priests in the North were killed. The extremists kidnapped children and forcefully converted them to Muslims.

READ ALSO: Kukah slams Nigerian govt over lack of concern as attacks by bandits escalate

“We have issued statements and called the attention of the government to our plight. We have also reached out to let the government know that we are willing to cooperate towards the greatness of our country.

“The North even the whole country is invaded by armed bandits, Boko Haram insurgents, kidnappers etc who attack communities at will. The fact that the government seems to be either helpless or uninterested in dealing decisively with these people has added more confusion.

“And the contradiction here is that, the President has blatantly pursued nepotistic and policies that show very clearly his preferences for men and women of his faith.

“For the first time in Nigeria the people heading three arms of government; the President, Senate President, Speaker of House of Representatives, and Chief Justice are all Muslims. These are all fine gentlemen, but that is not the point. The level between Christians and Muslims has been exacerbated. This kind of situation has never happened before.

“What is significant here is that we are in a democracy; with weak structures, and institutions. These are existential issues. So, we require practical assistance that can help us and our children.”

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