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THE Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Rev. Mathew Hassan Kukah, Sunday said there is nothing wrong with Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, Niger Delta Avengers, NDA, or any other group wanting to leave Nigeria as long as such agitations or desires are channeled through the National Assembly, which is the appropriate and constitutional means.
Responding to reporters’ questions during the 2016 Fathers’ Day celebration at the Catholic Church of Nativity, Festac Town, Lagos, Bishop Kukah said Nigerians must come to term with tenets of democracy which has given us the freedom to express ourselves not just verbally but in action.
According to him: “I don’t have a problem with anybody wanting to leave Nigeria or requesting for a new state or local council, there is absolutely nothing wrong. The only thing wrong is if you fail to understand that we are in democracy and the only way to achieve that is through the National Assembly.”
Asked to speak on the correlation of the recent Britain’s exit from the EU and what it portends for Nigeria, he said: “Britain has exited the EU; the history of the EU is over 50 years so it will be an illusion for Nigeria to begin to speculate whether there is a correlation between what has happened and the agitations in our country.
"First of all Britain is a country and they have exited from a union of countries, it is not British people who have exited from Britain. Scotland tried, but the people of Scotland said they want something better.
“I think we must come to terms with two things that democracy has given us freedom to express ourselves not just verbally but in action and frankly, I don’t have a problem with anybody wanting to leave Nigeria or stay or wanting a new state or local government, there is absolutely nothing wrong.
“The only thing wrong is if you fail to understand that we are in democracy and the only way is through our Representatives and the National Assembly, that is why we have them.
"President Muhammadu Buhari cannot give you a new local government or a new state. If you want an independent Biafra, household or any other form of independence, the way to go about it is not by agitation but by talking to those who represent you. And if they sponsor a bill and the bill is passed and signed, then you can get whatever you want,” he explained.
Continuing, the cleric said: “If you want an independent Biafra, independent household or any other form of inde-pendence, the only way to go about it is not by violent agitation but by talking to those who represent you in the National Assembly. Your representatives can sponsor a bill and if the bill is passed and signed, then you can get whatever you want.”
Blaming politicians for the series of crises in the country, Kukah said: “The political class should be held responsible for the crises we have in the society today. Public office holders are not appointed but elected and the reason they were elected is not to make money for themselves but to serve the country.
“But as you can see very clearly, what we are having so far is anything but service and this is why when I hear politicians say we cannot develop in an environment of violence or in an environment that is volatile, politicians do not understand that it is their irresponsible behaviours that are creating violence and anxiety. Ordinarily, an armed robber wants to live in peace.
“My idea is that Nigerian politicians must come to the fact that politics is a noble vocation but there are many people that are ill-trained and ill-equipped and really not prepared for the job of politics in Nigeria,”
Kukah, who said the Catholic Church no longer harbour the desire to break away from CAN because a new leadership has been elected for CAN, added that in the name of modernization every culture is under assault. As Christians and believers, it is from the forces of secularity and this is why “you can see that people are literally worshipping idols; what I mean is that people have turned politics, business.
-- July 3, 2016 @ 3:25 GMT
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