The Catholic Bishop of the Sokoto diocese, Matthew Kukah, has said the Federal Government is helpless in tackling the security challenges Nigeria is facing.
The Bishop accused the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), of appointing more people of his ethnicity and religion into political office.
His presentation to the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission in Washington, DC, US, which was virtual, was on the persecution of Christians in the North by armed extremist groups.
He stated that there was a religious undertone to the security challenges in the country.
According to him, “The North, even the whole country, is invaded by armed bandits, 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.
“The contradiction here is that the President has blatantly pursued nepotistic agenda and policies that show very clearly his preference for men and women of his faith.”
He continued, “For the first time in Nigeria, the people heading the three arms of government – President, Senate President, Speaker and Chief Justice – are all Muslims. These are all fine gentlemen, but that is not the point. The level of rivalry between Christians and Muslims has worsened. This kind of situation has never happened before.”
He told the US Congress Commission that the persecution of Christians in Nigeria, which has been going on for a long time, has risen in the past 10 years.
Kukah said Christian schools are attacked in the North by extremists who convert the girls to wives, sex slaves and spies, while indoctrinating the children.
“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 their faith.
“In 2020, some of our priests in the North were killed. The extremists kidnapped our children and forcefully converted them to Muslims. 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,” he said.