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Tuesday, 17 January 2012

“Do not be Afraid: Another Nigeria is Possible” - Bishop Matthew Kukah of Sokoto Diocese

The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, the Most Rev. Matthew Hassah Kukah has urged all Nigerians not to be afraid. This was made known in his Pastoral letter to the clergy, religious and laity of the diocese: “Do not be afraid: Another Nigeria is Possible”.

Before now, on 10th December 2011, during a radio broadcast, Bishop Kukah made an appeal to Nigerians not to feel frightened by recent events (in particular the attacks carried out by the Boko Haram sect). "Since then, things have got worse" recognizes Bishop Kukah. "On Christmas day, a bomb exploded in Santa Teresa, Catholic Church, in Madalla, state of Niger, killing more than thirty people and wounding a large number of other innocent citizens. Just two days later, in Ebonyi State more than sixty people
were killed and properties worth millions of naira were destroyed, hundreds of families displaced. In the midst of all this, on New Year's Day, the President announced the withdrawal of subsidies for fuel and threw a nation already angry and frustrated in violent demonstrations", writes the Bishop of Sokoto.

To get out of this situation, the catholic prelate proposes three modalities. First, the prayer for the nation, in particular to defeat corruption. "Corruption has destroyed the fabric of our society. The State's inability to punish the criminals as criminals have created the illusion that there is a conflict between Christians and Muslims. In fact, this is an excuse to ensure that our attention is diverted from the true source of our evils: corruption. As Nigerians, Christians and Muslims, we must be together to ensure that our resources are properly used for the common good", writes the Bishop. The second is solidarity among all believers, Christians and Muslims. The third is that religious leaders must unite in condemning violence and corruption. We must denounce the widespread of phone messages (SMS) that "appeal to our worst demons". "It has been reported that several religious leaders believed or encouraged the circulation of such false and provocative messages" the Prelate observes. He therefore encouraged all to work for the sustenance of peace which is a tool for national development.

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