By Yemi Adedeji, Abuja
Matthew Kukah, the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto has accused the Northern Muslim elite of using religion to hold onto power to the detriment of their people and the larger society.
He said the people of Southern Kaduna had suffered the injustice of deliberate exclusion from all the rungs of local and national politics in the current administration.
Kukah, while speaking in Kafanchan at the burial Sunday of Joseph Bagobiri, the late Catholic Bishop of the Kafanchan Diocese, maintained that despite its access to power for years, the North still remained backward and the poorest part of the country.
He said: “It is sad that the Northern Muslim elite has used religion to hold onto power to the detriment of even their own people and the larger society.
“For despite holding onto power for all these years, the North is still the poorest part of the country, nearly 15 million Muslim children are on the streets with no future in sight. We are, as the governor of Borno would say, the poster child of poverty.”
“Death, destruction and destitution have become our lot and nowhere is this more expressed than in Northern Nigeria.”
” Today, Boko Haram and the herdsmen and farmers’ clashes are phenomena that are peculiar to the North and Islam”, adding: “We cannot run away from this.”
Kukah warned that the world was changing and Nigerians have a country to build, observing: “Even Usman Dan Fodio (Islamic preacher and founder of the Sokoto Caliphate) said that a society can live with unbelief, but no nation can survive with injustice.”