CATHOLIC Bishop of Sokoto Diocese Matthew Hassan Kukah has said that Nigeria is now a massive killing field.
Kukah said this in his 2021 Easter message titled, ‘Before our glory departs,’ made available to The ICIR on Sunday.
The bishop blamed the government of Muhammadu Buhari for incessant cases of banditry, kidnapping, terrorism and armed robbery across states in the country.
“Traumatised citizens are tortured daily by bandits. The nation has since become a massive killing field, as both government and the governed look on helplessly,” Kukah said.
He noted that there was now a collective fear in Nigeria as to whether the glory of the country was about to depart due to the killings by the Boko Haram terrorist group, kidnappers and ‘other merchants of death.’
Kukah, who has always spoken up against terrorism in the North, also said the greatest tragedy about the several deaths being recorded in Nigeria was lack of empathy from those in power.
The ICIR had reported how President Muhammadu Buhari reacted to killings in the country five days after their occurrences, but swiftly commented on the attempted coup in the Niger Republic.
Kukah stated that the government was ‘mysteriously investing billions of naira in rehabilitating Boko Haram repentant members’ believing they would turn a new leaf.
According to him, banditry and kidnapping were increasing because those in power paid more attention to rehabilitating bandits and kidnappers than the victims.
“These criminals have waged war against their country, murdered thousands of citizens, destroyed infrastructure and rendered entire families permanently displaced and dislocated.
“Why should rehabilitating the perpetrator be more important than bringing succour to the victims? “When kidnapped or killed, victims and their families are left to their wits. They cry alone, bury their loved ones alone,” Kukah lamented.
Further criticising the rehabilitation of Boko Haram members called Operation Safe Corridor, Kukah said he had never heard of a rehabilitation programme for thousands of schoolchildren who had been abducted and rescued.
Earlier in December 2020, a group had threatened Kukah following his Christmas Day message when he faulted Buhari’s administration, saying he had turned nepotism into a state policy and that there could have been a coup if a non-northern Muslim president had done a fraction of what the president was doing.