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Bishop Kukah On Israel-Hamas War: It’s Dangerous To Use Identity As A Weapon

He stated that it is terrible for anyone to take a human life in the name of religion.

Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Matthew Kukah, stated that a key takeaway for Nigeria from the Israel-Hamas war is the potential harm in using identity as a weapon.

During an interview with ARISE NEWS on Tuesday, Kukah said that it is absurd for anyone to take a human life in the name of religion.

“We (Nigeria) are not the only diverse country in the world,” he emphasised, “It is important that the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria comes to terms with the fact that there are processes. 

“People must now be punished for crimes they commit.

“The weakness of the Nigerian state is largely responsible for the rising role and place of non-state institutions.”

Kukah spoke of the importance of establishing a clear path where one’s colour, height, language, and other factors should not lead to feelings of incompetence or inadequacy.

“Why should my complexion or the language I speak be an issue?” he asked. “Right now, it is, and we do not have a process for redress, so this is why all these things about religion continue to come back.”

Shifting to the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas, Kukah recently presented suggestions for resolving the persistent war. He mentioned that, when looking at the past, the Palestinian predicament has developed into an unaddressed and unrecognised issue, manipulated by powerful nations, with the five Permanent Members treating the Palestinians as a mere pawn, lacking any clear, meaningful objectives.

He also put forward the names of former US President Barack Obama, King Abdullah of Jordan, former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, former Ireland President Mary Robinson, and former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo as potential mediators to intervene.

Following this Bishop Kukah said, “America has to be in the room because they are, for now, pound for pound, the most powerful nation in the world.

“There are so many battles that are being fought simultaneously, and there’s a lot of heavy lifting to be done, but primarily, my concern is that we need to deploy a certain level of moral courage and moral authority to say, listen people, it can’t go on like this.”

He also stated that the United Kingdom must be present for highly practical strategic considerations, as they were the ones entrusted with the mandate.

“I found that Gordon Brown, not only does he have the intellectual capacity, but he is also somebody who is visibly invisible, so I thought he would be a good representation,” he added.

Kukah also mentioned that we are grappling with a generation of young individuals who are making their voices heard, seeking a transformed world and a new way of life, and this conveys to hegemonists that any identity constructed will eventually cease to exist. 

Frances Ibiefo

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