A prominent Nigerian bishop who criticized Nigeria’s government for complicity in the face of kidnappings and other persecution of the country’s Christians was called in for questioning by a state security agency.
Bishop Matthew Kukah, who leads the Sokoto diocese in Nigeria’s northwestern corner, released a Christmas message in which he said the government, led by president Muhammadu Buhari, seems to have left the fate of Nigerians in the hands of “evil men.”
Kukah decried the fact that over 100 girls abducted by the Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram have yet to be found, as well as “hundreds of other children whose captures were less dramatic,” ACI Africa, CNA’s news partner, reported Dec. 28 2021.
“Now, we are fully in the grip of evil. Today, a feeling of vindication only saddens me as I have watched the north break into a cacophony of quarrelsome blame games over our tragic situation, – Bishop Kukah wrote. – A catalogue of unprecedented cruelty has been unleashed on innocent citizens across the Northern states. In their sleep, on their farmlands, in their markets, or even on the highway, innocent citizens have been mowed down and turned into burnt offerings to gods of evil.”
Despite this not being the first time Kukah has spoken publicly against the government, the SSS, a federal secret police, reportedly took notice of his remarks, and nigerian bishop who criticized government was called in for questioning, according to a source cited by the People’s Gazette.
CNA reached out to Bishop Kukah for comment and is awaiting a response.
In Nigeria as a whole, at least 60,000 Christians have been killed in the past two decades. An estimated 3,462 Christians were killed in Nigeria in the first 200 days of 2021, or 17 per day, according to a new study.
Nigeria is Africa’s most populous nation and the demographics overall are almost evenly split between Christians and Muslims. Nigeria’s Christians, especially in the northern part of the country, have for the past several decades been subjected to brutal property destruction, killings, and kidnappings, often at the hands of Islamic extremist groups.
Part of the problem, Nigerian Christians have told CNA, is that the Muslim-controlled government has largely responded slowly, inadequately, or not at all to the problem of Christian persecution.
Fulani herdsmen, a Muslim ethnic group, have been responsible for the most killings as of late, having murdered an estimated 1,909 Christians in the first 200 days of 2021.