News by email Donate


Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

Nigeria flag.JPG
Nigeria flag.JPG
World News

Leading Nigerian bishop dismisses claims that government has 'Islamist agenda'

by Premier Journalist

A leading bishop in Nigeria has assured the country's Christians that the new government does not have an Islamic agenda, despite concerns from churchgoers in the African nation.

In an interview with Aid to the Church in Need, a Catholic charity supporting persecuted Christians, Bishop Mathhew Kukah has welcomed the incoming government leaders.

He previously hit out at the country’s leadership for failures to stand up to Islamic terrorists and their campaign of violence against Christians.

Last year, more Christians are thought to have been killed in Nigeria than in the rest of the world combined.

Bishop Kukah said: “A lot of the anxieties that people are expressing are unfounded.”

He added: “I happen to have known Tinubu for more than 20 years, and I also happen to know Kashim Shettima. I have worked with him…

“There are certain things that Shettima did while governor that I found unprecedented.

“We went to the opening of the cathedral in Maiduguri, and I was shocked to see five or seven commissioners there who were Christians and members of his cabinet.

“And he was involved in the building and re-building of mosques and churches destroyed by Boko Haram. What else can you ask of somebody?”

Referring to the ongoing violence against Christians, the prelate said: “These killings have been going on for a long time. Buhari’s vice-president, Yemi Osinbajo, was a Christian pastor, but what difference did he make? He never visited any place where Christians were being killed.”

Bishop Kukah was critical of the old administration, and in particular of previous president Muhammadu Buhari.

He said: “What is clear is that the outgoing president is one of the worst the country has ever had.”

He added: “The Buhari government was one of the worst because he operated a system based on nepotism.

“Ironically, in the midst all of this, northern Nigeria remains the most ungoverned region in the whole country.

“And what Christians have suffered is a fraction of what northerners have suffered, in terms of kidnappings, killings and destruction.”

Bishop Kukah added that Muslim leaders can provide opportunities for the country’s Christian community.

He said: “Of course, I would like a Catholic to be president, but he would not govern Catholics – he would govern everybody in this country.

“I have enough experience living in Nigeria, for instance, to know that some of the best opportunities we have had as Christians did not come from a Christian president.

“The Pope did not come to Nigeria during the administration of a Christian.

“He visited Nigeria twice, courtesy of two Muslim leaders – Alhaji Shehu Shagari in 1982, and General Sani Abacha in 1998.

“Let us focus on the capacity for fairness, integrity, and the building of a better Nigeria.”

A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Support Us
Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email