Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Matthew Kukah, has
called on 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 to intervene as mediators with Israel over
the ongoing war in Gaza.
Kukah made this call during an interview with Arise
Television on Tuesday.
He noted 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 mere pawns, lacking any clear, meaningful objectives.
The Bishop 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
“I found that Gordon Brown, not only has the intellectual
capacity, but he is also somebody who is visibly invisible, so I thought he
would be a good representation,” he added.
According to Kukah, the world is 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.
Kukah stated that a key takeaway for Nigeria from the
Israel-Hamas war is the potential harm in using identity as a weapon.
He said that it is absurd for anyone to take a human life in
the name of religion.
The cleric said, “We (Nigeria) are not the only diverse
country in the world. It is important that the government of the Federal
Republic of Nigeria come 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.”
“Why should my complexion or the language I speak be an
issue? 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.”
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