Matthew Kukah, the bishop of Sokoto Catholic Diocese, has declared Christians in the north have become targets of killers.
He also said Nigeria under President Muhammadu Buhari has become a ship stranded on the high sea with broken navigational aids.
He spoke on Tuesday, February 11, 2020, during the funeral service for Michael Nnadi, one of the seminarians kidnapped and later killed in Kaduna.
Declaring Christians in the north are marked men and women, Kukah said: “Yet, we must be ready to be washed in the blood of the lamb.”
Kukah in his Homily address, lamented years of hypocrisy, duplicity, fabricated integrity, false piety, empty morality, fraud, and Pharisaism have caught up with Nigerians.
Kukah, who recalled the painful moment of negotiation with the kidnappers of the four young Seminarians and killing of Nnadi, noted with regret that, Christians in the north had for long become targets of killings by terrorists under the garb of Islam.
The Bishop while apparently reacting to the recent statement credited to President Muhammadu Buhari that 90 percent of Boko Haram victims were Muslims, queried: “If your son steals from me, do you solve the problem by saying he also steals from you?”
According to him: “The persecution of Christians in northern Nigeria is as old as the modern Nigerian state. We are being told that this situation has nothing to do with religion.
“Really? It is what happens when politicians use religion to extend the frontiers of their ambition and power.
“Are we to believe that simply because Boko Haram kills Muslims too, they wear no religious garb? Are we to deny the evidence before us, of kidnappers separating Muslims from infidels or compelling Christians to convert or die?
“If your son steals from me, do you solve the problem by saying he also steals from you? The persecution of Christians in northern Nigeria is as old as the modern Nigerian state.
“Their experiences and fears of northern, Islamic domination are documented in the Willinks Commission Report way back in 1956. It was also the reason why they formed a political platform called, the Non-Muslim League.
“All of us must confess in all honesty that in the years that have passed, the northern Muslim elites have not developed a moral basis for adequate power-sharing with their Christian co-regionalists.
He added: “Our nation is like a ship stranded on the high seas, rudderless and with broken navigational aids.
“Today, our years of hypocrisy, duplicity, fabricated integrity, false piety, empty morality, fraud, and Pharisaism have caught up with us. Nigeria is on the crossroads and its future hangs precariously in a balance.
“The Yorubas say that if it takes you 25 years to practice madness, how much time would you have to put it into real life? We have practiced madness for too long.
“Our attempt to build a nation has become like the agony of Sisyphus who angered the gods and had to endure the frustration of rolling a stone up the mountain. Each time he got near the top, the gods would tip the stone back and he would go back to start all over again.
“What has befallen our nation? Nigeria needs to pause for a moment and think. No one more than the President of Nigeria, Major General Muhammadu Buhari who was voted for in 2015 on the grounds of his own promises to rout Boko Haram and place the country on an even keel.”
He added: “No one could have imagined that in winning the Presidency, General Buhari would bring nepotism and clannishness into the military and the ancillary Security Agencies, that his government would be marked by supremacist and divisive policies that would push our country to the brink.
“This President has displayed the greatest degree of insensitivity in managing our country’s rich diversity.
“He has subordinated the larger interests of the country to the hegemonic interests of his co-religionists and clansmen and women.
“The impression created now is that to hold a key and strategic position in Nigeria today, it is more important to be a northern Muslim than a Nigerian.
“Today, in Nigeria, the noble religion of Islam has convulsed. It has become associated with some of the worst fears among our people.
“Muslim scholars, traditional rulers, and intellectuals have continued to cry out helplessly, asking for their religion and region to be freed from this chokehold.
“This is because, in all of this, neither Islam nor the north can identify any real benefits from these years that have been consumed by the locusts that this government has unleashed on our country.
Kukah went on: “Christians must rise up and defend their faith with all the moral weapons they have. We must become more robust in presenting the values of Christianity especially our message of love and non-violence to a violent society.”
“The remains of Nnadi were laid to rest around 1:30 pm on Tuesday at the premises of Good Shepherd Seminary, amidst tears and anguish.