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Accuses external forces of plotting nation?s fall

Says North won?t develop without education

Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Matthew Hassan Kukah, has allayed growing fears that 2015 could mark the end of Nigeria as a united country. He said the idea of Nigeria breaking up was a dummy sold to the citizens by external forces which they are working hard to see the prediction comes to pass.

Kukah said the theory of Nigeria?s disintegration in 2015 was designed to stop investments from flowing into the country and to encourage Nigerians to invest in other nations under the guise that their country was not safe.

While admitting that Nigeria is faced with numerous problems, the renowned cleric said that they were not insurmountable and advised people to ignore their differences by working on the country?s stability and development.

Bishop Kukah declared that Nigerians were their own worst enemies, as he lamented that of all the countries in the world, it was only in Nigeria that people steal to invest in other nations.

Addressing journalists on the takeoff of the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the Sokoto Dioceses, he pledged that the diocese would continue to contribute to advancement of knowledge in the country. He disclosed that there were16 nursery and primary schools, as well as six secondary schools owned by the church in Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara states, which formed the diocese.

He said that the Bishop Kukah?s Unity Cup final would be played in Sokoto as part of activities to mark the jubilee celebrations.

Describing Nigeria?s problems as artificial, Bishop Kukah called for the tracing and applying the lessons of history which ?once served as our rallying point rather than attacking one other on religious ground,? adding that he was basically concerned about Nigerians and not the antics of the politicians.

The revered cleric charged the older generation to as a matter of urgency strive towards ensuring that they don?t transfer this disturbing rage of bitterness to the younger ones.

He said: ?We need to find a way of educating ourselves first about who we are and how we were living together in peace before the advent of religion. We should start seeing ourselves as citizens of Nigeria and not as members of any religion. We cannot handover this bitterness to the younger generation. Therefore, I feel we should find a way of uniting these younger Nigerians.?

Kukah said that achieving this goal would ?only be possible via the realisation of our potential by being educated. The current issue of insurgency in the North is simply a product of long-term negligence of extremism and lukewarm attitude towards education.?

He insisted that the North would not immediately come out of its present educational, infrastructural and other social amenities deficiency.

He said: ?The North treated education with suspicion but they should note that education doesn?t mean changing your religion. For the North to move forward, it has to massively invest in education and stop its self-judgement of what and who is right. In Nigeria, some people believe that God has primarily given them the right to decide or judge who is a right or a wrong Christian or Muslim. Nigeria will never know peace until we realise that we are human beings first and not the religion which happens to be by providence.?

The Catholic bishop lamented that instead of Nigerians to be in sober reflection over the disturbing daily news of killings, maiming and all manner of inhuman treatment meted out on Nigerians, ?we now watch dead bodies and drink our tea as if the killings are fun.?

Responding to questions on the fate of the country after 2015, Bishop Kukah said it was sad that Nigerians were allowing others to define their fate and the future of the country. We are allowing ourselves to be defined by countries which don?t mean well for us.

?Talking of Nigeria to be or not after 2015, I feel bad because we have based our assessment, not on any critical analysis, but rather on what outsiders are telling us. We are our own worst enemies hence these outsiders are creating this stampede to ensure that people invest and steal money to save in their own countries in anticipation that the country will breakup. No criminal in the world is stealing and saving in other countries like Nigerians.

?The question of whether there will be a Nigeria after 2015 shouldn?t even arise. We should not allow ourselves to be weighed down by the excesses of these colonial masters,? he said.

? See more at: http://nigerianpilot.com/nigeria-wont-breakup-in-2015-bishop-kukah/#sthash.k8FPJQ5c.dpuf

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