The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Matthew Kukah, has stated that many Nigerians who are not happy with him due to his critical stance on the Nigerian government will sing his praises after the 2023 general elections.
Kukah noted that it is the same way some people who are singing his praises presently would cast him out if they eventually come to power.
The cleric known for his criticism of the regime of President Muhammadu Buhari stated this on Sunday during a virtual interview with academic and historian, Prof Toyin Falola.
Kukah urged religious leaders not to grovel before politicians and to resist the political class from contaminating their faith.
Kukah also noted that religion has become a hostage to the political forces, adding that faith without reason breeds religious extremism and a situation where people kill in the name of God.
He said, “Nigerian politics as you can see from Okija to other places has become so highly spiritualised and this is what happens in an environment when there are no predictors, there are no signs. Nigerian politicians don’t believe they can just win an election by fighting hard so, they are expecting you to pray for success of their political enterprise.
“It is not about electoral outcomes or how well electoral laws are; it is that we are operating in an environment that is so dubiously spiritual. The challenge for us as spiritual leaders is to maintain the integrity of faith. I have a bit of experience but I am happy and lucky that I have been able to go from one generation to the other, from one administration to the other because you have to be careful of the choices that you make.
“There are lots of people who are unhappy with me today but I can tell you after 2023, the same people who are unhappy with me today will be the ones who will be singing my praises. The same people who are singing my praises today, if they come to power, they will be the ones who will cast me out.
“I am happy with that label because it suggests a certain kind of neutrality and this is where we should be going. Religion ought to be protected from contamination by the power of the state.”