I Have Not Endorsed Atiku – Bishop Kukah
The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Dr Matthew Hassan Kukah, was present when former President Olusegun Obasanjo and presidential candidate of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, ended their feud last week.
But in case you took that as his endorsement of Atiku, you are mistaken, because the clergy said his presence at that meeting was merely to serve as witness to the peaceful reconciliation of a prolonged dispute between the two leaders.
Reacting to concerns by members of the public over his presence at the meeting, Kukah told the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN on Monday in Sokoto that his meeting with the two leaders was not for political reasons.
The catholic bishop said that it was strictly to support and witness their reconciliation which he has been trying for some years to achieve.
Kukah said that he had, for several years, made efforts to reconcile both leaders without success until recently when they both agreed to meet and make peace.
He stressed that he had no idea of the PDP leaders and other people he was going to meet at the residence of the former president until he got there.
He said that on Thursday October 11, they had agreed to meet in former president Obasanjo’s home in Abeokuta along with some religious leaders; Sheikh Ahmed Gumi and Rev David Oyedepo.
Kukah said that on getting to the home of the former president, he saw that more people were invited, and the meeting gradually started to have a political undertone.
He said that to ensure he does not get involved with anything relating to politics, he quickly advised former president Obasanjo to carry out the reconciliation behind closed-doors not in public.
“I was not in Abeokuta to endorse Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). I fully understand the feeling of some persons who believe I travelled with Alhaji Abubakar to witness his endorsement by former president Obasanjo, but this was not the case at all.
“I am a strong believer in a peaceful and united Nigeria and these ideals I strive to achieve as a priest. My instincts to always initiate reconciliation and peace were sharpened during my involvement and experience with the Oputa Panel,” he said.
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