The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Matthew Hassan Kukah, this morning at the funeral of late Kaduna State Governor, Sir Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa, warned Alhaji Mukhtar Ramalan Yero, his successor, to be mindful of religious bigots.
“Do not be tempted to think that the Muslims have taken what the wicked have presented as a prize for only Muslims,” he cautioned.
The Bishop’s audience included President Goodluck Jonathan and Vice President Namadi Sambo.
He told the governor the world looks up to him not to be seduced by the whispers of the wicked whose devilish and selfish hold on power has held society down.
“You have taken over the steering wheel and must obey and respect all road signs so that we can arrive at the destination that we have set out to. Balancing our dreams together can make ours one of the greatest states in Nigeria. Let us reverse the divisive, ugly and pernicious past which was constructed by men who had the hearts for apartheid. By pursuing the politics of exclusion, these men and women merely destroyed both the noble faith of Islam and the North that its founders dreamt of.
“I want to assure you that there are millions of Yakowa’s outside the Muslim community and that the monopoly of power by one section or even one gender or generation denies our people a future. This is what South Africa realised. It is what the Americans have now realised. Other nations have achieved greatness by managing diversity. Diversity should generate appreciation and love and when properly managed, it can be a source of beauty and strength. This is why Joseph’s coat of many colours is presented as the best garment in the Bible. We wish you well and as you saw from the way our people have received this tragedy, we are a peaceful, God fearing and trusting community. I can assure you, we shall stand by you. And to you President Jonathan, when it mattered, you allowed God to use you to change history. Those whose selfishness sowed the seeds of exclusion leading to violence have abandoned the state and fled to Abuja where they continue to pursue an unproductive lifestyle of feeding off the state by pretending to represent Islam and the North.
“Sir, this state is ours to build now that the members of the nefarious Mafia whose selfishness hindered the development of Kaduna in particular and the north in general have either died or fled the state. Mr. Yakowa’s ascent to power broke this jinx. You cannot attempt to put this genie back without breaking the bottle. Before Yakowa, Kaduna state had been surviving on one lung. Now that political surgery has corrected this anomaly, it is hoped that now, we shall lay a foundation for a successful transition and succession to power in the most honest way. If we fail to do that, we shall be attempting to clap with one hand or flying a plane with only one wing. With youth on your side, we all assure you of our prayers. Despite its troubles and doubts, Nigeria is on the threshold of hope and opportunity. We shall arrive our destination quicker because we have the likes of our dear Governor Yakowa praying for us. May God bless our dear country. Amen.