In an interview with Punch Newspaper, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Matthew Kukah, expressed his belief that neither a military nor judicial solution to the Biafra crisis is tenable.
Bishop Kukah made this statement in reaction to the fresh charges recently filed against Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) leader and Radio Biafra Director Nnamdi Kanu. It will be recalled that SaharaReporters recently published a story concerning the six new charges, including treasonable felony, filed against Mr. Kanu by the Federal Government.
“A military and judicial approach would not work. We are in a democracy where dialogue, diplomacy and patience are the hallmarks of good leadership.
“The Federal Government should open a backdoor channel to get Kanu to renounce alleged hate speeches and violence,” the Bishop told Punch Newspaper.
Bishop Kukah did not, however, advocate that Mr. Kanu was “innocent”, but rather that his continued persecution by the government only serves to strengthen the nascent Biafra movement.
Bishop Kukah insisted that engagement between the two parties was required. The Bishop also touched upon the massacre in Zaria of Shiites. He called upon President Buhari to declare a national day of mourning in honor of those killed.
Recently, Human Rights Watch (HRW) published a damning report regarding the evidence of mass graves in Zaria as well as estimating that at least 300 people were killed in the massacre. On Thursday, SaharaReporters published a story detailing the demolition of the mosque and home of Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky, the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), by the Nigerian military.
“As far as I am concerned, the Zaria killing is a national disaster. I expected the President to have declared a national mourning, especially because of the number of people that lost their lives.
“There is no way the President would not be held responsible because the buck stops at his table,” Bishop Kukah said.