The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto State, Bishop Matthew Kukah, has said that the heart of the late Premier of the Northern Region and Sardauna of Sokoto State, Sir Ahmadu Bello, must be bleeding presently for the region as a result of the killings and insecurity.
Kukah, in an open letter to the late Premier on Tuesday, recounted to him that “we have spilled so much blood around the North, you will be shocked to see how many unmarked graves there are.”
The cleric also lamented that thousands of lives had been lost “and today, millions of our people are in refugee camps.”
Kukah said, “I am not sure I know how to address you, especially now that the formal Ranka ya dade is of no use to you since you are now in eternity. However, because this is a very special year, I had decided to write two letters, one to you and the other to Sir Tafawa Balewa. I thought I should start with you for obvious reasons.
“These letters are my formal way of having an imaginary conversation with both of you. In a way, I want to give you a report of what you left behind, what your immediate successors have done with your investment and how they shared our inheritance to the descendants.
“In a way, I feel like a grandchild reporting his uncle to his grandfather, so please be patient with me. I think this is necessary because if we continue this way, I am sure your memories will be a distant whisper in the ears of your great grandchildren.
“Today, however, many of your children have become orphans because the region has become a huge orphanage. Our children fill the streets begging for food, their elder brothers who have some education have no jobs and nowhere to turn to, their parents have no work and those who have worked are dying with no pension. Farming has become a hazardous preoccupation. You will weep if you see where we are now.”
Kukah continued that the North is in turmoil right now for reasons which began since the First Republic, extending to the period of the Civil War and up till date.
He said, “You will be surprised to note that those you referred to as the scallywags in Lagos, those who booed at you in the wake of the debate over self-government in 1956 were largely responsible for garnering support for General (Muhammadu) Buhari, a son of Daura who is now our President. So, please, pray for us to have a more open and tolerant society.
“Your heart must be bleeding at the sight of what has become of the North today. Boko Haram, a criminal band of murderers, took hold of the North and turned it into a wasteland. Thousands of lives have been lost and today, millions of our people are in refugee camps. Thousands of innocent women, women and children have lost their lives. A great swath of the North is now a refugee camp of desolation and pain.
“Thousands of our girls have been killed, raped and forced into marriages. Over two hundred young girls in a village called Chibok have been in captivity and their fates are unknown. It is over 600 days now and we have no news.
“When you look back now, I believe even you will realise that your controversial conversion campaigns laid the foundation for mistrust in the house that you had built earlier. Since then, there has been increasing distrust among our people and the chasm has grown even deeper. We have spilled so much blood around the North, you will be shocked to see how many unmarked graves there are.”
The Sokoto bishop ended his letter to the premier by saying he should tell “the Prime Minister to be patient because his own letter will come next week. For now, again, please pray for us.”