Kukah kicks against blacklist removal

Nigeria’s removal from the blacklist of religious violators by the US was based on Facts.

The presidency on Monday hit the bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Matthew Hassan Kukah, and other Nigerians “who are going to America, to feed them false positions on what is happening in the country. Presidential spokesperson Femi Adesina on Channels Television’s “Sunrise Daily” breakfast show, commented and applauded the United States for removing Nigeria from its 2021 list of religious violators. 

Anthony Blinken, US secretary of State in a statement last Wednesday, mentioned Russia, China and eight other countries as countries blacklisted as religious violators, but Nigeria was not included which was placed on the same list of “countries of particular concern” over the issue of freedom of religion in 2020. Blinken, who was in Abuja last Thursday and Friday, reportedly told  Nigerian President Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retired) that the removal of Nigeria from the list of religious violators was based on facts. 

The Christian Association of Nigeria, many Nigerians and various groups have since criticized Nigeria’s removal from the list, insisting  Christians have continued to be persecuted in the country as part of an alleged plot to Islamize Nigeria. 

In July 2021, Kukah, an ardent critic of the Buhari regime, had in a virtual appearance before the United States Congress accused Buhari of nepotism and of making key appointments that favoured people of his faith (Islam), an allegation the Presidency had denied.

Since 2015, Rev Fr Christopher Omotosho, the Director, Social Communications of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto had been a relentless critic of the Buhari regime, stated that at the proper time, kukah would speak on the removal of Nigeria from the list of religious violators.

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