Sokoto, 03 November, 2023 / 9:49 pm (ACI Africa).
Insecurity is impoverishing the Church in Nigeria, the Catholic Bishop of Nigeria’s Sokoto Diocese has said, noting that in the northern part of the country alone, over 30 million naira (US$38,100) has been spent to rescue pastoral agents.
Most of this money has been spent to rescue priests, seminarians and other pastoral caregivers who were kidnapped by various militia groups in the region, Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah said in a Tuesday, October 31 interview with ACI Africa.
“Many things have happened to us in Sokoto. We have had our churches burnt down, the killing of Deborah Emmanuel, our cathedral was almost burnt down, and my Priests were almost killed,” Bishop Kukah said, and added, “I have lost a seminarian, I’ve lost a Priest, we have spent over 30 million naira which we don't have to rescue our pastoral agents from kidnappers.”
The vocal Nigerian Catholic Bishop who is also known for good governance advocacy lamented the lack of support to cope with the situation in the embattled region, saying, “I cannot remember anybody from some part of Nigeria calling me to say Bishop we heard what has happened to you. What can we do, is there any way we can help, are you safe?”
“We are all part of one body, when one part hurts, the rest of the body hurts, but we in northern Nigeria have the feeling that we are hurting alone,” the 71-year-old Bishop who started his Episcopal Ministry in September 2011 as the Local Ordinary of Sokoto said.