The Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Matthew Kukah, has finally spoken out on why he was present at the meeting between the Former President Olusegun Obasanjo and former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar.
There were many speculations over why the Bishop was present at the momentous meeting between the former President and VP, however, Bishop Kukah has spoken out to lay said speculations to rest.
Kukah said in an interview to newsmen in Sokoto on Monday that he was present at the meeting to witness the reconciliation between Obasanjo and Atiku after a prolonged dispute between the two men.
Kukah spoke out due to growing concerns from members of the public that his presence at the meeting was for political reasons. However, the Bishop has said that he was there strictly to support and witness their reconciliation, particularly because he has been trying to get the two leaders to reconcile for a while now.
Kukah said he insisted that former President and VP hold a private discussion due to the growing crowd and increasing political undertones at the meeting.
Bishop Kukah said, “After their closed-door meeting, I advised that the religious leaders, myself inclusive join them so we can listen to them, serve as witnesses to the reconciliation, advice them and pray for them.”
He added that “Former President Obasanjo agreed to follow my advice and this was how we carried out the reconciliation.
Bishop Kukah also said he encouraged both men to maintain peace after their closed session.
He said, “After the closed-door meeting between the two leaders, I and Sheikh Gumi went and sat down with them. My advice to them was that it is imperative for them to maintain peace.”
“I told them that I am a Catholic priest and bishop and the Catholic church preaches against divorce or separation, so there should be no room for that again.”
Afterward, Bishop Kukah emphasized that “I was not in Abeokuta to endorse Atiku Abubakar, the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).”
Adding that “I fully understand the feeling of some persons, who believe I traveled with Abubakar, to witness his endorsement by Former President Obasanjo but this was not the case at all.”
Kukah also stated that it was imperative for him to react to the concerns of the public not only to put rest to the suspicions but also to set the record straight.