The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Matthew Kukah, has disclosed that he has paid almost N30 million as ransom to secure the release of his church priests in the hands of their captors.
Kukah made this known at a one-day “High-level forum on political communication and issue-based campaign in the 2023 general elections,” while speaking on the kind and subject that politicians must engage in as the official campaign dates draw closer.
According to him, Nigerians do not need anyone who projects himself as a messiah as we no longer need a messiah, but someone who truly understands the situation of things, adding that many times, people say what they do not mean in the process of their campaigns.
“Before coming here, I was speaking with my brother, because two days ago, my nephew, his mother, and the driver were on their way to Abuja when they ran into the hands of kidnappers. My brother’s wife had an amputation some three months ago and they were bringing her to Abuja, so when the kidnappers saw the stomp on her leg, they had mercy on her and let her go.
“Right now, as we speak, my nephew and the driver of the vehicle are currently in the hands of the kidnappers, how it is going to end? I don’t know. Then they said they wanted N50m, they then said they wanted N20m, now they are staying on N30m.”
Kukah added that he had in the past paid a total of about N30m to rescue the priests from his diocese from the hands of kidnappers.
He added, “I am the Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, I have spent about N30m the money I don’t have because my priests were kidnapped and I have nowhere to turn to.
“I am not ashamed to say it because these are essential realities. Anyone who wants to become president of Nigeria cannot pretend to stand before me without giving me empirical evidence from his or her record about how they intend to deal with these issues because there is a collective feeling of alienation.
“Here in Abuja, just about a month or so, when the threats came that the bandits will enter into Abuja, everybody went undercover.”