The recent agitation for Biafra would not have happened if the federal government had taken steps to address the issue early on, says the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Most Rev Matthew Hassan Kukah.
Speaking at the 2016 edition of Truth Magazine, a publication of the Dominican Student Brothers, Ibadan, Bishop Kukah noted that the agitation for Biafra increased because the government adopted bad strategies to deal with the issue.
Kukah further said the recent upsurge in violence in the country was caused by poverty and weak government presence.
“Nothing succumbs to mere mono-causality. Everything is always the result of many other isolated things that finally come together. Some times, it is more important to ask what may have provided the conditions. So, again, the so called movement for Biafra has gestated more as a result of the poor strategy that the government may have adopted in dealing with these issues.”
Speaking on violence, the Bishop said, “Extremism in whatever form operates in an environment of weak government’s presence, which tends to create a climate of corruption. This is why most of the violence often springs from the periphery of society where poverty exists.”
“It is also the reasons why you hardly find violence expressed in places like Asokoro, Victoria Island or the GRAs where the big men and women live together surrounded by their wealth, power and privilege which enables them to live peacefully.”
“Violence is bred by the fact that the poor are often fighting over water for example and other scarce commodities that the big men and women take for granted. Extremism thrives in the pools of poverty and destitution and its victims are often the foot soldiers.”
On the root causes of violence, Kukah stated, “It can start from anywhere, but the failure of politics does help and to the extent that politics is about the distribution of resources, where this is not done equitably, people are often predisposed to violence. So, political failure may be a necessary but not a sufficient condition.”