Kukah: I didn’t endorse Atiku, I was in Abeokuta for reconciliation

Kukah: I didn’t endorse Atiku, I was in Abeokuta for reconciliation
Chris Steven, Abuja 

The Arch Bishop of Sokoto Dioces, Matthew Hassan Kukah has refuted claims that he has supported the presidential ambition of former Vice President and Presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar.

The pictures of Kukah, former President  Olusegun Obasanjo, Atiku Abubakar and, Shaikh Gumi  last week surfaced on social media after a reconciliatory meeting between Atiku and Obasanjo.

But there have been mixed reactions about the presence of Kukah, Gumi and Bishop David Oyedepo, General Overseer of Living Faith Church, many condemning the involvement of the religious leaders in what was purely political matter

Kukah in a statement on Monday exonerated himself from any act of endorsement of Atiku’s candidacy.

“I was not in Abeokuta to endorse Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the candidate of the Peoples’ Democratic Party. I perfectly understand the feelings of many of my friends and members of the opposition who believe that I travelled with Alhaji Abubakar and his team to attend his endorsement by President Obasanjo, but I reiterate that this was not the case,” he said.

He also denied insinuation that the PDP candidate footed his bill to Abeokuta, saying “ All the bills for my travel were settled by the Four Square Gospel hosts for the earlier dated programme who had bought my tickets, booked accommodation for me and took care to get me to the airport for my flight to Abuja and Sokoto.”

Kukah explained that as a strong believer in a peaceful and united Nigeria, his instincts for reconciliation and peace were sharpened during my involvement and experience with the Oputa Panel.

“I am a strong believer in a peaceful and united Nigeria, ideals for which I have striven and served my entire adult life as a thinker and a priest.

My instincts for reconciliation and peace were sharpened during my involvement and experience with the Oputa Panel. When the Generals refused to respond to the invitation of Oputa Panel, I personally undertook to visit both General Babangida and Buhari (he was not at home) at a time that today’s latter day Buharists were asking the Panel to compel them to come or risk being blacked out of national life.”