The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Dr Matthew Hassan Kukah, has said that his meeting with Former President Olusegun Obasanjo and the presidential candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar was to serve as witness to the peaceful reconciliation of a prolonged dispute between the two leaders.
Reacting to concerns by members of the public over his presence at the meeting, Kukah told NAN on Monday in Sokoto that his meeting with the two leaders was not for political reasons.
The catholic bishop said that it was strictly to support and witness their reconciliation which he has been trying for some years to achieve.
Kukah said that he had for several years made efforts to reconcile both leaders without success until recently when they both agreed to meet and make peace.
He stressed that he had no idea of the PDP leaders and other people he was going to meet at the residence of the former president until he got there.
He said that on Thursday October 11, they had agreed to meet in former president Obasanjo’s home in Abeokuta along with some religious leaders; Sheikh Ahmed Gumi and Bishop David Oyedepo.
Kukah said that on getting to the home of the former president, he saw that more people were invited and the meeting was gradually started to have a political undertone.
He said that to ensure he does not get involved with anything relating to politics, he quickly advised former president Obasanjo to carry out the reconciliation behind closed-doors not in public.
“I proposed to the former president that he should sit down with Alhaji Abubakar behind closed doors sort out their issues after which I and Sheikh Gumi will join them as Rev Oyedepo was yet to arrive at the time.
“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, advise them and pray for them.
“Former president Obasanjo agreed to follow my advice and this was how we carried out the reconciliation.
“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 the 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.
“After our discussion which was done behind closed doors we prayed and we took a photograph and I left the home afterwards to attend to other spiritual duties.