Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah of the Catholic Diocese in Sokoto has opined that the Nigerian culture was designed to encourage injustice and abuse, particularly against women.
He also said religion, which had all the instruments of reformation, had been wrongly applied in Nigeria, thus placing the country in its current bad shape.
The clergy regretted that Nigerians were wrongly defending injustice, abuse, and attacks women suffer in the country in the name of religion or culture.
Noting that the act was far from religion or culture as mostly claimed, he tasked women to begin to stand up for their rights, like Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani education activist who survived an assassination attempt at the age of 15 for speaking out publicly against the prohibition on education of girls by the Pakistan Taliban.
The fiery preacher spoke at the public presentation of the National Ethical Policy for Combating Gender-Based Violence, GBV in Nigeria, in Abuja.
According to him, women are being viewed as commodities using religion as a cover-up.
“Women have always been commodities; if a war ends, you give out women; if you want to make peace,you give out women; and we as Christians and Muslims believe that it is not culture that created human beings,” he said, noting that people have the duty and responsibility to go beyond the bastardization of religion.
Speaking on how the Nigerian culture was designed to encourage injustice and oppression, the bishop said; “I recall vividly the images when we were little children when your father was beating your mother, you can only go and hold her leg or your father’s leg because that is the best you could do.
“Our African culture also suggests you cannot go and report your father, you cannot go and report your mother and your father is beating your mother until he kills her, you cannot say anything because ‘how are you going to disgrace your father?
“Today, we are talking about women being sold. There are parts of Nigeria that even up till today, people will tell you that if you enter the palace of a king with your wife and the chief likes your wife, if he crosses her leg, then you go home alone.''