Bishop of Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Most Rev. Matthew Hassan Kukah, said he has no personal problem with President Muhammadu Buhari but his leadership style.
Kukah spoke with reporters as he responded to the welter of criticism against him and the state of the nation address he delivered on Christmas Day.
He vehemently denied calling for a coup in the opinion he expressed, saying his message has been twisted by a section of the media.
It is unfair for a journalist or news medium to report that I called for a coup while expressing my personal views about Nigeria.
I have no iota of grudge with President Muhammadu Buhari, but what I strictly and categorically said was that using religion as a tool for playing politics is unacceptable and would not be accepted.
He added that his comments were not intended to cause any disaffection.
My message was an opinion and for the love of the country,” he said, emphasising that he reserved the right to express his views on national issues.
I am a Northerner, born and brought up in Barnawa village, a suburb of Kaduna and I hold no grudges against any northerner, be it Muslim or Christian.
I am pained and sad that my critics fail to see that.
The loss of lives in the last 10 years and even before the advent of the current government calls for concern.
The cleric said he hoped for a country where justice, peace and fairness will prevail.
On criticisms of his comments, he said:
The reactions are a reflection of every citizen that makes up the country.
I am someone who doesn’t take offence in what others say about me.
What I said was my opinion based on evidence and the happenings in the country and if you look into the records, there is evidence that justifies that statement, and if anyone thinks I am wrong, they should come out with a superior position.
Whatever I said can please or displease anyone, but that is my own opinion and doesn’t stop others from saying their own opinion. If you think my motive is wrong, say yours.
The truth is that a lot of us have not seen a priest saying what I am saying. The truth of the matter is, we are all in politics, but party politics for me, no.
I am not a member of any political party and I cannot be. If it comes to voting, I exercise my right.