‘You Have Amnesia’ – Presidency Slams Kukah Over Comments On Buhari

‘You Have Amnesia’ – Presidency Slams Kukah Over Comments On Buhari

The Presidency has fired the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Mathew Kukah, over his comments on President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday.

News Centric had reported that Kukah in his Christmas message on Sunday stated that Buhari was leaving Nigeria far more vulnerable than when he came and has failed to fulfill his electoral promises.

The cleric also accused the President of nepotism, failing to tackle insecurity and failing to fight corruption despite hefty promises made to Nigerians seven and half years ago.

Presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, reacting in a lengthy article on Thursday, said Kukah is suffering from amnesia to have forgotten the state of the nation before the President came to power in 2015.

In the article titled ‘KUKAH DON’T COOK ME NONSENSE’, Adesina said the cleric has been accused many times of being a supporter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), hence his constant criticism of the Buhari government.

Adesina argued that Buhari has stabilized Nigeria, fought corruption, and never breached any constitution since assuming power.

He wrote: “Under the camouflage of ‘speaking truth to power,’ it has become a regular thing for the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Matthew Hassan Kukah, to take potshots at President Muhammadu Buhari, and the governing All Progressives Congress (APC).

READ ALSO: APC Slams Kukah Over ‘Ungodly’ Christmas Speech Against Buhari

“When I saw the media report of his Christmas homily for 2022, I observed that it was in two distinct directions. The larger percentage took it from the negative: ‘Kukah blasts Buhari again; accuses him of failing to fight corruption, nepotism, and making Nigeria vulnerable.’

“And there was the other perspective, which was positive but less popular and commonplace: ‘Kukah commends Buhari on infrastructural development.’ It emanated from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). On reading the varying reports, I went searching for the full text of the homily, which I, fortunately, got online. I read it. Not as bilious and hateful as previous ones, but only laced with some inexactitude, which should be corrected for the sake of posterity.

“This piece is, therefore, not an excoriation or flagellation of Kukah, but just a setting straight of the records. Kukah the cook came with a meal that didn’t quite satisfy the palate. Too little or too much salt? Too little or too much pepper? Over-spiced or under-spiced? Overdone or underdone? But something was not quite right with the cooking, and that was responsible for the negative media reportage.

“Recall that the Bishop was particularly acerbic and virulent in his Christmas homily last year. And those of us that speak for the President did not suffer the poor cook gladly. My colleague, Mallam Garba Shehu, and I, as laymen, did the needful and pointed out the holes in the homily. The Bishop went on a shooting spree, opening fire at us on TV and in newspapers.

He even challenged us to duels, employing language which I said an altar boy should not use, not to talk of a 70-year-old Bishop. But we had had our say, so we ignored him after the first fusillades. This year’s homily, on reading the full text, was less toxic. But this was the portion the media feasted on.

Speaking directly to President Buhari, the cleric said: “It is sad that despite your lofty promises, you are leaving us far more vulnerable than when you came, that the corruption we thought would be fought has become a leviathan and sadly, a consequence of a government marked by nepotism. In my Christmas Message last year, I pointed out the fact that you had breached the Constitution by your failure to honour and adhere to the federal character provisions of our Constitution. The evidence is before us all.

READ ALSO:Northern Muslims Wishing Us Merry Christmas, Yet We Live In Fear Of Them Killing Us – Kukah

“I want to commend you, however, for the efforts you have made in the area of infrastructure. There has been a measurable improvement in the landscape, especially in the area of roads. I commend you for your efforts and honesty in seeking to end malfeasance in the electoral processes and your courageous support for the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC. Am I to believe that you kneand could do nothing about the Muslim-Muslim ticket within your Party? Still, we pray for a free, fair, and credible election. Since this is your last dance, I do wish you a merry Christmas. Next year, as your Bishop, I will endeavor to visit you in Daura to catch up on outstanding Tithes and other duties you owe your Diocese.

“To all the Members of the political class, a happy Christmas. You are seeking power at a time when the nation is in severe distress. You must demonstrate that you grasp the length and breathe (sic) of the problems that our country faces…”

“Let’s look at the allegations. “You are leaving us far more vulnerable than when you came.” How? In what way? Where was the Bishop in 2015, when the polity had been completely shot to ribbons, and you couldn’t exactly say this was where Nigeria stood? Was there even a Nigeria, with insurgents running riot across the length and breadth of the country, bombing the land to kingdom come? The Bishop forgets or is too filled with amnesia to remember. If Nigeria was vulnerable to death, destruction, and destabilization, it was the situation before Buhari came, more than now. To a great deal, he has stabilized the land, crushed vermin, and is cleaning the polity. The job is not fully done but is being done. Daily.

“Bishop Kukah has been accused many times of being a political priest, with a propensity for the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), and great antipathy for the APC. That was possibly the prism from which he saw things, and, therefore, his erroneous conclusion of “more vulnerable.”

“Again, he alleged that corruption was not fought, and had become a leviathan. Yes, when corruption creeps under the robes and cassocks of even priests, they would never see it being fought. Just a fortnight ago, the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Abdulrasheed Bawa, was a guest at the weekly State House press briefing. The facts he unveiled were enough to show the yeoman’s work being done. But people like Bishop Kukah listen only to themselvesand have no time for an alternative reality. So, when the monster is being assailed and being badly wounded, all they still see is the leviathan.

“And by the way, if corruption is rife in a country, is it necessarily just the fault of a President? No. It is the fault of everyone, including the people, the institutions, the family, religious leaders, political leaders, and everyone. If the Bishop was succeeding in his duty as a priest, then his adherents should be less prone to corruption, and the leviathan should have been slain or badly wounded. So, if corruption is still the monster the Bishop claims it is, then he, too, is failing as a moral authority and guide.

READ ALSO: “Don’t Die For Politicians, They Are Friends Struggling For National Cake’ – Kukah Admonishes Politicians’ Supporters

“Another allegation. Nepotism, which the priest did not justify. But he spoke of Federal Character, and I challenge him to bring instances of a breach. The mistake he makes is to think that all appointments in the land are subject to that constitutional provision. No. There are positions that must be filled according to the principles of balance and equity, and those that are subject to presidential prerogatives. President Buhari is a scrupulous one when it comes to obeying the Constitution, and the allegation of nepotism is always a rife one in the country. It has trailed every President, and it will most likely always be there. But we expect our priests to be more informed, particularly the highly educated ones. However, some people never see good in other segments of the country, particularly the much-vilified Fulani. Pity.

Bishop Kukah seeks to posture as a friend of the President, whenever he visits the Presidential Villa. And that justifies his jocular future visits to Daura, to collect ‘tithes,’ after the President retires. Well, President Buhari has no enemy. As I wrote recently, he has no malicious bone in his body, and will always cheerfully welcome Kukah.

But then, we know those who are working for the good of the country and those who are sowing hate and discord. As William Shakespeare wrote, “Deep malice makes too deep incision.” That was why Fela Anikulapo-Kuti sang; Teacher, don’t teach me nonsense. And we also ask the cook not to cook us nonsense.”


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