Insecurity: Ortom Backs Kukah, Asks FG To Stop Intimidating Nigerians

Combination of Bishop Matthew Kukah and Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom.

 

The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has backed the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto, Bishop Matthew Kukah over his recent comments on insecurity.

Kukah had during an address to the US Congress Commission on July 15, accused President Muhammadu Buhari of showing preference to people of his religion which according to him, has worsened the rivalry between Christians and Muslims.

Kukah said the Buhari administration has failed to address insecurity but the presidency had replied the Catholic bishop, accusing him of trying to sow discord and strife among Nigerians.

The Presidency has since tackled Kukah, describing his comments as “unfortunate and disappointing”, complaining that the cleric “castigated” Nigeria before the US lawmakers.

However, supporting the cleric via a statement issued on Saturday by his spokesman, Terver Akase, Governor Ortom asked the Federal Government to stop intimidating patriotic Nigerians who are raising genuine concerns over the worsening security and economic situation in the country.

READ ALSO: Police Foil Kidnap Attempt By Bandits, Rescue Eight Travellers In Katsina

Ortom said he “stands with Bishop Kukah on the issues he raised,” adding that he would have said similar things if he were to address the same audience.

“Governor Ortom states that the country is practicing democracy which has no room for repression and dictatorship,” the statement partly read.

“He notes that the country’s Constitution guarantees the freedom of speech to all citizens, unlike a military regime which suppresses the right of the people to voice their opinions on challenges facing their country.”

The Benue governor described the cleric as “one Nigerian who is selfless and speaks his mind frankly on national issues calling on the government to ensure justice, the rule of law and equity for all.”

He also took a swipe at the Presidency’s response to the criticism, wondering why the current administration has chosen to politicize the views of Bishop Kukah when all the issues he highlighted in his address are facts about the country.

“He says Kukah was right when he stated that nepotism has been elevated above federal character by the present administration. He further agrees with the Bishop that Christians across the country are targets of elimination and thousands have already fallen to the sword of jihadist supremacists,” the statement added.

See the full statement issued by Governor Samuel Ortom below:

I STAND WITH BISHOP KUKAH – GOV ORTOM

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom describes as unfortunate, the response of the Presidency to the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Matthew Kukah’s address to the United States Congress Committee on Foreign Affairs regarding the wave of insecurity in the country.

The Governor says he stands with Bishop Kukah on the issues he raised and stresses that he would have said similar things if he were to address the same audience.

He advises the Federal Government to stop intimidating patriotic Nigerians who are raising genuine concerns over the worsening security and economic situation in the country.

Governor Ortom states that the country is practicing democracy which has no room for repression and dictatorship. He notes that the country’s Constitution guarantees the freedom of speech to all citizens, unlike a military regime which suppresses the right of the people to voice their opinions on challenges facing their country.

He says Bishop Kukah is one Nigerian who is selfless and  speaks his mind frankly on national issues calling on the government to ensure justice, the rule of law and equity for all.

The Governor wonders why the Presidency has chosen to politicize the views of Bishop Kukah when all the issues he highlighted in his address are facts about the country.

He says Kukah was right when he stated that nepotism has been elevated above federal character by the present administration. He further agrees with the Bishop that Christians across the country are targets of elimination and thousands have already fallen to the sword of jihadist supremacists.

Governor Ortom states that Kukah is not to blame for the ranking of Nigeria as the 8th least peaceful country in Africa and the rating of killer herdsmen as the 4th deadliest terror group in the world by the Global Terrorism Index.

He expects the Presidency to rather be worried that Nigeria is ranked as the most terrorised nation in Africa with an average of over 2,000 deaths per year on account of terrorism.

He emphasizes that the combative approach the Presidency has adopted in engaging citizens on issues will not solve the problems confronting the country.

Governor Ortom says Bishop Kukah is not the first Nigerian to address a foreign audience on the security situation in the country. He recalls that in February, 2015 President Buhari was at the time the candidate of All Progressives Congress, APC, when he delivered a speech at Chatham House in London, where he stated that “Boko Haram has sadly put Nigeria on the terrorism map, killing more than 13,000 of our nationals.” The President went on to announce to the world on that occasion that apart from the civil war era, Nigeria had never been more insecure in the country’s history.

The Governor states that if a man who was seeking to govern the country could reel out such scary statistics, why will his aides now launch media attacks on a clergyman who is only advocating peace and is drawing the attention of the global community to the plight of helpless Nigerians.

Governor Ortom once again tasks the Federal Government to arrest and prosecute members of armed Fulani groups for killing innocent Nigerians, the same way it effected the arrest of the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, and Yoruba nation agitator, Sunday Igboho to prove critics wrong that its fight against terrorism and other crimes is unbiased.

He says the President may not be collecting proceeds from corrupt deals under his administration and may even not be aware that such shady deals exist, but some of his aides are deeply involved in corrupt practices and are denying Nigerians of the services and projects meant to alleviate poverty and hunger in the land.

Governor Ortom maintains that the President may also not be aware that Nigerians are facing harsh economic conditions and many are being killed by bandits, herdsmen and other terrorists because some of the persons saddled with the responsibility of telling him the truth have refused to do so.

He urges the Presidency to listen to the voices of reason and resist the temptation to whip into silence those who genuinely love the country and are offering solutions to its challenges.

Terver Akase

Chief Press Secretary

July 24, 2021.

Presidency Replies Kukah, Says Criticism Is Ungodly

A file photo of Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu
A file photo of Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu

 

The president has replied the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto, Bishop Matthew Kukah for criticising President Muhammadu Buhari’s handling of Nigeria’s security challenges.

Kukah had in his Easter message on Sunday said the Boko Haram terrorists were consuming the nation under President Buhari’s watch.

He recalled that Buhari had in 2015 described Boko Haram insurgents as a typical case of small fires causing large fires.

But the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said Bishop Kukah did not speak like a man of God.

Shehu said since Kukah professed to be a man of God, ideology should not stand in the way of facts and fairness, adding that he played politics in some of his submissions in the Easter message.

READ ALSO: Boko Haram Consuming Nigeria Under Buhari’s Watch, Says Kukah

“But, in saying that the Boko Haram terrorism is worse than it was in 2015, he did not speak like a man of God. Kukah should go to Borno or Adamawa to ask the citizens there the difference between 2014 and 2021,” the statement partly read.

“Furthermore, the Hijab issue in Kwara State on which he dwelt is a state matter which the courts of the land have adjudicated. They are matters that have appeared in several states as far back as the Obasanjo administration. In all of that, when and where did the name of President Buhari feature?”

SEE FULL STATEMENT BELOW:

KUKAH’S BUHARI BASHING IS UNGODLY

All citizens have their individual ideologies, even their own versions of the truth.

But if you profess to being a man of God, as Father Mathew Hassan Kukah does, ideology should not stand in the way of facts and fairness.

Father Kukah has said some things that are inexplicable in his Easter message.

But, in saying that the Boko Haram terrorism is worse than it was in 2015, he did not speak like a man of God. Kukah should go to Borno or Adamawa to ask the citizens there the difference between 2014 and 2021. Furthermore, the Hijab issue in Kwara State on which he dwelt is a state matter which the courts of the land have adjudicated. They are matters that have appeared in several states as far back as the Obasanjo administration. In all of that, when and where did the name of President Buhari feature?

He is playing partisan politics by dragging the President into it.

An administration that has created a whole Ministry, for the first time in the country’s history, appropriating enormous resources to it, to deal with issues of internally displaced persons cannot, in all rightfulness be accused of not caring for them.

Some of the comments are no more than a sample of the unrestrained rhetoric Fr. Kukah trades in, which he often does in the guise of a homily.

We urge well-meaning citizens to continue to support the ongoing efforts by the administration to secure the country and move it forward.

Garba Shehu.

Senior Special Assistant to the President

(Media & Publicity)

April 4, 2021

The Kukah Offence And Ongoing Offensives By Wole Soyinka

 

The timing of Bishop Matthew Kukah’s Christmas message, and the ensuing offensives could not be more fortuitous, seeing that it comes at a time when a world powerful nation, still reeling from an unprecedented assault on her corporate definition, is now poised to set, at the very least, a symbolic seal on her commitment to the democratic ideal.

Let no one be in any doubt that some of the most extreme of the violent forces that recently assaulted her governance citadel are sprung from religious and quasi-religious affirmations, a condition that still enables many of them to be brainwashed into accepting literally, and uncritically, indeed as gospel truth, any pronouncement, however outrageous and improbable, that emerges from their leadership.

As usual, we have not lacked, within our own distanced environment, advocates who, even till recently, claimed to have seen in their vision, the triumph of God’s own anointed in the electoral contest of that same United States.

They have been specific in their prophesy that what was denied at the ballot box would be restored in the law courts. And to set a divine seal on the matter, were not our streets in a part of this nation actually inundated by religious processions in support of the candidacy of their supposed Messiah, named Donald Trump?

They had conferred on him the mantle of upholder of Christian values, endangered by satanic practices in, of all places, a nation designated as – God’s own Country!

Of course, not all such tendencies represent the true face of any professed religion, we need only remark that all religions are plagued by a lunatic fringe.

In this nation, we have learnt the painful way what such inbred loonies are capable of. Thus, extreme care, and historic awareness, should be taken in imputing any act or pronouncement as an attack on faith. At base, competitors for recognition as first-line defenders of the ramparts of religiosity are often motivated by non-religious agenda, which is yet another reason for the exercise of restraint and collective responsibility.

It should not come as a surprise that a section of our Islamic community, not only claims to have found offence in Bishop Kukah’s New Year address, what is bothersome, even unwholesome, is the embedded threat to storm his ‘Capitol’ and eject him, simply for ‘speaking in tongues’.

Any pluralistic society must emphatically declare such a response unacceptable. On a personal note, I have studied the transcript as reported in the media and found nothing in it that denigrates Islam but then, I must confess, I am not among the most religion besotted inhabitants of the globe. That, I have been told, disqualifies me from even commenting on the subject and, quite frankly, I wish that were indeed the case. Life would far less be complicated. However, the reverse position does not seem to be adopted by such religionists in a spirit of equity. They do not hesitate to intervene; indeed, some consider themselves divinely empowered to intervene, even dictate in secular life.

With the foregoing out of the way, we are compelled to remind ourselves that religion is upheld, and practised, not by robots, not by creatures from outer space, not by abstract precepts, but by human beings, full of quirks, frailties and conceits, filled with their own individual and collective worth, and operate in the here and now of this very earth.

That makes religion the business of everyone, especially when it is manipulated to instill fear, discord and separatism in social consciousness. The furore over Bishop Kukah’s statement offers us another instance of that domineering tendency, one whose consequences are guaranteed to spill over into the world of both believers and non-believers, unless checked and firmly contained. In this nation of religious opportunism of the most destructive kind especially, fuelled again and again by failure to learn from past experience, we must at least learn to nip extremist instigations in the bud.

One of the ironic features of religionists is, one is forced to conclude, a need to be offended. It is as if religion cannot exist unless it is nourished with the broth of offence. This may be due to an inbuilt insecurity, a fear that even the ascribed absolutes of faith may be founded on nothing more than idealistic human projections, not grounded in anything durable or immutable.

Hence the over prickliness, aggressiveness, sometimes even bullying tendencies and imperious posturing. This leads to finding enemies where there are none. In certain social climates, it degenerates into inventing enmities in order to entrench theocratic power. In its own peculiar way, this is actually a rational proceeding. A perceived threat to a collectivity tends to rally even waverers round the flag. The core mission of faith custodians then becomes presenting religion as being constantly under siege. It all contributes to interpreting even utterances of no hostile intent as “enemy action”.

Was it all that long ago when el Rufai – now governor of Kaduna state – came under blistering attack by the Christian community for allegedly insulting the divine persona of Jesus Christ?

What did el Rufai say exactly? Nothing new or startling. All he did was deploy a common, everyday figure of speech to describe an overwhelming challenge. Both the circumstances and his exact phrasing elude me right now, but all it amounted to was that even Jesus Christ would find a particular problem intractable. Or perhaps it was simply that even Jesus Christ, were to return to earth, would be subjected to the Nigerian national culture of calumny?

One or the other but, it hardly matters. What does matter was that instantly, there were demands from the ever-ready Onward Christian Soldiers – led by CAN leadership – for a withdrawal and apology. To my intense disappointment – as I declared at the time — el Rufai obliged.

A huge mistake. Again, and again, we have warned against succumbing to irrational demands of religionists, yet even the brutal lessons of past surrenders appear to exercise no traction on society’s faculty of cause and effect, especially in that religious propensity for incremental demands. Surrender one inch, they demand a mile!

And how near impossible it is to come to grips with an even more recent and egregious bill of offence that took place over this very last Christmas of the year 2020! The now universal sales pitch of BLACK FRIDAY to lure seasonal shopping addicts to Sale bonanzas drew solemn, sanctimonious flak from some religionists from the other side, this time the Islamic. A formal statement was issued, declaring these commonplace sale tactics an assault on the Islamic religion, since Friday happens to be its day of worship.

These are the depths of absurdity into which society is dragged by the coils of spurious purism. Until now, we have yet to learn of Boko Haram, ISWAP, al-Shabbab and other rabid Islamists declaring a cessation from killings in honour of Holy Friday. Again, one station that carried the broadcasts tamely withdrew its promotional campaign. Another piece of secular – that is, neutral – territory ignominiously surrendered. The tail continues to wag the dog.

Lest the point be missed or watered down, the escalation of such irrationality is very simply outlined. Christians, not to be outdone, will seize the next opportunity to remind the rest of the world how their own Holy Day, Sunday, must and must not be used in mundane transactions in the future. Next, the Seventh-Day Adventists will demand no-go areas for Saturdays. After that, the Hindus, the Sikhs, plus the thousand and one religions of the world cornering their own Holy Day, then week, then month until we are moved to reconstruct the present calendar entirely, abandon solar principles and rebuild temporal notation around some newly discovered power planet. Did that broadcasting station consider, for a moment, the preposterous dimensions of that sectarian demand before yielding ground to a ridiculous minority of extremists?

Of far weightier substance than any vaporous religiosity, however, is the early mentioned civic condition of all occupiers of the same demarcated slab of earth, called nation, and their material and non-material entitlement as guaranteed by their enabling constitution.

When any individual or group, however lofty and privileged in its own self-regard, orders a citizen to quit his or her chosen place of habitation, then the very concept of nation being is nullified. This is not the first time this fundamental principle of co-existence has been challenged. Still fresh in one’s mind was the mode of response by the Inspector-General of Police to a similar violation by a northern Youth organization a few years ago when that group pronounced a deadline for the Igbo to quit their abode throughout the northern territory of Nigeria.

It was a dangerous, provocative act, incendiary under any condition. That worthy maintainer of law and order was asked – and I recall this distinctly – why he failed to take action against this incitement to mayhem, such as even inviting the self-acknowledged leaders “for a chat”.

That question was, of course, posed in the context of the starkly contrasting ‘rapid response’ agility by state security agencies, when a similar inciting proclamation was made by an Igbo group ‘expelling’ northern citizens from their territory.

His answer was: such action would have security implications. By contrast, the Igbo group was proscribed as a terrorist organization. It should be chastening to any government that its proclamation remains ignored internationally.

What is Bishop Kukah saying? Simply what observant and concerned citizens of United States society recently remarked. The conduct of the US security forces, when confronted by peaceful protesters during the BLACK LIVES MATTER movement, was vastly different from that of the same security agencies when a predominantly white mob invaded its seat of government, thrashed it and hunted down a people’s elected representatives, rampaging for hours before they were finally “escorted out”.

Such a contrast goes to the heart of the nation being and poses a real and urgent danger. That accusation has been voiced by both sides of the colour divide and across class divisions. Again and again, the warning was loudly voiced, it was unheeded. We remain fools if we fail to learn from the costly complacencies of others.

The obvious issue, to summarize, is – double standards. Lack of equitable dealing. Agreement or disagreement with Bishop Kukah’s position is demonstration of a nation’s badge of maturity, and should be read, quite obviously, as a continuation of that nagging, provocative discourse.

One fails to understand why religion is being sprung centre stage as a legitimate extract from that New Year address. There is a deliberate, emotive displacement of a central concern. It is calculated avoidance, diversionary, and thus, nationally unhealthy. Humans should not attempt to play ostrich.

Kukah’s Christmas Message: Ortom Asks FG Not To Muzzle Nigerians

Photo combination of Bishop Matthew Kukah and Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom.

 

 

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom asked the Federal Government not to muzzle patriotic Nigerians who raise genuine concerns over the worsening security situation in the country.

In a statement issued on Wednesday by his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase, Governor Ortom described as unfair and repressive the Federal Government’s reaction to the message of the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Matthew Kukah.

Reacting to the government’s accusation that the cleric was stirring hatred against President Muhammadu Buhari and calling for a coup, Ortom asked the Federal Government to “address the worrisome security situation and other problems confronting the country.”

For the Benue governor, “Bishop Kukah is a selfless Nigerian who only seeks to unite the nation and speaks his mind frankly on national issues calling on the government to serve the people.”

“The renowned Bishop is not the first to call on the leadership of the country to strengthen security agencies and be proactive in combating the wave of violence and killings in parts of the country.

“Many other Nigerians have been making the same call on a daily basis. He was not the first to suggest that the President should be the father of all and not of only a section of the country or a particular ethnic group.”

READ ALSO: Armed Men Abduct Farm Owner In Ibadan

The governor advised that instead of politicizing the views of Bishop Kukah and castigating him, the Federal Government should take a second look at the things he raised in the Christmas Day message to avoid throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

Governor Ortom noted that Nigeria is practicing democracy which guarantees the freedom of speech to all citizens and not a military regime that suppresses the right of the people to voice their opinions on challenges facing their country.

“The Bishop’s statement is a true reflection of the current situation in Nigeria and urges President Muhammadu Buhari not to listen to sycophants who may tell him that everything is well with the country. All is not well,” he added.

Ortom’s response comes five days after Bishop Kukah said President Buhari’s government owes Nigerians an explanation over the killings of innocent people in the country.

In his Christmas message titled, ‘A Nation in Search of Vindication,’ Bishop Kukah said Nigeria appeared to be heading for darkness under his administration.

MURIC Asks Bishop Kukah To Resign From National Peace Committee

 

The Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Bishop Matthew Kukah, has been asked to resign from the General Abdul Salaam-led National Peace Committee.

This call was made by the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), in a statement signed by the director of the organization, Professor Ishaq Akintola.

Bishop Kukah had in his Christmas message to Nigerians stated that President Muhammadu Buhari’s government owes Nigerians an explanation over the killings of innocent people in the country.

Kukah said the spilling of blood across the country must be related to a more sinister plot that is beyond the people’s comprehension.

Reacting to these statements, MURIC asked the cleric to recuse himself from the Abdul Salaam-led Peace Committee, arguing that Kukah’s pronouncements are inconsistent with the Bishop’s status particularly as the secretary of Nigeria’s Peace Committee.

“How did such a belligerent combatant emerge as the secretary of Nigeria’s Peace Committee? What good can come from a man who is filled with hate and bias for a large section of the country? He calls for a coup against a democratically elected government. He stigmatized Islam as a violent religion. He derides the North. We demand that Kukah should honourably recuse himself from the Peace Committee. Failure to do so will have a devastating effect of discrediting that committee. It will mean that the committee was set up in the first place for a partisan purpose.

“This is because many see Bishop Kukah as the de facto leader of the Committee. The Peace Committee must clarify some issues surrounding its formation and modus operandi. Whose idea was the whole thing from the beginning? Where is the committee’s secretariat? Is it true that the whole committee was Kukah’s initiative ab initio? Is it also true that its secretariat is headed and managed by the director of the Kukah Center? If that is so, General Abdulsalam must have been persuaded to come on board and serve as the chairman just to give legitimacy and credibility to the idea.

“This Peace Committee has a credibility crisis on its hands unless it can remove Kukah as secretary and as a member if the bishop fails to recuse himself. Nigerian Muslims no longer have any confidence in the Peace Committee. It may as well disband while the members go home to sleep.

“This is the honourable thing for the Bishop of Sokoto Diocese to do in view of the humongous allegation levelled against him. A national peace committee needs wide acceptance from the general populace in order to function effectively. Unfortunately, this does not appear to be the true situation on the ground at present.

“There is no gainsaying the fact that the secretary of any organization is its livewire. He keeps their records and writes their reports. A man who is heavily biased against one faith cannot be trusted to prepare a fair report on interfaith issues. That position is too sensitive to be left in the office of a firebrand missionary known for his emotional outbursts.

“The silence of the Peace Committee since the Kukah controversy began is also disturbing. A peace committee whose secretary comes out with blazing guns firing from all cylinders at a section of the country and calls for a coup while its members keep mute gives cause for concern. It gives the impression that the secretary is holding members of the committee to ransom. He calls the shots. Afterall, any statement to be issued by the committee, ceteris paribus, is expected to be prepared by the same secretary. Here comes the hard nut.

“Nigerian Muslims have no confidence in the Peace Committee as long as Kukah remains its secretary and member. He has failed to remain neutral. His bias against Muslims has been openly displayed. Rev. Fr. Kukah should recuse himself, otherwise, the committee has to disband.

“This has become necessary in view of the jaundiced position taken by the Catholic mission yesterday in an official statement. Nigerian Catholics declared their full backing of the preposterous pronouncements of Bishop Kukah. In that situation, it is no longer acceptable to leave the destiny of the Peace Committee in the hands of the Catholic Bishop.

“The question must be asked: who is the secretary of the Peace Committee? Kukah or the Catholic Diocese? A situation whereby Kukah issues a highly combustible statement and the Nigerian Catholic Mission backs him calls for caution.

“MURIC suggests an immediate review of the composition and operation of the Peace Committee. The secretariat of the Peace Committee must be moved out of the Kukah Centre. A neutral place must be found. In addition, a neutral person who is not head or official of any religious group or a person known for making volatile statements must be made head of its secretariat. The Peace Committee may also consider coopting a co-chairman who must be a Christian since the current chairman is a Muslim. This will engender balance.

“We call on the Chairman and members of the Peace Committee to take these suggestions seriously in order to retain the respect it currently enjoys. A stitch in time saves nine. Immediate consultations and proper advice will save the committee from any embarrassment in future,” MURIC’s statement read in part.

I did not call for a coup in my Christmas message

Following some brash reactions to his Christmas message to Nigerians, Bishop Kukah has denied calling for a coup.

He made this known on Monday night during a press conference at St Bakhita Secretariat in Sokoto.

“It is unfair for a journalist or news medium to report that I called for a coup while expressing my personal view about Nigeria,” he said.

“I am pained and very sad that my emergency critics never see that many innocent lives are being lost on a daily basis. The loss of lives in the last ten years, even before the advent of this administration, calls for concern.

“The reactions are a reflection of every citizen that make up Nigeria. It is sad that when you drop something in Nigeria, everybody goes back to their enclave and abandon the larger picture. I am someone who never takes offense to what people say about me.”

READ ALSO: Insecurity: Citizens Have Nowhere To Turn To – Bishop Kukah

Speaking further, Bishop Kukah said it is only feeble minds that would misconstrue his statements as an indication of the intention to go into party politics.

While noting that everyone has the right to hold political views, he said nothing stops him as a priest and conscience of society from speaking truth to power.

“To make it more interesting, a retired General from the North-West who is a Muslim has also released a statement on his handle to say all that I said is true.

“I have no plan and will never play partisan politics for any reason. Those who link me to partisan politics because of my statement are only playing into the gallery,” he added.

 

 

Killings: Buhari’s Govt Owes Nigerians An Explanation, Says Kukah

Atiku Was Invited For Peace Accord Signing, Says Kukah
File photo of Bishop Matthew Kukah

 

The Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Bishop Matthew Kukah has said that President Muhammadu Buhari’s government owes Nigerians an explanation over the killings of innocent people in the country.

In his Christmas message titled, ‘A Nation in Search of Vindication,’ Bishop Kukah said Nigeria appeared to be heading for darkness under his administration.

“This government owes the nation an explanation as to where it is headed as we seem to journey into darkness,” he said.

“The spilling of this blood must be related to a more sinister plot that is beyond our comprehension. Are we going to remain hogtied by these evil men or are they gradually becoming part of a larger plot to seal the fate of our country?”

While lamenting the level of insecurity in the country, Kukah said Nigerians have nowhere to turn to.

According to him, the country’s inability to feed itself is one of the most dangerous signs of state failure and a trigger to violence.

“As our country drifts almost rudderless, we seem like people travelling without maps, without destination and with neither Captain nor Crew. Citizens have nowhere to turn to.

“Our country’s inability to feed itself is one of the most dangerous signs of state failure and a trigger to violence,” he said.

The cleric described Nigeria as a rudderless country where the citizens travelled in a boat devoid of captain or crew and without any maps and destination insight.

He also accused President Buhari of nepotism, noting that there could have been a coup if a non-northern Muslim president does a fraction of what Buhari did.

For Bishop Kukah, President Buhari’s administration was institutionalizing northern hegemony by “reducing others in public life to second-class status”.

READ ALSO: Insecurity: Citizens Have Nowhere To Turn To – Bishop Kukah

“President Buhari deliberately sacrificed the dreams of those who voted for him to what seemed like a programme to stratify and institutionalise northern hegemony. He has pursued this self-defeating and alienating policy at the expense of greater national cohesion.

“Every honest Nigerian knows that there is no way any non-Northern Muslim President could have done a fraction of what President Buhari has done by his nepotism and gotten away with it,” he added.

Bishop Kukah, however, asked Nigerians not to give up despite the pain, sorrow and uncertainty in the land, calling for prayers to save the nation.

“Yet, we stand firmly with the unshaken belief that no matter the temptations, the world has known worst times. These may be the worst of times, but for men and women of faith, they could be the best of times. We must stand firm and resolute because, our redeemer liveth (Job 19:25),” he said.

Insecurity: Citizens Have Nowhere To Turn To – Bishop Kukah

Atiku Was Invited For Peace Accord Signing, Says Kukah
File photo of Bishop Matthew Kukah

 

The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto, Bishop Matthew Kukah, has lamented the spate of insecurity in the country, saying Nigerians have nowhere to turn to.

In his 2020 Christmas message titled, ‘A nation in search of vindication’, on Friday, Bishop Kukah said the country’s inability to feed itself is one of the most dangerous signs of state failure and a trigger to violence.

“As our country drifts almost rudderless, we seem like people travelling without maps, without destination and with neither Captain nor Crew. Citizens have nowhere to turn to,” he said,

“Our country’s inability to feed itself is one of the most dangerous signs of state failure and a trigger to violence.”

While accusing President Buhari of nepotism, the cleric said there could have been a coup if a non-northern Muslim president does a fraction of what Buhari did.

According to him, President Buhari’s administration was institutionalising northern hegemony by “reducing others in public life to second-class status”.

READ ALSO: Resident Doctors Commence Strike In Taraba

“This government owes the nation an explanation as to where it is headed as we seem to journey into darkness.

“The spilling of this blood must be related to a more sinister plot that is beyond our comprehension. Are we going to remain hogtied by these evil men or are they gradually becoming part of a larger plot to seal the fate of our country?

“President Buhari deliberately sacrificed the dreams of those who voted for him to what seemed like a programme to stratify and institutionalise northern hegemony. He has pursued this self-defeating and alienating policy at the expense of greater national cohesion.

“Every honest Nigerian knows that there is no way any non-Northern Muslim President could have done a fraction of what President Buhari has done by his nepotism and gotten away with it,” he added.

President Buhari Condoles With Bishop Kukah Over Mother’s Death

Mattew Kukah, Politicians
Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Matthew Kukah

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has commiserated with the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Matthew Kukah, over the loss of his mother, Janet Hauwa Kukah.

The President’s condolence message was contained in a statement issued on Friday by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.

READ ALSO: Suspension Of WAEC Puts Nigeria At More Risk, Says Atiku

According to the statement, President Buhari extended his heartfelt sympathy to members of Bishop Kukah’s family.

He also prayed that God should grant the soul of Madam Kukah an eternal rest.

Nigeria Yet To Fully Embrace Democracy, Says Bishop Kukah

Atiku Was Invited For Peace Accord Signing, Says Kukah
The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Matthew Kukah

 

The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Matthew Kukah, says Nigeria is yet to fully embrace democratic norms and values.

He disclosed this on Tuesday during a townhall meeting on ‘Fixing Nigerian elections’ which was organised by YIAGA.

According to him, the military intervention in the nation’s politics has made the system to be so quarrelsome.

Kukah berated the judiciary for undermining the wishes of the people while hearing cases relating to elections.

READ ALSO: 774,000 Jobs: Drama As Senators Walk Keyamo Out Of Meeting

“We are mistaken in assuming that we have had a transition from dictatorship to democracy. We still haven’t.

“This is why we are showing all kinds of systemic malfunctioning. When we talk about political parties, we have assumptions. The truth of the matter is that in our own case, in Nigeria, we have the greed and the political interest.

“Clearly what we have in Nigeria, as we have seen with the occasional malfunctioning of the system midway through the journey, manifested in the quarrelsomeness nature of the process and the way the judiciary has now come to undermine the wishes of the people,” he said.

Speaking further, the cleric called on political parties to imbibe discipline while fielding candidate for public offices.

He regretted that most politicians lack the needed discipline expected of political parties, adding that it has reflected in lack of continuity and consistency in governance.

Cleric Says National Unity, Integration Will End Conflicts In Nigeria

mathew-kukahIntegration and national unity as the only solution to the conflicts in the northeast, Niger Delta and the clashes between herdsmen and farmers, a cleric of the Catholic church says.

In his speech at the 2016 Annual General Meeting of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations in Abuja on Friday, the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Matthew Kukah, expressed the belief that national unity would overcome ethnicity and nepotism, which, in his opinion still reign in Nigeria.

He told political leaders to always carry the people along in all that they do.

‪”The question is; what are the aggregate ingredients? What are kind of tangible realities? What are the things we need to bring together to be able to enhance national integration?

“Now, tragically for us in Nigeria, now more than ever before, we have never been as frustrated, as disunited in almost every sense of the world as we are today and it is not enough to blame the APC. It is not enough to blame Buhari. It is about the fact that somehow something had been creeping in on us and finally has caught up with us.

“Now the question is, can this country still remain united? Yes, it can and it depends on how we understand the concept of unity.

“I often say that one of the difficulties in Nigeria is that the people who are the followers are better equipped, better educated, more intelligent and even more passionate than those who govern them,” Bishop Kukah added.

Politicians Must Shun Culture Of Self Enrichment – Bishop Kukah

Mattew Kukah, PoliticiansThe Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Most Reverend Matthew Kukah, has called on Nigerian politicians to place service above personal benefits.

He says politicians have continued to undermine the interest of the ordinary Nigerian who gave them the opportunity to serve through the ballot.

The clergyman spoke to Channels TV on Sunday, after a church service to celebrate Fathers’ Day in Lagos State, southwest Nigeria.

“We still have not moved away from the culture of people who mistake public service for opportunities for self-enrichment.

“The reason why people asked to be elected is not to make money for themselves, they asked to be elected so that they can serve us and serve our country,” he said.

Bishop Kukah also said he doubts if the current crop of politicians would give Nigeria the required leadership to take it to the next level.

“You have so many people going to church and going to mosque and yet criminality, violence, corruption are all on the increase in our society.

“This is evidence of some of the things that are eroding our Christian values,” he said.

“When I hear politicians say we cannot develop in an environment of violence or in an environment that is volatile, politicians don’t understand that it is their irresponsible behaviour that is creating the tension and the anxiety,” he added.

FG To Pay MDAs’ 78.7bn Naira Electricity Debts

Babatunde Fashola, FG, ElectricityThe Federal Government has promised to pay the 78.7 billion Naira electricity debts owed distribution companies by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government before the end of the year.

In what appeared to be leading by example to ensure transformation of the power sector, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, announced that the military was already making plans to pay its debts.

He made the promise on Thursday in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital at a town hall forum organised by the Kukah Centre, to create dialogue between policy makers and Nigerians for greater citizens’ participation in governance.

National Housing Policy
The Minister also spoke on mass housing across the country, which he said would only be possible through the standardisation of mass housing projects.

He disclosed that government was developing a ‘National Housing Policy’ that would address all issues across states.

In his remarks, the Patron of the centre, Bishop Matthew Kukah, stressed the need for such dialogues, considering the magnitude of issues that needed to be resolved in many sectors of the economy.

Other components of the forum, which is expected to hold monthly, include policy round table and discussions from both sides of the government aimed at fixing Nigeria in the long term.