Bishop Matthew Kukah, the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, on Tuesday berated President Muhammadu Buhari, saying that the president has relegated the national interest and has introduced nepotism into the Nigerian military.
According to Bishop Kukah who stated this during his sermon at the burial of Michael Nnadi, a seminarian who was killed recently by kidnappers, he said; under President Buhari, it was important for any Nigerian to be a northern Muslim before he could hold strategic positions.
“The impression created now is that to hold a key and strategic position in Nigeria today, it is more important to be a northern Muslim than a Nigerian,” Bishop Kukah said.
“Our nation is like a ship stranded on the high seas, rudderless and with broken navigational aids. Today, our years of hypocrisy, duplicity, fabricated integrity, false piety, empty morality, fraud and Pharisaism have caught up with us. Nigeria is at a crossroads and its future hangs precariously in the balance. This is a wakeup call for us,” he added.
The Sokoto Bishop noted that President Buhari failed to fulfill his 2015 campaign promises, instead, he has brought divisive policies that is destroying the nation.
“I (Buhari) as a retired general and a former Head of State have always known about our soldiers. They are capable and they are well trained, patriotic, brave and always ready to do their duty. If I am elected President, the world will have no reason to worry about Nigeria. Nigeria will return to its stabilizing role in West Africa,” the Bishop quoted Buhari during his sermon at the Good Shepherd Major Seminary, Kaukau, Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
“We will pay sufficient attention to the welfare of our soldiers in and out of service. We will develop adequate and modern arms and ammunition. We will improve intelligence gathering and border patrols to choke Boko Haram’s financial and equipment channels. We will be tough on terrorism and tough on its root causes by initiating a comprehensive economic development and promoting infrastructural development…we will always act on time and not allow problems to irresponsibly fester. And I, Muhammadu Buhari, will always lead from the front,” Bishop Kukah further quoted Buhari’s statement ahead of the 2015 election.
He however noted that the reverse is the case 5 years after he (Buhari) became president, security situation worsened and Buhari instead of fulfilling his promise, brought nepotism and clannishness into the military and other security agencies.
“No one in that hall or anywhere in Nigeria doubted the President who ran his campaign on a tank supposedly full of the fuel of integrity and moral probity. No one could have imagined that in winning the Presidency, General Buhari would bring nepotism and clannishness into the military and the ancillary security agencies, that his government would be marked by supremacist and divisive policies that would push our country to the brink,” Bishop Kukah said.
“This President has displayed the greatest degree of insensitivity in managing our country’s rich diversity. He has subordinated the larger interests of the country to the hegemonic interests of his co-religionists and clansmen and women,” he added.
Bishop Kukah noted that with the current situation under President Buhari, Nigeria is not worth dying for.
“Nigeria is at a point where we must call for a verdict. There must be something that a man, nay, a nation should be ready to die for.
“Sadly, or even tragically, today, Nigeria, does not possess that set of goals or values for which any sane citizen is prepared to die for her. Perhaps, I should correct myself and say that the average office holder is ready to die to protect his office but not for the nation that has given him or her that office.
“The Yoruba say that if it takes you 25 years to practise madness, how much time would you have to put it into real life? We have practised madness for too long.”
Speaking further, Bishop Kukah noted that under President Buhari Nigeria has witnessed an unprecedented nepotistic and narcissistic government in her history.
“Today, in Nigeria, the noble religion of Islam has convulsed. It has become associated with some of the worst fears among our people. Muslim scholars, traditional rulers and intellectuals have continued to cry out helplessly, asking for their religion and region to be freed from this chokehold. This is because, in all of this, neither Islam nor the North can identify any real benefits from these years that have been consumed by the locusts that this government has unleashed on our country.
“The Fulani, his innocent kinsmen, have become the subject of opprobrium, ridicule, defamation, calumny and obloquy. His North has become one large graveyard, a valley of dry bones, the nastiest and the most brutish part of our dear country.
“Why have the gods rejected this offering? Despite running the most nepotistic and narcissistic government in known history, there are no answers to the millions of young children on the streets in northern Nigeria, the north still has the worst indices of poverty, insecurity, stunting, squalor and destitution.”
The Bishop also condemned the persecution of Christians in the North, saying that it was a trend that was as old as the modern Nigerian state.
He said Nigerians and indeed the world had been told that insecurity (Boko Haram and banditry) in the nation had nothing to do with religion. Bishop Kukah in his response said; “Really? It is what happens when politicians use religion to extend the frontiers of their ambition and power.
“Are we to believe that simply because Boko Haram kills Muslims too, they wear no religious garb? Are we to deny the evidence before us, of kidnappers separating Muslims from infidels or compelling Christians to convert or die?
“If your son steals from me, do you solve the problem by saying he also steals from you? Again, the Sultan (of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar) got it right: let the northern political elite who have surrendered the space claim it back immediately.”
As the young seminarian was laid to rest, Bishop Kukah urged Christians to emulate the sternly quality of late Michael Nnadi and Leah Sharibu.
Leah Sharibu is the Dapchi schoolgirl who was left behind following her refusal to denounce her faith and convert to Islam following her abduction alongside her colleagues in Yobe State in 2018.
“We know that Michael’s strength will inspire an army of young people to follow in his steps.
We will march on with the cross of Christ entrusted to us, not in agony or pain, because our salvation lies in your cross.
“We have no vengeance or bitterness in our hearts. We have no drop of sorrow inside us. We are honoured that our son has been summoned to receive the crown of martyrdom at the infancy of his journey to the priesthood. Leah Sharibu is a martyr for the faith and so is Michael,” Bishop Kukah said.
Ogbodo ThankGod is currently the Managing Director/CEO/Group Chief Editor at Naija Buzz News Network. He was the Chief Editor at NaijaBuzz.News before his new top leadership role. Ogbodo has years of experience in the Nigeria Media Industry and has co-founded some media companies. He is the founder of Ogbodo Solution Nigeria and 1Push.Ng. He loves playing football and is a strong supporter of Lionel Messi who he describes as the greatest footballer of all time.