BUHARI: PDP, APC clash Over Bishop Kukah Message
The main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) on Sunday clashed over allegations by the Bishop of Sokoto Catholic Diocese, Matthew Hassan Kukah, that the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) failed to fulfil his 2015 electoral promises.
The PDP backed the cleric, saying his assessment of Buhari’s regime was on point, while the APC berated the Christian leader’s statement as ungodly and biased.
In his Christmas homily at St. Mary Catholic Church, Sokoto, titled, ‘Let us turn a new leaf,’ on Sunday, Kukah said Buhari would leaving office in good health, noting, however, that Nigerian were in pain on account of his failure to fulfil his promises to fix the country.
Kukah, who had attacked Buhari several times on his policies and inability to tackle corruption, cited nepotism as a major factor that characterized his regime
The bishop recalled that the Buhari regime has similarly failed to rescue scores of school children held captive in the forests by insurgents and bandits, stating that Nigeria is bearing scars and deep sorrow.
Kukah further flayed the President over alleged nepotism in his choice of appointees whom he described as mediocres, adding that the nation has paid the price for entrusting power to characters who treated it as their family property.
“Nepotism is a cancer which has consumed us in the last few years. We have paid the price of nepotism entrusting power into the hands of mediocres who operate as a cult and see power purely as an extension of the family heirloom,’’ he lamented.
The bishop called for a change of strategy to confront ‘’those who sit on the throne of power in arrogance and are determined to reduce our country to a jungle,’’ stressing that Nigerians needed to stand up firm against their oppressors.
Noting that a caste system has emerged in the country, Kukah challenged the citizens to rally together ‘’to destroy those who have institutionalised a caste system in our societies because every life matters.’’
He stated, ‘’Although the responses to my messages suggest that, generally, Nigerians listen to our voices in the wilderness. However, the deliberate culture of pauperisation and destitution of our people continues. So, we need a change of strategy so that we can turn a new page.
‘’We need a new strategy to confront those who sit on the throne of power in arrogance and are determined to reduce our country to a jungle. We need a new strategy that separates men and women of honour from those who have chosen dishonour.
‘’We need a new strategy that provides a clearer moral guide for ordinary citizens who, based on the moral strength of culture and religion, are seeking to build a good society, even if with straws. We need to stand up and stand firm. We need new mechanisms for saying no to the violence of governance.’’
Advocating a collective action against the oppressive system holding sway in the country, the priest said, “A caste system has emerged in our country. It has consolidated its hold and blunted the cutting edge of all institutions.’’
Kukah, who is known for his vitriolic preachment against bad governance, expressed concern about the regression under the Buhari regime, insisting that the nation was worse off than it was before the President took office.
‘’We keep asking questions in seminars, conferences and committees as to why we are unable to progress, but nothing ever happens. Why has progress eluded us?
‘’Who would have imagined, after listening to the campaign speeches ahead of the 2015 elections, the new President’s inaugural speech, that we will be so worse off than we were? Yet, it could get even worse if we do not pause and pause very seriously,’’ he warned.
Recalling his 2021 Easter message in which he drew attention to the urgent need for Nigerians to reclaim their glory which was slipping away, Kukah lamented that the notion of patriotism was becoming alien as the country was falling to the pressures of ethno-religious nationalism, noting that “before our eyes, a dubious jihadist culture has held our nation to ransom with the government simply looking away.’’
The cleric also responded to criticisms from the Presidency, arguing that they could not quarrel with the facts he expressed regarding the poverty in the country, security crisis, mounting debts, Nigeria’s declining global influence and the nation’s wobbling performance in sports.