MATTHEW Hassan Kukah, Bishop of Sokoto Catholic Diocese, has reacted to the furore that followed his statement on how President Muhammadu Buhari is handling the affairs of the nation during in his Christmas message to his teeming congregation in Sokoto.
Kukah had in his message accused President Buhari of turning nepotism into a state policy, noting that there could have been a coup if a non-northern muslim president had done a fraction of what the president is doing.
He further accused the president of promoting and institutionalizing a northern hegemony that has reduced others in public life to second-class status.
“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?
“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.
“There would have been a military coup a long time ago or we would have been at war. The President may have concluded that Christians will do nothing and will live with these actions,” Kukah had added.
While Lai Mohammed, Nigeria’s minister of communication and culture; Lauretta Onochie, the president’s special assistant, social media, the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) and Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), had knocked Kukah for his statement and accused of trying to instigate a forceful regime change, the Catholic Church in Nigeria, the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF) and the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) have defended him.
However, in a press briefing with newsmen on Monday, the cleric urged Nigerians to get the accurate statement rather than, relying on different lies being peddled about in his name.
Kukah, who stated that his statement was based on his love for the country with no political or ulterior motive, added that his statement is a reflection of every Nigerian.
He stressed that it was sad that most Nigerians always shift their focus from what he called the larger picture to reading meanings into whatever anyone calling the president to account said.
“I am saddened and pained that my critics never see that many innocent lives are being lost on daily basis. The loss of lives in the last ten years, even before the advent of this administration, calls for concern,” he said.
“What I said, was my opinion based on evidence and what has happened in Nigeria and if you looked into the records, there are pieces of evidence that justify that statement and, if anyone thinks I am wrong, they should come out with a superior position.
“It is unfair and unjust imagination of those who said I called for a coup while I am expressing my personal view about Nigeria,” he noted.
He also maintained his stand that there was no way any non-Northern Muslim President could have done a fraction of what President Buhari had done by his nepotism and gotten away with it.