2015 Promises: Kukah Attacks Buhari, Says He’ll Be Leaving Nigerians In Pain

Fearless Bishop Kukah (right) with Nigeria’s President whom the Bishop accused of nepotism

By NewsBits

The Peoples Democratic Party and the All Progressives Congress on Sunday clashed over allegations by the Bishop of Sokoto Catholic Diocese, Matthew Hassan Kukah, that President Muhammadu Buhari failed to fulfil his 2015 electoral promises.

While the PDP backed the cleric, saying his assessment of Buhari’s regime was on point, the APC berated the Christian leader’s statement as ungodly and biased. In his Christmas message at St. Mary Catholic Church, Sokoto, titled, ‘Let us turn a new leaf,’ on Sunday, Kukah said Buhari would be leaving office in good health, noting, however, that Nigerians were in pain on account of his failure to fulfil his promises to fix the country.

Kukha, 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 priest, however, commended the President’s efforts in the area of infrastructure, where he acknowledged there has been a measurable improvement in the landscape, especially in the area of roads.

Speaking against the backdrop of Buhari’s several trips to a United Kingdom hospital for medical treatment, the cleric noted, ‘’I speak for myself and Nigerians when I say, we thank God that He mercifully restored you to good health.

‘’We know that you are healthier now than you were before. We can see it in the spring in your steps, the thousands of miles you have continued to cover as you travel abroad. May God give you more years of good health.

‘’However, I also wish that millions of our citizens had a chance to enjoy just a fraction of your own health by a measurable improvement in the quality of health care in our country. 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 all before us all.’’

School Children

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.’’

Mounting Debts

The Christian leader 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 dying sports sector.

In almost every department and with all indicators, Kukah affirmed that the country has become a tale of two cities with a raging war between the rich and the poor, men and women, across generations, along party lines, social classes, religion, ethnicity and so on.

He added, ‘’Who will quarrel with the fact that our glory has departed as a country? Where is our voice respected today even within the African continent which looks up to us for leadership? Unless we count lining up behind others for handshakes across Europe and America as achievements, we will be remiss not to worry about our declining global influence.

‘’Is being the poverty capital of the world and one of the most violent states in the world an achievement? And our suffocating internal and international debts? And you do not think our glory has departed?

‘’We failed to qualify for the World Cup, our Falcons lost their title, our seemingly invincible champions, Anthony Joshua, Kamuru Usman and Israel Adesanya have all lost their titles. Our citadels of learning lie prostrate. When will glory return to us?’’

Fixing the country, he stressed, required courage, honesty, truth, humility, trust, and firm commitment, adding that lies and blackmail are no substitute.

He appealed to all Nigerians who have been given custody of the public trust and commonwealth to rise to the duties for which they have been so handsomely rewarded.

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