Buhari ‘Gentleman With Terribly Bad’ Record — Kukah Insists In Reply To Garba Shehu
Bishop Matthew Kukah of the Sokoto Catholic Diocese has hit back at Garba Shehu after the presidential spokesperson criticised the Easter message he delivered on Sunday.
Kukah appeared on Arise TV on Tuesday after Shehu accused him of putting aside the essence of Easter to spew hate on Buhari’s administration.
In the sermon, the cleric had accused President Muhammadu Buhari of destroying all aspects of life in Nigeria, saying “only corruption is alive and well” in the country.
“Our country has become one big emergency national hospital with full occupancy,” Kukah said.
Shehu had in his response said “Easter should be a time for renewal, and for hope” but that the cleric chose to use his sermon “purposefully to make dissensions and quarrels about the law. His accusatory list against the government revealed only his hatred for them.”
But speaking on Arise TV, Kukah explained that he has nothing against Buhari whom he described as a “gentleman” but that the president has done “a terribly bad job” as a leader.
“All those saying I attacked the President, I have never attacked his person. All I have spoken about is his inability to manage diversities effectively and efficiently. I have studied diversity as a subject and I know what I am talking about.
“Those who think these things are personal would see that I have never talked about his person or character; I believe he is a gentleman but as far as being the President is concerned, he has done a bad job, even his wife has also disagreed with his policies.
“So, those guys should not sit in their air-conditioned office drinking coffee and thinking everything is honky-donkey. Let them disagree with the text of my message.”
“Let me set the record straight, I delivered my sermon to my congregation and the message. The bearers of the message are directed primarily to the good people of Sokoto dioceses.
“The President knows that I have great respect for him and he is a gentleman, but he has done a terribly bad job as the President of Nigeria.
“There is nothing I am saying that is new; all the pastors who preached yesterday during the Easter service said the same thing. Tell me one thing about the message that I preached that you disagree with and let’s discuss.”
Referring to Shehu, the cleric said “For a Muslim to sit down and tell me what an Easter message should contain is something.
“Buhari himself knows that there is nothing personal in what I say. One thing the President has said that humbled me is that he told me, ‘Bishop Kukah, I know where you stand on any issue that has to do with Nigeria.’
“What connected me with Buhari and a lot of Muslims is not the Catholic Church, it is my public position on a lot of things. And I am not saying it so that you must agree with me. But Nigerians have been extraordinarily magnanimous because I have not had many people saying we disagree with you and I have not spoken because I know the issue. The primary beneficiary of what I say is me and I speak for myself. If you have any issues with me, let’s clarify the issue.”