My Problem With Buhari Is Not Personal – Bishop Kukah
The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Rev Father Matthew Hassan Kukah, has clarified insinuation that he had personal issues with President Muhammadu Buhari saying his concern has been about the president’s poor performance in security and economic areas.
The fiery clergy man spoke at St Barkitha Catholic Secretariat, Sokoto on Thursday.
While noting Buhari’s parochialism, he said the pervasive level of insecurity should be enough to be the concern of people of decent mind, lamenting particularly that Sokoto State “has become a house of horror with fear stalking our homes, highways, cities, hamlets and communities as bandits and insurgents maim lives at will.”
Sokoto has been on edge in the last six months with reported cases of bandits attacking communities and setting fire to passenger vehicles.
In one incident in October, over 50 people were pushed into a bus and set on fire while another similar incident led to the death of almost 70 people less than a month latter.
The culprits have not been caught.
Also of concern to Kukah is Buhari’s lopsided appointments, pointing out that such ethnically-inclined leadership decision has caused divisions and agitations in the country, also fueling insecurity.
While stressing that he cared less about which region produces the president, the bishop said his concern was good governance.
He noted that he had a cordial relationship with President Buhari, but maintained that it was sycophants that were trying to sow seed of discord between him and the administration.
“If I pick my phone and call Mr. President now he will pick. The other time he missed my calls he called me back and we greeted. But you know some people cry more than the bereaved”, he stated.
Noting that he will be clocking 70 years next year, he said if he could not be cowed when he was young, would he now be afraid of speaking the truth.
“In a developed country, when you speak the truth you will be celebrated. Look at how people are celebrating late Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu, but here people tag you as an enemy of government”.
He agreed with the President for refusing to assent to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill. He said Buhari was right, noting that the issue of direct and indirect primaries should be left for political parties to decide.
“For instance, if Manchester United are playing against Arsenal it is less for them to choose who makes up their team. What they are interested in is winning, you can’t tell them the mode of selection”, he said.
He advised the National Assembly to espounge that section of direct or indirect primaries for the president togive assent to the bill.
When asked how he intends to lift 50,000 Nigerians out of poverty, the cleric explained that he had mapped out empowerment program that will soon commence.
“I intended to buy tricycles to give to the transporters who cannot afford it, when l give you I will tell you to pay back the money so that we will give another person. It would be in a circular form.”
He said aside the empowerment program, there was also scholarship scheme ongoing by him.
He added that as a reverend father, he only has sisters and brothers as immediate family, stressing that he is being fed, sheltered and clothed by the church.
He added that any money he got from friends and individuals were meant for charity and empowerment.