Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah, Bishop of the Catholic Dioses of Sokoto, a vocal critic of the Buhari administration, while delivering his Easter message titled: ‘Nigeria: Before our glory departs,’ noted that Nigeria was drifting irreversibly into a dark tunnel by the day while things are falling apart with unnerving rapidity because those who govern have only a pact to protect their interests.
It would be recalled that in his Christmas message, which drew the ire of several groups of the president’s supporters, Kukah had said President Buhari is sacrificing the dreams of Nigerians on the altar of nepotism by allegedly pursuing the interests of his friends and family in northern Nigeria. “Nigeria is a rudderless country where the citizens travel in a boat devoid of captain or crew and without any maps and destination in sight,” he wrote in his Christmas message, titled, ‘A Nation in Search of Vindication.’
Sunday’s homily was the latest in the censure of the current administration. According to him, Nigeria has since become a massive killing field, as both government and the governed look on helplessly.
The cleric noted that the country is being haunted by Boko Haram, ravaged by bandits, kidnappers, armed robbers, and other merchants of death across the nation and there is collective fear as to whether Nigeria’s glory is about to depart.
He said: “Retired military and intelligence officers lament over what has become of their glorious profession as they watch the humiliation of our military personnel. Traumatised citizens are tortured daily by bandits. A thick and suffocating cloud of desperation, despondency, desolation, gloom, and misery hangs in the hot air.
We have no message and have no idea how long this will last. Our people seek solace and protection, but frustration and darkness threaten to drown them. Is their government on AWOL?”
Kukah stated that when government faces legitimacy crises, they fall back on serving the sour broth of propaganda, half-truths, and outright lies. “They manufacture consent by creating imaginary enemies, setting citizens against one another by deploying religion, ethnicity, region, and other platforms while appealing to the base emotions of patriotism. We forget the reality that without truth, the throne of power often turns into a cage, and the occupant is turned into a prisoner.
“It is sad that human life was haemorrhaging so badly in the country and the greatest tragedy is the death of empathy from those in power, which makes healing almost impossible for the victims. We have not heard anything about a rehabilitation programme for the thousands of schoolchildren who have been victims of abduction. We seem to assume that their return to their schools is sufficient.”
The clergyman concluded that as Nigeria’s troubles are growing by the day, the citizens should intensify their prayers. “Our hands must remain stretched out in supplication.”
But on the contrary, the Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has urged Nigerians to have great hope that things are going to get better for the country despite the ongoing challenges. He stated this yesterday during a brief chat with journalists after the Easter Sunday service at the Aso Villa Chapel.
“I just want to thank God for our nation, and pray that our nation will experience the grace and mercy of God in so many different ways that we are expecting His grace and mercy. All will be well in Jesus’ name,” the Vice President said.
He said, “God’s plan for humanity was that Christ will die and will resurrect. The resurrection is evidence of the fact that those who believe would be saved eternally and would live eternal joy and peace with the Almighty. And that promise is open to every single person.
Reacting, the president’s spokesman, Garba Shehu, said: “All citizens have their individual ideologies, even their own versions of truth. But if you profess to being a man of God, as Father Mathew Hassan Kukah does, ideology should not stand in the way of facts and fairness.
Father Kukah has said some things that are inexplicable in his Easter massage.
But, in saying that the Boko Haram terrorism is worse than it was in 2015, he did not speak like a man of God. Kukah should go to Borno or Adamawa to ask the citizens there the difference between 2014 and 2021.