The Bishop Kukah Epistle and The Truth About the Nigerian State

Posted by FN Editor | 3 years ago | 918 times

           By Achike Chude

Once again the truth has been spoken, and once again the truth has been refuted. Yet again the purveyor and proponent of the truth is being pummeled and castigated by the deniers of that same truth - the peddlers of falsehood. They would have us believe that Nigeria is a walking, working paradise free from the socio-economic contradictions of our times.
It is not falsehood to say that Nigeria has almost always been badly run, right from independence by a group of ill-bred, ill-motivated elites hell bent on lining their pockets from our commonwealth and national patrimony. This is why the fruits of their misgovernance has been devastating to us all; a prostrate economy, a frustrated citizenry, unbridled corruption and a populace that is fleeing daily from a country that is on the brink of collapse.

In the course of governance in Nigeria, the leaderships of many of the past ruling governments, populated by these groups of elites have always had the tendency, to pander to some level of parochial sentiments such as ethnic, geo-political, and religious proclivities. But there was always a bar that they could not go beyond, a minimum level they could not cross for fear of endangering the Nigerian political space. Not even the military with its centralized, no-question-asked command structure could do it. Thus, it was possible to have an Igbo and Christian military officer as military administrator of Kano or Sokoto States, the heartlands of Islam and the north. By the same token, the military could send Muslim and northern military administrators to Anambra or Imo states that were majorly Christian states as well as to Lagos or any other southern states. Officers from the south-south and middle belt states also benefited from these exercises that showcased the cross-cultural affinities and relationships we have with one another. This is in spite of the military’s well-known inadequacies and our obvious fault lines as a people and country.

That Nigeria is more divided today than at any time in the life of the country, save for the period leading to the civil war years, is no longer a matter of debate. We are so far off from the 1993 national elections in which the then Catholic Archbishop Anthony Olubunmi Okojie of Lagos led Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) wholeheartedly endorsed a Muslim-Muslim ticket for president and vice-president of Nigeria. That Nigeria is long gone. Twenty-one years of the so-called unbroken democracy has widened the fault lines and differences in our country. To maintain their stranglehold over our people, the politicians have often resorted to playing deeply divisive ethnic, geo-political and religious politics. No corner of this country, no geo-political zone has been spared of this rabid brand of politics that seeks to destroy rather than build, to wound, rather than heal. 
Since the Catholic Archbishop of Sokoto diocese, Hassan Kukah made his Christmas day intervention on the state of the nation by calling out the obvious failures of this administration, different people have taken differing positions. As usual, the government has mobilized its propaganda machinery to go on the offensive against Hassan Kukah. Part of that offensive is to as usual, deny the obvious truth of the nepotism of a government in a multi-ethnic/multi religious country like Nigeria in which about 95% of the country’s security architecture at the behest of the president, is in the hands of an ethnic group with a particular religious coloration. Appointments into various positions in the country have also followed the same pattern. Surely, the Nigeria we all look forward to, the Nigeria we all dream about is one in which neither Christians nor Muslims nor Animists will dominate.

 Nothing endangers family harmony in the home than that of parents that show preference to some children over others. Nothing endangers a nation more than a president that shows naked partisanship in favor of a section of the country over others. It eventually breeds distrust, envy, ill will, dangerous maneuverings, and eventually, conflict if not managed properly. Inclusivity must be the cardinal principle of government. That the Muhammadu Buhari administration has perfected the art and acts of nepotism is obvious to those with consciences - those who see Nigeria as belonging to all of us, Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo, middle belters, south southerners, majority tribes and minority tribes. 
People who know the cleric from the Sokoto diocese, know that Hassan Kukah’s credential as an authentic Nigerian is without question and his commitment to the good ordering of Nigeria, unassailable.

 The Kukah of today is not much different from the Kukah that spoke out against military. dictatorship. He has never been known to bow to the false principles of mindless, self-centered compromises. Besides, he has said nothing that other Nigerians have not said in different words. Recently, the Senator representing Katsina North in President Muhammadu Buhari’s home state, Ahmad Babba Kaita declared on the floor of the Senate that;

“President Buhari had failed to produce any result so far and that if urgent steps were not taken, insurgents might overrun the country.” 
Bishop Kukah is being accused of encouraging a coup in the country for speaking the truth. Should we then accuse Senator Babba Kaita of encouraging the insurgents to overrun Nigeria? It is interesting to note that the government spokespersons did not accuse Kaita of subversion. 

Not too long ago, Second Republic politician, Dr Junaid Muhammed, said;

“As long as President Muhammed Buhari and the APC are in power, Nigeria will never know peace.” 
He continued; 
“He (the president) has failed woefully. Because of the hypocritical nature of Nigeria, tribal, sectional, and religious politics, everybody is pretending so that Buhari is seen to be doing something. He is doing nothing. He cannot do anything and any attempt to prolong his tenure will only leave Nigeria into more and more nightmare…… His government is nothing but misgovernment, corruption and NEPOTISM.”
It is not known if this call by Dr Junaid Muhammed received the kind of organized opprobrium that the Hassan Kukah statement is currently receiving. And it is coming after the declaration by the Northern Elders asking the president to resign. 

The Guardian Newspaper has also written well publicized articles of the president’s predilection for exclusionary politics. 
The Punch editorial of November 23rd 2020 is equally scathing of what it sees as the president’s dangerous sectional politics;

“….It is a supreme irony that Buhari who preaches peace and non-negotiation epitomizes the dysfunction, disunity and futility of this ghastly contraption. He runs the most divisive, most sectional and most exclusionary government in Nigeria’s history. He does not believe in the unity he preaches…” 

The truth and irrefutability of Bishop Hassan Kukah’s claims are clear to all Nigerian patriots and lovers of our country. In spite of the dangers of the moment; the insecurity, economic adversity, out-of-the-world corruption, and the unbridled misgovernance going on, opportunities still abound (though closing rapidly) to turn things around. Truth about our nation and political leadership has become more important to Nigeria now than at any other time. This truth must be used as an instrument of change, to confront the purveyors of falsehood who have almost succeeded in bringing our great country to her knees. Nigeria needs more Hassan Kukahs from the north, south, east and west. Kudos to the man from the Sokoto diocese. It shall be well with our long-suffering country.

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