The Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Matthew Kukah, has once again criticized the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari over the alarming security situation in Nigeria.
Kukah, who is a critic of the Buhari-led administration, in his easter message, described Nigeria as a “massive killing field, as both government and the governed look on helplessly.”
Reacting to the recent reported cases of violence, killings, among others criminal activities across the country, the Bishop berated President Buhari, saying he has not been proactive in addressing the current predicament rocking the nation.
Recall Kukah had in his 2020 Christmas message also criticized the Buhari-led administration, stressing that the country’s situation was worsening day by day.
He had also accused President Buhari of nepotism and bias for northerners in his political appointments, a comment which raised the eyebrows of many Islamic and Northern groups.
However, in his Easter message, Kukah once again bemoaned the worsening security situation in Nigeria.
According to Kukah, the security situation in Nigeria can be likened to the biblical story of Israel’s defeat to the Philistines during the time of Eli, a great high priest in Israel.
According to the Bible, Eli and his two sons Hophni and Phinehas died in the battle due to their disobedience to God.
Relating it with the Nigeria’s situation, Kukah stated that Nigeria is suffering because of the leader at the helms of affairs.
He also expressed concerns about the recent widespread insecurity that has not been adequately addressed.
In the message titled “Nigeria: Before our glory departs,” Kukah, also reacted to a recent report by United Nation’s on World Happiness, where Nigeria ranked 116th happiest country in the world.
According to him, the report reflects the current realities of Nigeria and its citizens.
He said, “we are one of the unhappiest nations in the world… Of course, being the poverty capital of the world comes with its rewards such as sorrow, misery, tears.”
The clergyman, however, urged all Christians across the country to embark on a serious prayer and intercession for the country, as regards the numerous situations rocking the country.
The message partly reads, “Taunted by Boko Haram, ravaged by bandits, kidnappers, armed robbers, and other merchants of death across the nation, there is collective fear as to whether Nigeria’s glory is about to depart! 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? The very survival of the nation is at stake.
The nation is pulling apart. Widespread serious insecurity for long unaddressed has left the sad and dangerous impressions that those who have assumed the duty and authority to secure the nation are either unable, or worse, unwilling to take up the responsibilities to their office. Patience is running out. Sadly, all of these warnings are still falling on deaf ears.
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. In reality, the truth needs neither a judge nor a witness.
The truth is its own judge and witness. Without the truth, as the old song says, all else is sinking sand!Recently, according to the World Happiness Report, we are one of the unhappiest nations in the world.
This is unacceptable but understandable. Our clay-footed fight against corruption has not moved the needle of transparency forward. Of course, being the poverty capital of the world comes with its rewards such as banditry, violence, death, sorrow, blood, poverty, misery, and tears. Our cup of sorrow is permanently full; hence the exponential rise in the frustration curve across the country. Mysteriously, the government is investing billions of naira in rehabilitating so-called Boko Haram repentant members and their other partners in crime in the belief that they want to turn a new leaf. These criminals have waged war against their country, murdered thousands of citizens, destroyed infrastructure and rendered entire families permanently displaced and dislocated. Why should rehabilitating the perpetrator be more important than bringing succour to the victims? When kidnapped or killed, victims and their families are left to their wits. They cry alone, bury their loved ones alone. And our government expects us to be patriotic? The victims of violence need empathy, which the dictionary defines as the ability to understand and share the feelings of the other.
A critical deficit of empathy on the side of the government 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. Left unaddressed, the traumatic effect of their horrors will haunt them for a long time. Tomorrow’s parents, military generals, top security men and women, governors, senators, and ministers will come from today’s pool of traumatised children. The security quandary is the greatest indictment of this government.
President Muhammadu Buhari, at his swearing-in as President of Nigeria, said: Boko Haram is a typical case of small fires causing large fires. Now, before his watch, the fires are consuming the nation, and in many instances, they indeed start small.
The rumblings over the wearing of a hijab in Kwara State suggest that we have not seen the end of individuals sacrificing national cohesion to feed their personal ambitions by starting small fires. Most politicians hardly think through the long-term effects of these pyrrhic victories of using religion. What started as a small fire with adoption of Sharia in Zamfara in 1999, spread across the northern states. Ordinary people broke into ecstatic joy. Today, what has become of the north? What are the lessons?”