The coalition of Nigerian Muslim Professionals has asked those vilifying the Bishop of Sokoto Catholic Archdiocese, Matthew Kukah for speaking against the current administration to desist from actions that could deplete the peace of the country.
The coalition noted that the country will be a better place if there were two or three persons like Kukah.
It tasked President Muhammadu Buhari to take Kukah’s message as a wake-up call to adjust for good of the country.
A statement signed by the group’s National Coordinator, Prof. Mohammed Inuwa, noted that Buhari may have meant well for the country but faulted the President in some actions taken by his administration which it said was not promoting unity.
The Muslim coalition condemned attacks trailing Kukah’s Christmas Day Message, where he bemoaned the state of the nation, warning that unless leaders sit up, Nigeria was heading towards a failed state.
Kukah had also accused President Buhari of piloting Nigeria into darkness in the message titled: “A Nation in Search of Vindication.”
The Bishop had emphasised the worsening state of insecurity in the country and berated the current administration of glaringly abandoning the nation’s extant federal character principles and rather promoting nepotism with impunity.
The development has been drawing criticisms from the President’s friends and political associates.
The Coalition said instead of vilifying the cleric, it would be to the President’s best interests to take Bishop’s message as a wake-up call to adjust for the good of Nigeria
It noted that promoting the interest of one region against others is not what a good leader is known for, adding that in as much as it loves the president, the coalition will want him to leave a legacy of a united Nigeria.
However, the coalition commended Kukah for what they described as “his boldness to speak truth to power”, faulting those vilifying him.
The Nigerian Muslim Professionals took a swipe at those trolling the Bishop, saying they were doing it for their pecuniary gains and not the interest of the country.
It warned against twisting the message to mean the Bishop endorses coup, saying contrary to those promoting that insinuation, the revered Bishop was too learned to support such ignoble path to installing leadership, saying Nigerians with a conscience would not fall to the antics of those twisting the Bishop’s message for selfish reasons.
The group said having followed Bishop Kukah’s activities and preachings since the days of the military, it was convinced that not too many Nigerians took the interest of the country at heart like Bishop Kukah.
“Even during the military era where people dreaded the powers that be at the time, Bishop Kukah, who was then a Catholic priest spoke truth to those at the helm of affairs without fear or favour. He has shown through his actions all the years that he is a true son of Nigeria in particular and Africa in general.
“We should support him for being bold enough to come out to speak what many Nigerians know is the truth but afraid to speak out for fear of the leadership.
“While we must admit that President Muhammad Buhari means well for the nation, we must say that most people in his government are grossly incompetent and don’t deserve to stay around power even in an uncivilized space,” the statement said.
The group said it would not shy away from the truth even though most of the president’s actions drawing criticisms were in favour of its region.
It flayed the glaring marginalisation of the Igbos in every facet of national life, saying the development was not promoting national cohesion which nationalists that laid down their lives for the country’s independence wanted.
“There’s nothing wrong with Bishop Kukah’s statement in the actual sense. Some regions particularly the South East has been marginalized in successive governments and the administration of President Muhammad Buhari came and amplified it with the worst,” it said in the statement.
It described those attacking Kukah as faceless individuals who were being promoted by selfish people in leadership to silence the truth.
The statement added: “We strongly condemn the wrong approach taken to respond to a message by a patriotic Nigerian by these incompetent people working to derail the president’s agenda.
“It is completely wrong to be attacking Bishop Kukah by some faceless sponsored groups. Bishop Kukah did not in any way call for a coup, he is too learned to do that.
“We stand completely with Bishop Kukah; this government must be fair to all Nigerians irrespective of tribe and religion.”
- The Nation