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Para-Mallam said the call by Bishop Kukah should be a cause for soul searching and change of approach to governance rather than “the futile and infantile invectives and vituperations it is receiving from official quarters and their paid pipers.”
He said instead of listening and appreciating the Bishop, and others for having the courage to say the truth, the Presidents’ spokespersons are crying wolf and accusing Kukah of instigating a coup and diving the nation by setting the South against the North.
“There was no place in the homily where Kukah called for a violent overthrow of the State as stated by the Minister of Information and Culture.
“I noticed that this is the same convoluted and unfounded line of argument being advanced by MURIC and others.
“What is government trying to spin along with their spin merchants? Groups like MURIC and others attempting to speak in defense of government against Kukah are missing the fine points on the issues he sought to draw both ours and government’s attention to.”
He called on Bishop Kukah and other religious leaders to continue with the responsibility of speaking truth to power stressing that saving Nigeria should be a collective priority as Nigerians not its leaders are the true owners of the country.
“This government needs not respond negatively to what Nigerians say which they don’t agree with.
“Governments do not always have the monopoly of being the only ones who know everything about Nigeria and how to fix it?
“Government’s performance in governance shows a major need to improve in their primary responsibility of protecting lives and properties,” he said.
The religious cleric added that many Nigerians had confidence in President Muhammadu Buhari when he was voted into power in 2015 and had believed things will change for the better but stressed that “the facts on ground have wiped such confidence away.
He described as unfortunate that “schools, markets, major roads and places of worship no longer feel safe and urged the government to recalibrate and commit more to protecting lives and property of all Nigerians.
“I Didn’t Call For A Military Coup”
Kukah had denied calling for a military coup in the country in his Christmas massage that has generated a lot of controversy.
He explained that “if you call for a coup, it means it is something that has not happened yet. It is something that will happen in the future.
” So if I call for it, it means it is not ready.
“So it is unfair for any journalist or newspapers to say that I call for a military coup,” he said.
The Federal Government, through the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed had described Bishop Kukah’s Christmas message as one that could trigger hatred and disinity which may lead to unintended consequences.
Mohammed in a statement through Mr. Segun Adeyemi, Special Assistant to the President (Media), Office of the Minister of Information and Culture said while religious leaders had the responsibility to speak truth to power, “such truth must not come wrapped in anger, hatred, disunity and religious disharmony.
Also, a group, Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) described Bishop Kukah’s statement as “unguarded and open incitement to military coup and insurrection against the democratically elected government of Muhammadu Buhari.”
The group also called on the Federal Government to place Kukah on special watchlist “for this open attempt to set the South against the North in order to destabilize our country and further complicate matters.”