Matthew Kukah, Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, has told the United States Congress Commission that the government of President Muhammadu Buhari is helpless.
Kukah, who addressed the congress over the rising insecurity in the country, said the current administration has been unable to tackle the security challenges like it promised to do before taking power in 2015.
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The fight against insecurity was one of the major campaign promises of Buhari in the build up to the 2015 elections.
During his virtual presentation to the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission in Washington, DC, Kukah said Nigerians were yet to see any tangible move towards tackling insecurity.
He also accused Buhari of deliberately appointing more people of his ethnicity and faith into political offices.
“The North, even the whole country, is invaded by armed bandits, kidnappers etc, who attack communities at will. The fact that the government seems to be either helpless or uninterested in dealing decisively with these people has added more confusion.
“The contradiction here is that the President has blatantly pursued nepotistic agenda and policies that show very clearly his preference for men and women of his faith.
“For the first time in Nigeria, the people heading the three arms of government – President, Senate President, Speaker and Chief Justice – are all Muslims. These are all fine gentlemen, but that is not the point. The level of rivalry between Christians and Muslims has worsened. This kind of situation has never happened before.
“The story of Leah Sharibu suggests very clearly that there is, in many instances, a relationship between the conditions in which people find themselves and their faith.
“In 2020, some of our priests in the North were killed. The extremists kidnapped our children and forcefully converted them to Muslims. What is significant here is that we are in a democracy; with weak structures and institutions. These are existential issues. So, we require practical assistance that can help us and our children,” he said.
The presidency is yet to officially react to Kukah’s latest comments.
While reacting to Kukah’s critical comments in April, Malam Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, had accused the bishop of playing partisan politics.
Back then, Kukah had said the Boko Haram crisis had worsened under Buhari.
“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,” Shehu had said.