Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Rev. Father Mathew Kukah, has said his criticism of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari was never personal.
According to him, the only problem he had with the former President was his inability to manage the country’s diversity.
Daily Trust reports that Father Kukah was always at loggerheads with the Buhari government and was one of the fiercest critics of the administration.
In fact Kukah in his December 2022 Christmas Message, the last to be delivered under the watch of Buhari, declared that the former President had made Nigeria more vulnerable and succeeded in splitting the country.
“Clearly, in almost every department and with all indicators, our nation has become a tale of two cities. We have wars between the rich and the poor, men and women, across generations, along party lines, social classes, religion, ethnicity and so on. The centre has given up in almost every department,” he wrote
Also, Buhari’s former Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, never spared a moment to fire back at Father Kukah. In fact Adesina once accused the Bishop of being angry with Buhari for not patronising him.
But on Wednesday, Kukah in an interview on Arise said he has no personal grudge against the former President.
He also said Adesina who was always defending him was merely doing his job and teased him to probably relocate to Daura where there’s a branch of Foursquare Church where he is a Pastor so that he can be closer to his “Godfather.”
When asked if he was missing his friend, Buhari who he was always criticising, he said, “Buhari has served his term. He also knew and I respect him for that, that there was nothing I was saying that was personal. I imagined poor Adesina and his team had a job to do and they needed to do that job even though there was nothing to say.
“I will respect and I hope that Pastor Adesina knows that there is a Foursquare Gospel Church in Daura, I believe that the President of Foursquare Gospel Church should send him there as a Pastor so that he is quite close to his Godfather.
“But having said that, I mean President Buhari had finished his term and he is gone and there is very little else to be said for and against. But everybody knew we had a job to do. There was nothing I said about President Buhari that was personal, that was disrespectful, I just felt he was doing thing that is, especially in the area of managing our diversity and look, I’m talking to Ministers now who served in that government, I cannot call names, I am shocked to hear the kind of things people are saying, those who served in that government, that is for another day.”
On six months of President Bola Tinubu in power, he stated while the six months might be too short to rate a sitting President, many expected him to hit the ground running having prepared for the race for over 20 years.
However he stated that the leadership selection structure “is so self-constraining”
“I am not making excuse for anybody, I am just saying the very fact that you had to rely on governors to give you names of Ministers and you rely on external agencies to be able to do things that ordinarily you who is composing the team needs to be able to do.”
“I mean a court decides who is going to come in at what time depending on the excuse that the person has. So, I totally agree with you that by now you would have thought, ‘okay, this is what we want to do, this is who can do it and this is how it needs to be done.”
However, he said the best solution is to continue to hold those in power responsible and they have no excuse not to perform.
“If you stand up to be elected and you are elected, you must be prepared to face the consequences of that election, that means we must constantly hold your feet to the fire. So that’s why I am saying institutions and instruments of engagement must be in full glass. But also we must help to clarify public policies by articulating the things that need to be done and where the country needs to be heading.”