Bishop Kukah says Nigeria has become a massive killing field
The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Matthew Kukah criticized President Muhammadu Buhari-led government saying the nation has become a massive killing field where terrorism is rewarded rather than being tackled.
The bishop in his Easter message titled “Nigeria: Before our Glory Departs” said victims of attacks are left traumatized while the government invests billions of naira in rehabilitating Boko Haram repentant members.
He said, “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.
Traumatized citizens are tortured daily by bandits. The nation has since become a massive killing field as both government and the governed look on helplessly.
“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?
Bishop Kukah also said “Sadly, human life is hemorrhaging so badly in Nigeria, but the greatest tragedy is the death of empathy from those in power.
He lamented that “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.
He asked: 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”
Bishop Kukah said the nation has not heard anything about a rehabilitation programme for the thousands of schoolchildren who had 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,” he added
Presidency says Bishop Kukah not speaking like a man of God
Responding via a statement, presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu said Kukah’s did not speak like a man of God in his Easter message.
He said “All citizens have their individual ideologies, even their own versions of the truth. But if you profess to be a man of God, as Father Mathew Hassan Kukah does, ideology should not stand in the way of facts and fairness,”
“Father Kukah has said some things that are inexplicable in his Easter message. 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 also faulted the bishop for saying Buhari is not concerned about those displaced because of the security crisis, citing the creation of the ministry of humanitarian affairs, disaster management, and social development as part of the president’s efforts in that regard.
“Some of the comments are no more than a sample of the unrestrained rhetoric Fr. Kukah trades in, which he often does in the guise of a homily,” the presidential spokesman said.
“We urge well-meaning citizens to continue to support the ongoing efforts by the administration to secure the country and move it forward.”