By Levinus Nwabughiogu-Abuja
A member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Teejay Yusuf has said that the ongoing criticisms and verbal attacks against Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah were a deliberate attempt to ignore the genuine issued raised in his Christmas message to the country.
It will be recalled that in the Christmas message, the Bishop of Roman Catholic of Sokoto Diocese had lamented the endless woes, which he said had befallen the country.
The message was to meet stern resistance and condemnation from the government and members of different groups such as MURIC and the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum.
But in a statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday, Hon. Yusuf who represents Kabba-Bunu/Ijumu Federal Constituency of Kogi State in the House said that “needless attacks from the Federal Government and its bands of sycophants from the North and other parts of the country reflect untold hypocrisy and double standards.”
He noted that many of those attacking Bishop Kukah has extended family members who are facing the stark realities of current waves of insecurity, unemployment and poverty that is far much worse than what obtained 6 years ago.
“Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah’s decision to speak truth to power was applauded during the Goodluck Jonathan era but is now being mischievously misinterpreted as a call for insurrection.
“It is even more interesting when the minister with the least level of credibility in the entire Federal Cabinet speaks against the expression of such truthful criticism about grave national issues at Christmas period.
“Just this Monday, we read a news report about four different attacks carried out by bandits in Safana and Sabuwa local government areas of Mr President’s Katsina State whereby a newly-wedded couple and more than eight persons were abducted with several villagers nursing gunshot wounds,” he said.
While stating that criticism was an essential part of democracy, Yusuf added that those who prefer fawning sycophants to the hard truths from Bishop Kukah were very poor students of history who were indirectly sabotaging President Buhari and Nigeria’s democracy.
He said “In the January 6, 1984 letter from the Head of the Federal Military Government, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari to then British Prime Minister, Mrs Margaret Thatcher, he justified the treasonable coup plot that overthrew the democratically-elected Shehu Shagari administration on the basis of failure to actualize citizens’ optimistic expectations.
“Specifically, the letter highlighted corruption in the public service, ‘incompetence in the management of national resource led the nation to accumulate huge internal and external debts’, loss of jobs, inflation and insecurity “whereby hired assassins and marauders were openly beginning to practice their trade in broad daylight”.
“Today, contrary to the tripodal utopian promise of “economy, security and anti-corruption” made by the APC Federal Government, all the ills that plagued the Shagari government have become manifestly deepened in dangerous dimensions under the present APC Federal Government.
“Nevertheless, in spite of necessary criticisms and unavoidable political differences, we must all make it clear that whether it is Buhari or any future President from East, West, North or South, Nigerian citizens will resolutely resist any coup agenda by any military adventurer and their anarchist civilian cohorts”.
The federal lawmaker further said that Kukah’s critics easily missed the point without realising that genuine lovers of truth and justice would rise to support the cleric against those making futile efforts to discredit his truthful message.
“Bishop Kukah spoke against currently prevalent nepotism as well as the fearsome indicators of a failed state when he raised issues of ‘endless bloodletting, a collapsing economy, social anomie, domestic and community violence, kidnappings, armed robberies”, Yusuf said.