The Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Matthew Kukah, has berated the Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government over manifest insecurity in the country.
Kukah whose sermons and messages are usually critical of the current All Progressives Congress (APC) led administration, delivered the new criticisms in his Easter message to Nigerians.
In the message titled “Nigeria: Before our glory departs,” he reflects on the current realities of the country and its citizens, saying the development reminded him of Israel’s situation that led to the death of Eli, the great high priest of Israel.
Quoting copiously from the Bible, he liken the situation to Israel’s defeat in the hands of the Philistines led to the death of 30,000 soldiers.
“The two sons of the 98-year-old priest, Hophni and Phinehas, died in the battle. Eli’s two sons had foolishly carried the Ark of the Lord into the battlefield for protection, only for it to become a trophy for the victorious Philistines.
“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. Traumatised citizens are tortured daily by bandits.”
He said Nigeria has become a “massive killing field, as both government and the governed look on helplessly.
The religious leader also recalled the statement of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria which addressed similar concerns.
“Part of the statement read: The very survival of the nation is at stake. The nation is pulling apart. Widespread serious insecurity for long unaddressed has left the sad and dangerous impressions that those who have assumed the duty and authority to secure the nation are either unable, or worse, unwilling to take up the responsibilities to their office. Patience is running out. Sadly, all of these warnings are still falling on deaf ears.”
Citing some episodes from the trial of Jesus by Pilate, he said when governments face legitimacy crises, they fall back on serving the populace propaganda, half-truths, and outright lies.
“They manufacture consent by creating imaginary enemies, setting citizens against one another by deploying religion, ethnicity, region, and other platforms while appealing to the base emotions of patriotism. We forget the reality that without truth, the throne of power often turns into a cage, and the occupant is turned into a prisoner. In reality, the truth needs neither a judge nor a witness. The truth is its own judge and witness. Without the truth, as the old song says, all else is sinking sand!
“Recently, according to the World Happiness Report, we are one of the unhappiest nations in the world. This is unacceptable but understandable. Our clay-footed fight against corruption has not moved the needle of transparency forward. Of course, being the poverty capital of the world comes with its rewards such as banditry, violence, death, sorrow, blood, poverty, misery, and tears. Our cup of sorrow is permanently full; hence the exponential rise in the frustration curve across the country.”
Mr Kukah also said that human life is haemorrhaging in Nigeria.These criminals have waged war against their country, murdered thousands of citizens, destroyed infrastructure and rendered entire families permanently displaced and dislocated. 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. We have not heard anything about a rehabilitation programme for the thousands of schoolchildren who have been victims of abduction.
He also recalled Buhari’s statement at his swearing-in on May 29, 2015, highlighting the failure to meet up with expectations.
“President Muhammadu Buhari, at his swearing-in as President of Nigeria, said: Boko Haram is a typical case of small fires causing large fires.
The clergyman concluded that as Nigeria’s troubles are growing by the day, the citizens should intensify their prayers.