By Usman Adams |
It is increasingly becoming clear that there are some people in this country who believe they can write or say anything about the affairs of the nation without the fear of any reproach or challenges from any quarters.
Included in this group, are the likes of Bishop Hassan Mathew Kukah the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto and former President Olusegun Aremu Obasanjo.
In his recent speech to mark the 2020 Christmas celebration, Bishop Kukah quoted the Bible so copiously to drive home his point. In addition, his speech dwelt largely on some of the negative happenings in our country which suggested that the country is headed for doom.
Nigerians are also surprised that each time Bishop Kukah speaks about President Muhammadu Buhari, the idea of a coup is always mentioned.
Many independent and fair-minded Nigerians are of the opinion that Bishop Kukah, being a man of God and speaking from the pulpit should restrict himself to winning souls for God.
His statement that there would have since been a coup or war if a non ‘Northern Muslim President’ had done a fraction of what President Buhari has done by his nepotism and gotten away with it is quite despicable.
For example the numerous problems which President Muhammadu Buhari has been battling since his assumption of office in 2015 cannot be repeated too often. Some of these problems are insurgency, corruption, bad economy and decayed infrastructure.
For example, President Muhammadu Buhari would not contemplate the idea of ordering troops to massacre unarmed civilians at Odei in Bayelsa and the bombardment of about four villages including Zaki–Biam in Tiv land which resulted in the death estimated at between 100 and 2000 civilians during the Obasanjo government without any uproar been raised by Amnesty International and the International Criminal Court when Nigerian troops are merely fighting to repel the Boko Haram and other insurgents from the land.
In the recent ENDSARS# protests, over 37 policemen were killed all over the country, 196 policemen were injured, 164 police vehicle were destroyed and 134 police stations burnt down with 57 civilians dead, 269 private/corporate facilities burnt/vandalised/looted 243 government facilities burnt/looted/vandalised and 81 government warehouses looted.
The above facts were conveniently left out of Bishop Kukah’s Christmas message.
Some independent-minded Nigerians would want to know where and when the Nigerian youths met as a homogenous and atomised group to discuss their plight and took a decision to commence the October 2020 protest whose five point demand kept on multiplying as the protests lasted.
The story of O.J Simpson a black American who the police prosecutor alleged to have murdered his estranged wife is likened to what happened on October 20th 2020 at Lekki when the supposedly vital information provided by the chief prosecutor proved to be a concocted one.
In an effort to mislead the jury the chief prosecutor presented freshly drenched apparel to the jury when the supposed incident took place several weeks earlier. A private investigator discovered the police had manufactured the evidence.
It was a chemical impossibility for the garment to have retained a freshly soaked blood after several days of the incident and that was how the case of O.J Simpson was dismissed by the jury.
In the case of the alleged Lekki massacre, Information minister Lai Mohammed must be right when he said it was a massacre without bodies and also when it was discovered that when the investigators got to the scene it was evident that there was no blood stains anywhere within the vicinity and there had been no rainfall to have washed off the blood stains before investigators got there.
An American Nobel Prize winner for Literature, Ernest Hemingway, once wrote that “a man can only write as he truly feels”. It is therefore safe to say that Bishop Kukah may have been expressing his feelings not necessarily shared by all.
A Nigerian literary rising star Chimamanda Adichie talked of the danger of a single story and the German Chancellor Otto Von Bismarck talks of being an honest broker.
The question that may be asked is how would other people who are not Christians and who do not share some of his opinions view the totality of his speech.
Ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo is regarded as a close friend of the Bishop; in that case they are ‘tweedle dee and tweedle dum’ to borrow a phrase from a foreign journalist and their views on national affairs have always converged.
Bishop Kukah’s Christmas message can be regarded as one coming from someone who is not an honest broker and also falls into the category of Chimamanda’s danger of a single story as no mention was made of some of the good things and transformations that are taking place in the last six years of the Buhari administration.
This country belongs to all of us not only for Muslims, not only for Christians because there are also those who do not believe in both religions.
The Chinese, Russians, Indians have their religions different from Islam and Christianity and the revered Nelson Mandela was never seen attending any church or mosque in his life.
Nigeria is a secular state and no individual or group of people should think their religion is better than others and the words of Sheikh Muhammad Nurudeen Lemu, during former President Goodluck Jonathan’s confab captures this essence to wit “one tendency for people who claim to follow religion is to slide into the position of believing that we are better than the others; we overestimate our virtues and underestimate the virtues in others; the tendency for us to become spiritually arrogant; to forget that others are people like us”.
It is in the above context that Nigerians should be circumspect about what they say or do about religion because it is capable of evoking emotions which could lead to unforeseen consequences.
– Adams is a public affairs analyst