“I’ve paid my dues” | Bishop Kukah and the presidency’s exchange continues

The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Matthew Hassan Kukah, has said President Muhammadu Buhari’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina and his Senior Special Assistant, Garba Shehu, only know how to do ‘poor quality writings’ and not address issues at hand.

This came after the duo’s recent attack on the clergyman following his Easter Homily to highlight the government’s shortcomings.

Background

Bishop Kukah criticised President Buhari over insecurity, corruption and division along ethnic fault lines in Nigeria, saying the president has destroyed every aspect of life in Nigeria but has allowed corruption to thrive and grow.

“Our individual hearts are broken. Our family dreams are broken. Homes are broken. Churches, mosques, and infrastructure are broken. Our educational system is broken. Our children’s lives and future are broken. Our politics is broken. Our economy is broken. Our energy system is broken. Our security system is broken. Our roads and rails are broken. Only corruption is alive and well,” he said.

In response, Adesina wrote a cryptic tweet saying the same people who divided Nigeria with their “mouths, with evil unguarded speaking, are the ones now accusing President Buhari.”

“From his pulpit, he devoted his Easter message not to Christ’s death and rebirth so Man might be saved – but to damning the government in the most un-Christian terms,” Garba Shehu in response.

“Yet Bishop Kukah used his sermon purposefully to make dissensions and quarrels about the law. His accusatory list against the government revealed only his hatred for them,” he added.

Bishop Kukah on Arise TV

Answering questions in a national television interview Tuesday morning, Bishop Kukah said, “I don’t know whether any of them has the ability or the capacity to speak about guilt or no guilt.”

“But let me first of all set that records straight. I delivered my sermon to my congregation in the cathedral. So, the bearer of the message are primarily the good people of the diocese of Sokoto.

“Of course, I am not unaware of the state of mind of my two friends, Femi Adesina and Garba Shehu, when it comes to talking about Bishop Kukah. They seem to suspend reason and go into overdrive.

“Unless of course Garba Shehu has plans to convert to Christianity or he is a closet Christian or he is an anonymous Christian, I appreciate the fact that when it comes to talking, he has not quoted the Holy Quran. All he does is end up with some convoluted interpretations of the Bible and embarrassing in their contexts.

“And I’m surprised that Femi Adesina who I believe is a reverend of the sort in the Foursquare Gospel Church, I’m surprised that he’s unable to help his friend who they sat together.

“But let me simply say that I have made an offer to them and still make the offer that they can choose the venue, choose the time and just let me know. I would like to sit down with the three of them beginning with their honourable minister and both of them. Let us sit down together and talk about Nigeria. I’m ready, I will pay my way, I still repeat that offer to them.

“These are the only spokesmen that have spent a lot of time buying, photocopying paper and simply typing away texts. They have been involved in all kinds of writing of the poorest quality, never talking about the issues.

“So, the first thing is to show you their inefficiency. It is that they are used to writing statements as opposed to talking to Nigerians about policies.

“What this tells you is that 99.99% of what they write implies second-guessing what the president’s mind is. They have no contact with the president, they have no contact with government policies and all they are doing is writing on behalf of the president.

“There is no where in the world where the job of this nature is being done an has been done so poorly.”

While noting that he has served under different governments, including in the Oputa Panel and getting both former President Goodluck Jonathan and then Buhari to sign a peace accord over the 2015 elections, he saidd: “The reason I am saying so, I’m just saying that I’m no stranger to the process we are in.

“While we’re doing all these things, Femi Adesina was being paid salary by Orji Kalu and he was doing a good job in the Sun as a journalist. Garba Shehu was working for Atiku. Lai Mohammed was working for Tinubu. So, I think everybody should be able to answer his father’s name.

“And I can say that the reason why I am emotional and passionate about the things of this country and about where we are today, I have paid my dues. Let each and every of my critic tell me where they were at the most critical moment in Nigeria’s history.

“It’s not that now people’s bank accounts are swollen that they an probably try to preach gospel to us that they themselves don’t believe.”

Following the critical homily, Shehu, had in a statement on Monday night, called on Bishop Kukah to leave the president alone or resign and join politics.

We will all like to watch that sit down between Bishop Kukah and the President’s media aides, including the Minister of Information but will it happen?

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