State of Nation : Kukah fires back, challenges Adesina, Garba, others to national debate

The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Most Rev. Matthew Hassan Kukah has launched scathing riposte at Femi Adesina and Garba Shehu, both spokesmen of President Muhammadu Buhari, after criticism over his Easter homily regarding the state of the nation.

Kukah made his stance known during an interview on AriseTV monitored by Blueprint.

The revered cleric, in his Easter message, delivered at the Holy Family Cathedral, Sokoto, Sunday, described Nigeria as a big emergency hospital where everything had broken down with the caregivers not knowing how to fix the problems.

“With everything literally broken down, our country has become one big emergency national hospital with full occupancy.

“Our security system is broken. Our roads and rails are broken. Only corruption is alive and well. So, we ask with the Psalmist, “We look up to the hills, from where shall come our help? Our help shall come from the name of the Lord,” he lamented.

In a response to Kukah, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, Garba Shehu on Monday, urged the Catholic Bishop to face his job or join politics.

He also accused Kukah of making baseless accusations against the Buhari administration.

“We respectfully ask Bishop Kukah to leave government to the voters and the politicians they elect, while he concentrates on his job.

“Or else, he should put away his clerical garb, join partisan politics and see how far he can go.

In a separate Twitter post, Femi Adesina also slammed those he referred to as armchair critics of the President who “use their mouths to divide the country.”

“Those who divided Nigeria with their mouths, with evil, unguarded speaking, are the ones now accusing President Buhari. How sad! Their wicked intentions shall not come to pass,” Adesina wrote on Monday.

In his response to the duo during the AriseTV interview, Kukah asserted that “all they (spokesmen) do is write rather than clarify government policies for the citizens.

“The spokesmen want to be seen as doing their jobs. President Muhammadu Buhari knows I have the greatest respect for him and he is a gentleman but as a President, he has done a terrible job. The President knows it is nothing personal; the President once said to me, ‘Kukah, I know where you stand on issues.’ If you don’t agree with me, let us clarify. I didn’t attack his person, but his policies.

“His inability to manage diversity effectively is one of the issues I have with him. I am not the first person to disagree with his policies; his wife also did, so these guys should not sermonise when Nigerians are suffering.”

Continuing, the cleric said: “To set the record straight, I delivered the sermon to our congregation and of course, I am not unaware of the state of mind of Adesina and Shehu. They seem to suspend reason, except Shehu has plans to convert to Christianity. All he does is misinterpret the Bible and I am also surprised Adesina can’t help his friends.

“I have made an offer for them to choose the venue and time to sit down and talk about Nigeria. The job of the spokesman is to publicize Federal Government policies and clarification. These are the only spokesmen that have involved in all types of writing, never talking to the issue. They are used to just talking rather than clarifying policies. They just second-guess the President while they do the job in an appalling way.”

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