In an October 1 message marking the 60th anniversary of Nigeria’s independence from British rule, Bishop Matthew Kukah of Sokoto was harshly critical of the country’s President Mohammadu Buhari, faulting him for failing to rein in ongoing violence, much of it targeting Christians.
“Where are the Chibok daughters? Where is Leah Sharibu? Who are the sponsored murderers who have overrun our land? Our land is now a pool of blood. Mr. President, please reset the clock before it is too late. I pray for you that God will touch your heart so that you embrace the ideals of those who came before you. This is not the Nigeria they dreamt of,” said the bishop in the statement sent to the pontifical charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN).
Against the backdrop of the killing of Christian farmers by largely Muslim Fulani herdsmen, the prelate added that in violation of the Constitution, “nepotism has become the new ideology of this government. In following this ideology it is estimated that the President has handed over 85% of the key positions to northern Muslims and has ensured that men of his faith hold tight to the reins of power in the most critical areas of our national life; the National Assembly and Security Agencies!”
Bishop Kukah charged that the “President has been quite diligent and focused in the pursuit of an agenda that is clearly alien to the aspirations and hopes of our people across religious lines. Nigeria was nothing like this before he came. How long will this lie last before it melts in our faces? We are living a lie and we know it. In Nigeria, governance is a criminal enterprise, not a call to service,” the bishop said.