A group of pro-democracy activists has lambasted Bishop Matthew Kukah, a member of the National Peace Committee, over his recent comments about Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello. The activists accused Kukah of making “unguarded statements” and “character assassination” against Bello, calling for his removal from the peace committee.
The activists, who are under the umbrella of the Federation of Social Justice Advocates, said that Kukah had “derobed himself of his bishoply honour” and was “a disgrace to the Catholic Church.” They also demanded that relevant authorities strip him of any election observer status.
They (activists) accused Kukah of hypocrisy, noting that he had previously spoken about the need for civil society organizations, unions, churches, and moral authorities to act in the “common interests of everybody.” They said that Kukah’s attack on Bello was clearly partisan and could only serve to create chaos and division in Kogi State.
Adefemi Omoniyi, the pro-democracy CSOs added that it would not be the first time the bishop would allegedly “speak like a tout unworthy of any respect”, noting that he had been long mistaken for a man of God but that his recent outburst exposed him as a mere “politicical jobber with absolutely no fear of God.”
They described the bishop as an elder suffering from an egregious lack of elderly wisdom and conduct, saying, “What ‘common interests’ did his blackmail against the Governor serve other than to create crisis and chaos in Kogi State? Yet he says his organisation is promoting peace.”
“We cannot have a man promoting disharmony, hatred, and political disaffection sitting on any peace committee in the country.
“The people of Kogi State and, indeed, Nigerians can attest to the fact that Governor Yahaya Bello, irrespective of the narrative the opposition are peddling, has done more in the state in terms of achievements than any other governor since the creation of the state. Where the Bishop got what he based his disgraceful utterances on should be the question,” the pro-democracy CSOs stated.
The statement read, “It is a universally acknowledged aphorism that whoever comes to justice must come with clean hands. Moreover, an African adage says ‘A peacemaker must not join in a fight’.
“But these agelong wise sayings don’t seem to resonate with Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah, whom we had long mistaken for a honourable man of God who would be conscious at all times of the weight of his public utterances with a view to ensuring he says things befitting of his position both as a clergyman and as Co-Convener of the National Peace Committee.
“Anyone who occupies such positions of responsibility is ordinarily expected to conduct himself in a responsible, respectful, decent, mature, and patriotic manner at all times, especially to be mindful of what they say publicly. All these attributes are clearly lacking in Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah, as he unfortunately betrayed in his interview on Channels TV yesterday where he took a clearly partisan political position about the Kogi State election by attacking the state governor in an unwarranted outburst unbecoming of a true servant of God who should be father to all irrespective of political affinity and a peacemaker that he pretends to be.
“But all those pretences were blown off yesterday when he insulted the sitting governor of a state whose party is participating in the Saturday election with a view to demarketing the Governor’s Party’s candidate to pave the way for Bishop Kukah’s preferred candidate. He was definitely contracted to do a political hatchet’s job as his conduct betrayed.
The activists called on the Pope to consider removing Kukah as the Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sokoto. They also called on the National Peace Committee to remove Kukah from its membership.