By Dirisu Yakubu
The People’s Democratic Party, PDP, on Tuesday criticized Alhaji Lai Mohammed for his response to criticisms of Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah’s handling of the security situation in the country led by President Muhammadu Buhari, describing them as shameful. .
Bishop Kukah, in a recent essay on the situation in the country, rebuked President Muhammadu Buhari for alleged nepotism and pettiness in conducting government affairs, even when he accused him of playing the religious card at the expense of national cohesion.
However, this was not well received by the federal government as the Minister of Information; Lai Mohammed quickly issued a statement, criticizing the cleric’s position.
Mohammed had insisted that the Boko Haram insurgents were nothing more than terrorists, whose target ran through all faith, and noted that “now to attribute the actions of this group to an orchestrated and systematic plan to elevate one religion over the other or decimate the followers of a particular religion is not only regrettable but decisive, inflammatory and insensitive ”.
In an exclusive chat with our correspondent, PDP spokesperson Kola Ologbondiyan described Lai Mohammed’s statement as embarrassing and as an attempt to overlook the issues raised by Bishop Kukah.
“What Bishop Kukah said was nothing but the truth. He told the truth to power as he has been doing for years. All Nigerians know that President Buhari has been a partisan and divisive leader since he became head of government in 2015.
“Nigeria is in a worse situation today than before this party came to power. Security is broken, governance is broken and Nigerians almost gave up on destiny. President Buhari has regrettably failed. This is a fact!
“The bishop summoned the courage to speak the truth to power by saying that all hell would have broken loose if a president of southern origin exhibited the kind of nepotism for which President Buhari is known today,” he said.
On calls in some places for Kukah to adhere to his evangelistic call, Ologbondiyan maintained that it was in fulfillment of his divine mandate that the bishop chose to speak rather than remain silent.
As a man of God, Bishop Kukah spoke on behalf of his people, ordinary Nigerians who are taken weak or powerless to confront those in power. The church is the people, not the building. He (Kukah) deserves our collective applause, ”he added.
Security remains one of the biggest challenges for the Congress of All Progressives, the APC-led government with a renowned media team, the Financial Times recently described the country as ever closer to a failed state; a label rightly rejected by the federal government.