Pro Democracy Activists have lambasted a member of the National Peace Committee, Bishop Matthew Kukah, over his unguarded statement against Governor of Yahaya Bello of Kogi State, saying “he has derobed himself of his Bishoply honour by offering himself for a hatchet job” against a party in the same election his organisation is purportedly seeking to promote peace.
The over 100 activists, under the umbrella of Federation of Social Justice Advocates, demanded that if Bishop Kukah remained in the peace committee, the committee must be derecognised as there were many other sincere and respected men of God fit for the task.
While urging relevant authorities to strip him of any election observer status, they stressed that, if at 71, Bishop Kukah does not understand how to control his emotions and eschew political sentiments, “then he has no business in mediating in conflicts or peace.”
In a statement on Thursday, signed by the Convener, Federation of Social Justice Advocates, Dr. 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 who we had long mistaken for a honorable 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 has 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 demarketting 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 questions that stand out here and now are:”Which political Party does Bishop Matthew Kukah belong to?”How large amount was he paid that could have tempted him to engage in such character assassination of the Kogi State Governor in order to pave the way for Bishop Kukkah’s Party and preferred candidate to win?
“What exactly are his hidden/evil agenda in Kogi State?
“In what context does he think he should engage in an hatchet’s job in an election that his organization purports to be promoting peace?”
The Activists added, “In that same interview where Bishop Matthew Kukah said, ‘I hope and pray, civil society organizations, unions, churches and moral authorities must act in the common interests of everybody, without a country there will no be trade unions or churches’ and he immediately went against his own counsel by attacking a party in an election barely 72 hours away.
“Not only does he no longer deserve to remain on the National Peace Committee, but the Pope should consider removing him as the Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sokoto because he has lost all the qualities to remain in that position and in the next 24 hours we shall petition relevant authorities to take action in this regard including the Papacy. We cannot have a man promoting disharmony, hatred and political disaffection sitting on our country’s peace committee.
“Bishop Kukah has degenerated into a character varying in degrees of infamy and political jobbing. He must be stopped and stopped before too late.
“We call for his immediate removal from the National Peace Committee and stripped of any election observer status he might have.”