“Fr. Kukah was finally ordained as a catholic priest on December 19, 1979 by his Eminence-Emeritus Archbishop of Kaduna, Most Rev. (Dr) Peter Jatau, at the Holy Family Parish, Gidan Bako, a parish under Kaduna then,until Kafanchan Diocese was created out in 1995 with the Most Rev. Joseph Bagobiri as its earlier episcopal leader. However, some years back, a report had emerged that three prominent Nigerians contributed to the growth of Fr. Kukah’s bluntness, in terms of standing for justice and truth. They include the late Dominic Cardinal Ekandem, Archbishop Peter Jatau and the Mallam Mohammed Haruna (a veteran journalist and political commentator and administrator”
-News/Comments, December 30, 2020
COMMENTARY-Whether we like or not, the Catholic Archbishop of Sokoto diocese, Most Rev. Dr. Mathew Hassan Kukah has earned his fame and honour long ago as a priest and, cares not whose ox is gored, as it concerns political, religious and economic matters. So, every priest is trained to speak out against all odd, as long as it is done in a convinced and conscientized manner.
Truly, every priest is a prophet and a prophet fulfills prophetic obligations by blatantly and fearlessly speak nothing but the truth against what he considered satanic oppression of the people. This obligation has been the birthright of Bishop Kukah at every slightest opportunity which often times create what some persons tagged as “tension and division” But it takes a subconscious mind to understand the position of the most perceived controversial and vocal bishop in Africa.
As a practicing Catholic, I am aware that Catholic priests are trained with values and norms postulated by Christ when it comes to speaking against evil and other related atrocities They are also trained not to be afraid , as recorded in the Holy Scripture: “Fear only the One that can kill both the body and the soul”. This is what Bishop Kukah as kept in mind whenever he drops the time bomb- standing against what he considered wrong and bad with absolute self-conviction. He has stood against military rules and had also fought them with his criticisms without looking back at any consequences, believing that this world is a mere kingdom that will fade away.
Permit me to look at the journey of Fr. Kukah to the priesthood and how he rose to fame and remained most vocal voice- crying in the desert like John the Baptist. Fr. Kukah was finally ordained as a catholic priest on December 19, 1979 by his Eminence-Emeritus Archbishop of Kaduna, Most Rev. (Dr) Peter Jatau, at the Holy Family Parish, Gidan Bako, a parish under Kaduna then, until Kafanchan Diocese was created out in 1995 with the Most Rev. Joseph Bagobiri as its earlier episcopal leader. However, some years back, a report had emerged that three prominent Nigerians contributed to the growth of Fr. Kukah’s bluntness, in terms of standing for justice and truth. They include the late Dominic Cardinal Ekandem, Archbishop Peter Jatau and the Mallam Mohammed Haruna (a veteran journalist and political commentator and administrator.
While it is very confusing for me to understand why the Bishop is being attacked by his northern brethren, and political job contractors, I became more interested in the whole drama because, what the Bishop released into the air is not new, and it would never be new. For instance, parts of his sermon featured what most Nigerians have been saying, that Mr. President has to restrategise in tackling issues rather than attack individuals who may feel dissatisfied with his style of leadership: Kukah had on Christmas day, gave a sermon, titled A Nation in Search of Vindication, where he lashed on President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, saying that his government owes Nigerians proper explanation on the darkness that has enveloped the country. “The spilling of blood must be related to a more sinister plot that is beyond our comprehension. Are we going to remain hogtied by these evil men or are they gradually becoming part of a larger plot to seal the fate of our country?
“President Buhari deliberately sacrificed the dreams of those who voted for him for what seemed like a programme to stratify and institutionalise northern hegemony by reducing others in public life to second-class status. He has pursued this self-defeating and alienating policy at the expense of greater national cohesion.
“Every honest Nigerian knows that there is no way any non-northern Muslim President could have done a fraction of what President Buhari has done by his nepotism and got away with it. There would have been a military coup a long time ago or we would have been at war. The President may have concluded that Christians will do nothing and will live with these actions.” “Yes, our dreams have been aborted. Yes, our commonwealth has been stolen. Yes, our cancer of corruption has metastasised. Yes, we have been guilty of patricide, fratricide and attempted even suicide. Yes, we are hungry, angry, thirsty and starving. “Yet, we stand firmly with the unshaken belief that no matter the temptations, the world has known worst times.
“These may be the worst of times, but for men and women of faith, they could be the best of times. We must stand firm and resolute because, our redeemer liveth (Job 19:25).” “The Almajiri is the poster child of the horrible and inhuman conditions of the northern child. It is a best-kept secret that the region refuses to confront but it has now exposed its underbelly. Now, what (is the) next for the children of the North? “We thank God that the children (Kankara schoolboys) have been returned safely. This is the easy part. The challenge now is how to deal with the scars inflicted by a derelict nation which is still unable or unwilling to protect its citizens. Yes, we commend the federal and state governments for the rescue operation. “The larger issues now are whether the federal government understands the evil web of intrigues into which Boko Haram has tied it. Will the Federal Government continue to reward and fund Boko Haram by playing its game? How long can this circle of deceit last for, given that every kidnap merely strengthens their arsenal?” This was the sermon that has generated wide criticism by most northern groups and government defenders of consternation, a worrisome situation. But the reality on ground is that Kukah is not of this world, and so speaks the language of the spirit of the other world.
Kukah has dished out the truth, whether we want to accept it or not is our own cups of tea. He is of the truth, and of God’s kingdom, and anyone who is on the side of truth is of God, but anyone on the side of falsehood is of the devil. Those attacking the Bishop lacks moral value and history of our dear country Nigeria. Finally, the paramount thing to do now is how we all can assemble as a united front to fight Nigerian common enemies and run away from sycophantism, tribalism, nepotism and loss of intellectual reasons when issues are raised.
Mark C. Orgu is a public affairs commentator and Author (email@example.com)
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