Presidency, Kukah tango over US Congress comments
The Presidency on Sunday described the presentation of the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto, Matthew Kukah, before the United States Congress which flayed the performances of the federal government in various areas as “incredible falsehood”, “disturbing”, and “troubling.”
Kukah, during his virtual presentation to the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission in Washington, DC, on the persecution of Christians in Nigeria by armed extremist groups in the North, said the people are yet to see any tangible move towards tackling Nigeria’s insecurity which, according to him, has a religious undertone.
The clergy, in his testimony before the US Congress Commission claimed religious violence against Christians in Nigeria was a recurring experience of many years, but the spate of the attacks has risen steadily in the last 10 years.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity Garba Shehu in a statement said it was “unfortunate and disappointing” for citizens of Nigeria to bear witness to one of their Churchmen castigating their country in front of representatives of a foreign parliament.
Shehu said it was troubling when a so-called man of the Church copied the worst excesses of those seeking personal advancement in public office.
The Presidency said it was an incredible falsehood to say before a foreign audience that a government that put forward the first and singular plan in nearly a century to address herder-farmer challenges which were recognised by international NGOs, including the International Crisis Group had done nothing.
The presidential aide added that it was also quite disturbing to suggest that investment in infrastructure between Nigeria and Niger was wasteful and biased when a similar infrastructure project between Lagos and Benin had revolutionised the two neighbouring economies to the advantage of both our countries.
Shehu who defended
the appointments made by the current administration faulted the clergyman’s position that abduction of students in the North was targeted at Christian schools.
The statement also reads in part: “There is no bias in this government when the president is northern and Muslim, the vice president southern and Christian, and the cabinet equally balanced between the two religions. Neither is there anything in our Constitution to state that political posts must be apportioned according to ethnicity or faith.