The President, Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, Dr.Felix Omobude, said Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Matthew Kukah, should not be used as the sacrificial lamb.
Speaking to journalist in his church premises in Benin, Omobude backed Bishop Kukah for speaking the truth at “this critical time of our national life.”
Kukah, in his Christmas message, titled, ‘A nation in search of vindication,’ accused the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari, of deliberately sacrificing the dreams of Nigerians to institutionalise northern hegemony.
The message had drawn the ire of the Presidency, the Northern Elders Forum, Muslim Rights Concern as well as the Coalition of Northern Groups.
The PFN boss said, “Bishop Kukah is an advocate of democracy so he could not have been calling for the military overthrow of the government. The issues that he raised are very glaring and germane.
“Now, it is only in this country that you can’t talk against government and go free. What is the dust for? I know that the minister of information is paid for his job but he should be honest enough to face certain truth.
“Bishop Kukah spoke the minds of genuine Nigerians. And any attempt by anybody to impose a section of the nation upon the other, is bound to cause chaos.
“Bishop Kukah should be seen as a patriot and not a sacrificial lamb. He is not a hater of government but he is a lover of truth. I stand wholeheartedly by his views”, he said.
Stop muzzling Nigerians, Ortom tells FG
The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, on Wednesday called on the Federal Government not to politicise Kukah’s Christmas message.
The governor described as unfair and repressive, the Federal Government’s reaction to the message of the Catholic bishop who the government accused of stirring hatred against the President, Major General Mohammadu Buhari (retd.), and calling for a coup. In a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase, Ortom described Bishop Kukah as a selfless Nigerian who only sought to unite the nation, saying the cleric was always speaking his mind frankly on national issues.
The governor suggested that instead of castigating Kukah, the Federal Government should take a second look at the things he raised in the Christmas day message to avoid throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
The governor said, “Even under the worst dictatorships, courageous citizens express their views on issues of national interest. Nigeria which is a democratic nation cannot be an exception.
“Whipping into silence, men and women of honour, who speak against injustice will not take the country to greater heights.”
Foundation seeks President spokesmen’s change of attitude
Meanwhile, the Para-Mallam Peace Foundation has expressed the need for the information managers of the President, including the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, to have a change of attitude and stop attacking well-meaning Nigerians.
The President of the foundation, Rev. Gideon Para-Mallam, said such change of attitude was necessary in order to rescue the country from its current challenges and save it from total collapse under President Buhari’s leadership.
SOKAPU tackles attackers of Kukah
In a related development, kinsmen to Kukah under the aegis of the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union, has condemned attacks on the cleric.
SOKAPU Spokesman, Mr. Luka Binniyat, in a chat with newsmen in Kaduna, said those condemning the cleric were blinded by primitive sentiments.
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“We condemn in no small measures all the negative groups that have come out asking for the crucifixion of the erudite bishop and we know those to hold responsible should any harm come to him for stating the obvious truth about the odious ways Gen. Mohammadu Buhari (retd.), is fast running this country into ruins,” Biniyat added.
However, the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum condemned Kukah over his statement, saying that the cleric’s assertion was nothing but antidemocratic in nature.
A statement signed the Kaduna State chairman of the AYCF, Sagir Umar, in Kaduna, read, “For the avoidance of doubt, no amount of pressure will make the AYCF and all law abiding Nigerians and the civilized global community to accept such inciting utterances by Kukah or any other person as democratically legitimate.”