Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Matthew Kukah,
says Nigerian President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), should
have spoken with his American counterpart, Joe Biden, last week, and
not US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken.
The fiery cleric,
however, said “half bread is better than nothing”, adding that the
meeting is a sign that Nigeria is going somewhere.
Kukah spoke at
the 2021 edition of The Platform, an annual conference organised by the
Senior Pastor of the Covenant Christian Centre, Lagos, Poju Oyemade.
in a virtual meeting on Tuesday met Blinken and had asked for the
support of the Biden administration to tackle the security menace in
Buhari, who warned of a likely spill over of insecurity
to neighbouring West African states, also called on the US to consider
relocating US Africa Command from Stuttgart, Germany, to Africa, nearer
the Theatre of Operation.
Speaking on Saturday, Kukah said, “Of
course, all of us are angry but in my view, the challenge therefore is
what kind of palliative do we need to calm our nerves and I am not
talking here of the palliatives in the way and manner that we understand
them but something needs to happen to send out a signal to Nigerians
that things are under control.
“With the fact that we have the
US Secretary of State speaking to us virtually, we would have preferred
that our President spoke to the President of America rather than the
Secretary of State but anyway, half bread is better than nothing.
want to assure that this is a sign that we are going somewhere but we
need to quickly get our people together, the need to rally our people
together both to support government and otherwise is very urgent and we
cannot do this if our country is divided between those who love the
party and those who don’t love the party. We are in a democracy and we
want to believe that this democracy has to be nurtured and the best we
can do is not to subvert the process but to continue to uphold the
ideals before those who are in power.”
“On the issue of Nigerians
dying, government has come very short and this is what is increasing
the pain, the agony, the sorrow of people that we are dying alone,
burying our people alone and all we get are just simple statements that
really say nothing to us. The lack of empathy and the deployment of
empathy have two consequences.
“Government must have a sense of
empathy and I have said this severally and I do not mean anything
negative and everywhere you turn, this is what Nigerians are saying that
people are dying and you do not get a sense that those who govern us
understand our pain because we have not seen them on condolence visits.
is not sympathy, empathy is at the heart of who we are as human being;
it is the feeling of the sorrow, of the pain of the other person,
indeed, entering the skin of the other person, it does not bring healing
meeting but there is a certain kind of psychological comfort that it
gives,” the cleric added.