By Tunde Asaju
Bishop Hassan Kukah, a PhD holder, priest extraordinaire and a son of the Bajju Kingdom has ruffled feathers again. He has told truth to power from his vantage position. In that, he is in tandem with his host, His Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar who, of late has been breaking ranks both with military and trado-religious custom crying more than the bereaved.
Why is Kukah concerned. He probably has blood brothers in Southern Kaduna, but let’s face it, when he swore to the oath of priesthood, he transmuted from normal consanguinity to a blood oath that is more than the bond of his paternal and maternal brotherhood. In other words, he severed links with his earthly blood relations – they are on their own! Of late, he lost his earthly mother, so, his mother is beyond kidnapping right now or even killing and roasting, which has become the pastime of the enemies of his paternal homestead.
I have also confirmed from the Vatican, that priests should adopt the four monkey’s posture when it comes to politics – they should see nothing, hear nothing, say nothing and above all do nothing but feed the flock of the Lord with platitudes even if they are facing certain annihilation.
This is why I hate Father Kukah! Men like him, who can speak and be taken seriously should never believe all they read in newspapers. It is a myth that northern Nigeria is at the centre of power today in politics. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is true that this powerful north controls all the important seats or positions of authority needed to keep the nation safe. A priest should never bother himself with such ephemeral things.
It is also true that the north, our north is plagued by its own politics. Even if we were to tenaciously cling to power as we are said to want to do in 2019, we could have chosen to retire General Muhammadu Buhari. If you ask his critics, he did nothing tangible to warrant a re-election. But no, we didn’t believe his enemies. We believed that as long as our son is the head of state, we are okay. Indeed, even if we are all annihilated (which is not far from happening), we expect the last standing person to continue to support Sai Baba.
If Mr Integrity’s choice of security chiefs are not doing well, come on, Reverend, they are our brothers. The Yoruba have a saying, that one’s child would not have a big ass and then his parents give a befitting waistband to another’s. Father Kukah is guilty.
How can he be telling people that if it had been a southerner or westerner presiding over today’s jungle that Nigeria has become, coup-tested and putsch-innoculated power hungry northerners would have sponsored a military take-over! That is historically untrue – at least from what we know. It is said that the middle belt (call it North Central if you wish) stage coups for the ‘core northerners’ to rule. No ‘core northerner’ has ever been executed for a coup, a few of them have been overthrown in the past.
Besides, it should be sacrilege that Father Kukah should use governance and coup in the same sentence. In patriotic parlance, that is sedition. But what even makes it worse is that Father Kukah is in the hinterland of the north – Sokoto, the seat of the Caliphate and traditional custodian of the religion of Islam. That Sakatawas allowed Kukah, an unbeliever by standards to stay in Sokoto without molestation is a testimony to the tolerance of the core north of the excesses of its north-central agent-provocateurs. Somebody silence Kukah for me.
No priest has ever been this silly. You cannot blame a vacationing president for the insecurity in his country. By ILO standards, a president hardworking at picking his teeth while the nation burns is entitled to his vacation. According to the rules, (ILO rules that is) a public servant’s vacation should not be disturbed. After all, if the seat becomes vacant, we can always fill it.
From the relative safety of Canada, I don’t see anything wrong with Nigeria as it stands under General Mai Gaskiya. Boko Haram is getting bolder – so what? Did we expect them to be weaker when the man who said is an insurgency lasts more than three months, it is with the active connivance of the ruining class is at the helm?
I see a northern Nigeria at peace with itself. I see ‘wise’ governors paying protection money to bandits to steer clear of their states – that is a great avenue for the mismanagement of security votes. Imagine what some of the human rights activists would be saying if there are still security votes when there is security? But if there is insecurity, then inflated security votes are justified – forward Northern Nigeria.
The way we reproduce, yes. God said go into the world and multiply – that is a mandate for each northerner with guts, not those who are so fearful they swore to an oath of celibacy. What does a Reverend Father or a Bishop know about genital recklessness? It is our right to produce as is our rights to let our products roam the streets and be used for election or as members of insurgency groups.
I see a north at peace with itself. Where some see herdsmen rampaging farms, taking hostage and wasting a few lives in the process, others see a business opportunity. They become middle men and negotiators helping a dormant and docile state negotiate for the release of mass captives. This is something that Kukah knows nothing about.
Someone even pointed to Rev Adasu and Jolly Nyame, two reverend gentlemen who they now say failed at politics as reason to announce Bishop Kukah’s cowardice. If the priest thought he was so good with ideas, he should keep his cassock and jump into the partisan political bandwagon instead of becoming the official mouthpiece of the opposition of half a dozen and six. That is what we, the north want from our son…except that he has sold his soul to the Vatican.
There is an interesting dimension to the business of insecurity in the north. Brigands enter into a town or village, they use a few straying or sleeping victims for target practice. Then they enter a home, shoot the head of the house dead and with their cowed family members grieving, they pick a few of them as hostages. Sometimes, they wait until the dead are being conveyed from one spot to another, waylay the hearse and kidnap a few mourners. If you are not a priest, you won’t see anything extraordinary with this business of making money out of people’s calamities…but a nosey Bishop Kukah does and feigns concern when the rest of us are at peace with our manifest destiny.
I have known Father Kukah closely since he shot himself into limelight, serving in the reconciliation committee headed by late Justice Chukwudifu Oputa. These days, I no longer call or text him – that is a sign of my loyalty to my fatherland and my region. Why would anybody associate with a priest who is worried about the insecurity of the people he vowed to shepherd like sheep until God calls them home?
So, to those out there who want Father Kukah dead…I really hope you get your wish. The history of Catholicism like the story of Christianity is one replete with pascal lambs slaughtered for the redemption of souls. If by killing Kukah, Buhari can enjoy his holiday in peace and never get questioned for failing the nation he campaigned to rescue – how happy I will be.
All those who are living, but more especially our northern brothers and sisters should join me in this wish, especially at the Yuletide season. After all, there’s usually only a few months in-between singing Joy to the World, when we gather at Easter to sing – Man of Sorrows.
Dear Bishop Kukah,
Except you are prepared to be a pascal lamb ready to be slaughtered for the preservation of peace, you many interventions, from talking ill of almajirci to crying over insecurity is not needed or wanted.
Dear Bishop Kukah,
Can you please face the front of the altar with your incense, adopt the time-tested loyalty creed of the four little monkeys. We have seen blood, lots of blood under this regime, we don’t want the Vatican and its foreign allies accusing us of having your blood in our hands. Maybe if you just keep quiet, Nigeria, especially its troubled north would return to its stoic calmness. Please for your own sake and for the preservation of what is left of our tears, stop bickering with Buhari – it is sacrilege!
Your quondam friend and unusual northern brother,
-Tunde Asaju, multi-lingual journalist and public affairs analyst, writes from Ottawa, Canada