Matthew Hasan Kukah, Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, says history will judge the administration of immediate past President Muhammadu Buhari harshly for superintending over massive corruption as never witnessed before in Nigeria’s 63 years of independence.
Insisting that Nigerians, unfortunately, experienced the worst type of corruption under the Buhari Presidency than any other government before him, Bishop Kukah lamented that the situation was made more unfortunate because the country now shares its sovereignty with criminal gangs of terrorists and bandits.
In a keynote presentation delivered at the 60th Call-to-Bar anniversary of Aare Afe Babalola in Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State on July 10, 2023, and titled; “The Future of Constitutional Democracy in Nigeria: Imperative of a New Constitutional Order”, the Catholic Priest said it was regrettable that despite its full-mouthed anti-graft posturing, Buhari’s tenure amplified corruption morally, financially and in other terms that all past administrations.
Though Bishop Kukah acknowledged that corruption did not start under the Buhari-led administration, he said; “We have seen the worst phase of corruption in Nigeria, Femi Falana, my friend here will speak about that because he has published a series of articles talking about what happened under the Buhari administration. They were not the ones who caused corruption, but I think in the last administration, we saw the ugliest phase of corruption whether in moral terms, financial terms, and other terms.”
The 71 years old Clergy is also full of regrets that Nigeria currently shares its constitutionally guaranteed sovereignty with terrorists, bandits, and other criminal elements, adding that no well-meaning Nigerian could be happy with the state of things, especially in a situation where the country is held hostage by those threatening the very existence of its democracy.
While also speaking to the challenge of many citizens seemingly losing faith in the nation’s judiciary, Bishop Kukah noted that the judiciary is only a victim the same way every other institution in Nigeria is suffering a crisis, even as he further said whatever happens at the Supreme Court concerning the 2023 presidential election, Nigerians would have to put their ugly past behind them.
The Catholic Bishop, who maintained that the time has come to rebuild the country, said; “Nigeria should not yet assume that it is a democracy but instead assume that it is matching towards democracy, which means rebuilding Nigeria after the kind of mess the last administration has left the country”.
Reacting, Femi Adesina, a former aide to former President Buhari in a tweet on Tuesday morning, said Kukah was pained because Buhari didn’t “patronize” him like he benefited from past leaders.
“Who listens to that Bishop again. He’s still pained that he got no under-the-cassock patronage from Buhari, unlike in the past. As e dey pain them, e dey sweet us,” he tweeted.