Most Rev. Mathew Kukah, the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese and Founder of the Kukah Centre for Faith, Leadership and Public Policy, yesterday said President Muhammadu Buhari cannot throw away the 2014 National Conference Report, given that the report was a sacred and quintessential document of Nigeria.
Kukah spoke to journalists ahead of the Fixing Nigeria Initiative event, slated for June 16, 2016 in Abuja, aimed at strengthening Nigeria’s governance system and addressing critical leadership challenges confronting the nation.
He contended that the resolutions and recommendations inherent in the National Conference Report were sacrosanct in engendering a sustainable and peaceful nation devoid of rancor, and therefore, could not be dismissed or thrown away to the garbage hip of history.
The Bishop, who was Co-Secretary of the National Conference, took time to explain the imperatives of the 2014 National Conference Report, arguing that “the president cannot throw it (report) away; archives are archives. Thank God he did not say he will throw it into the dustbin.
“We are not in a military regime. The president cannot wake up and say the National Assembly should be closed. A lot of the powers have been taken from the President,” he added.
Kukah’s position came on the heels of comments credited to President Buhari where he was quoted to have stated that “I haven’t even bothered to read it or ask for a briefing on it, and I want it to go into the so-called archives.”
The comments have elicited severe criticisms, with many accusing the President of arrogance and complete disregard for the sanctity of Nigeria and its citizenry.
Also, speaking against the backdrop of the attack on a Carpenter, Mr. Francis Emmanuel by some Muslim Youth in Kakuri, Kaduna State this week, Kukah stated that such savagery was totally unacceptable, calling for the trial and punishment of culprits involved in the attack.
The Bishop, who deplored the increasing spate of religious extremism in the country, held that such attacks as occasioned by the brutal killing of 74 year old Mrs. Bridget Agbahime in Kano and the attack of Mr. Emmanuel were unwarranted, calling on the government to expedite action in bringing the perpetuators of such heinous crimes to book.
Kukah said: “The ugly things we have seen in the last one week, like the attack in Kaduna; this is totally unacceptable. Somebody goes out to buy food and you attack him and say why are you not fasting? It is totally unacceptable. The culprits must be arrested, tried and punished. There is no other way you can end this impunity,” he stressed.