Sunday, January 16, 2022

SSS invites Bishop Kukah for saying Buhari is soft on terrorism, banditry

Mr Kukah had yet to honour the invitation as of Saturday afternoon, The Gazette understands.

• January 8, 2022
Bishop Matthew Kukah

The State Security Service has invited Bishop Matthew Kukah for questioning, days after the prominent Catholic priest ramped up his criticism of President Muhammadu Buhari for failing to curb nationwide insecurity, Peoples Gazette can report.

Mr Kukah had slammed Mr Buhari in his Christmas sermon, saying the Nigerian leader has failed to show competence as terrorists, bandits and other violent criminals embark on a coordinated and relentless rampage across the country.

“We also have lost count of hundreds of individuals and families who have been kidnapped and live below the radar of publicity,” Mr Kukah of Catholic Diocese of Sokoto said. “Does the President of Nigeria not owe us an explanation and answers as to when the abductions, kidnappings, brutality, senseless, and endless massacres of our citizens will end? We need urgent answers to these questions.”

Mr Kukah’s comment, which was only the latest amongst several scathing criticisms he had directed at the president in recent years, drew criticism from Mr Buhari’s supporters. The SSS, a federal secret police with a reputation for intimidating, arresting and assassinating government critics from military days, quickly ordered Mr Kukah to appear at its headquarters for questioning, according to a top source familiar with the invitation. 

Mr Kukah had yet to honour the invitation as of Saturday afternoon, The Gazette understands. A spokesman for The Kukah Centre did not immediately return a request seeking comments on Saturday afternoon. 

A spokesman for the SSS sidestepped all queries from The Gazette about the development. 

Mr Kukah is revered amongst Nigeria’s political, business and religious elite for his relentless fight for justice and national unity. His advocacy inspired other prominent Nigerians to speak up against wanton killings across the country since Mr Buhari assumed office and shunned a reconciliatory tone towards aggrieved elements.

Obadiah Mailafia, a former central banker who became a strong voice against the killing of Christians in central Nigeria, was invited repeatedly and periodically detained by the SSS. In an interview he granted before his mysterious death in September 2021, Mr Mailafia alleged an attempt on his life sponsored by the Buhari regime. The government strongly denied the allegations but did not offer condolences to Mr Mailafia’s family.

More from Peoples Gazette

Nyesom-Wike

States

Wike demands immediate redeployment of policemen operating illegal refineries

The governor promised to give council chairmen N2 million for each illegal refinery that they expose within their area of administration.

Simon Lalong

States

Lalong to empower residents by turning Plateau lands to capital: Commissioner

The commissioner said the state was pushing for residents to acquire titles for their lands so as to prevent abuse.

Super Eagles

Sport

AFCON: Super Eagles celebrate Sudan victory, promise more wins ahead

The Super Eagles will take on Guinea Bissau next in their final group game on Wednesday.

States

Banditry: Katsina reopens cattle markets, fuel stations

The cattle markets were earlier closed as part of measures to tackle cattle rustling and banditry in the state.

NEF Chair Ango Abdullahi, Muhammadu Buhari and NEF Spokesperson Hakeem Baba-Ahmed

Politics

2023: NEF clamours for northern president, says he must be better than Buhari

“If you must be a Northerner who’s better than all the candidates; for us, that’s the bottom line.”

Mo Salah

Sport

AFCON: Salah scores as Egypt pip Guinea-Bissau

With Saturday’s win, Egypt now has 3 points in two games, ranking second behind Nigeria’s 6 points in two games.