Saturday, April 20, 2024

Tinubu using corrupt structures to share money, humiliating Nigerians queuing for palliatives: Kukah

“Give our people back their farms and develop a comprehensive agricultural plan to put our country back on the path of honour and human dignity,” Mr Kukah stated.

• April 1, 2024
Hassan Kukah and President Bola Tinubu
Hassan Kukah and President Bola Tinubu

Bishop Hassan Kukah of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto has called on President Bola Tinubu to focus on developing a comprehensive agricultural plan rather than distributing palliatives through a corrupt-riddled structure. 

In his Easter homily on Sunday, Mr Kukah said palliative distribution when the country is not at war “diminishes the dignity of” Nigerians.

“Merely distributing money through already corruption-riddled structures is not enough and diminishes the dignity of our citizens. No one needs to line up to receive aid when we are not in a war,” the Catholic cleric said. “Give our people back their farms and develop a comprehensive agricultural plan to put our country back on the path of honour and human dignity.”

Mr Kukah also urged Mr Tinubu “to continue on the path of probity” and “take further steps to cut down the overbearing costs of governance and to put in place more comprehensive plans towards achieving both food and physical security across our nation.”

The embattled and suspended humanitarian minister Betta Edu’s financial scandal illustrates Mr Kukah’s allegation that the president uses corrupt-ridden structures to share money.

In January, Ms Edu was entangled in allegations of corruption.

In a leaked memo, Ms Edu requested that the office of the accountant-general wire N585 million earmarked to reduce the poverty of vulnerable citizens in Akwa-Ibom, Cross-River, Lagos, and Ogun states into the UBA account—2003682151—of Oniyelu Bridget Mojisola.

After much public furore, Mr Tinubu suspended Ms Edu and ordered a probe into her activities in the humanitarian and poverty alleviation ministry.

He made similar remarks in his Christmas homily, declaring that palliatives will not solve Nigeria’s problems and asked Mr Tinubu to deal with widespread corruption and insecurity.

“The problems of Nigeria are deep-seated, and they are based on a culture of corruption that has become the foundation stone of governance. This evil structure has to be dismantled. Nigeria’s problems will not be resolved by palliatives,” Mr Kukah said. 

The cleric specifically told the president that he “must rid the public service of criminals who have turned the opportunity to serve into an ignoble enterprise.” 

“We concede that there are millions of decent men and women who genuinely wish to serve but are crushed by the deadweight of corrupt ogas at the top who use corruption as their oxygen!” said Mr Kukah. “This surgery must happen if you are to succeed in any of your dreams of delivering much-needed services to our people.”

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