The Northern Christians Forum of Nigeria (NCFN) has distanced itself from statements credited to Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto criticising President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
The group, in a statement signed by its President, Rev. Dr. Josiah Nabut, on Sunday in Barnawa, Kaduna State warned Kukah to avoid using the pulpit for political gains.
According to the Northern Christians, the cleric is derailing and shifting from the purpose of serving the laity and has now become a tool in the hands of politicians.
The NCFN noted that most of Bishop Kukah’s claims against Buhari are rehash from certain political oracles he usually visits.
The group, however, urged Kukah to desist from lending himself to be used by politicians because his gift is to serve all of humanity, not himself.
Read full statement below:
We are concerned that the pulpit which should be regarded and treated as sacred is being used as a platform for political schemes by some clerics from Northern Nigeria.
We have decided to intervene to call those who have taken this path of dishonour to desist as it is not in the overall good of the laity and to open the eyes of those who see nothing wrong with this and may want to emulate it.
Bishop Mathew Hassan Kukah is a well-educated cleric and highly respected by us who share the same faith with him.
Apart from his deep knowledge of the Bible, he is the man blessed with the power to dissect socio-political happenings around the world and analyse the same for better understanding.
But that has not blinded our eyes to know when he is derailing and shifting from the purpose of serving the laity to serving himself.
A pulpit is a sacred place and anyone gifted by God to mount it should it see as a privilege and use it to serve God and to better humanity; not for selfish or political gains.
This is the difference between Samson in the Bible and other men of God like John The Baptist.
As far as Samson was concerned, the anointing of sheer physical strength that God gave him was for him to flex his muscles, play around and pursue lustful pleasures.
He did not use it for the purpose he was given the power and ended in a most pitiable circumstance.
But John The Baptist for instance knew the purpose of his calling and used it to serve God.
He forsook earthly pleasures, lived in the wilderness and was committed to his divine call until he was rewarded with the honour of Baptising Jesus.
As a man with deep knowledge of the word of God, we expect Bishop Kukah to shun all temptations towards making him serve as a tool in the hands of political godfathers, but the Bishop most times like Samson prefers to use his calling for personal gains.
This has seen him hobbling around politicians for most of the time rather than dwell on the spiritual lane of meditation in quietness, spiritual intercession through self-denial and long supplication via the known path of sacrifice.
He rather cherishes being seen at the State House more than attending to the less privileged.
And the Bishop most times fail to live up to the standard he sets for others.
When Kukah was appointed to serve as the Secretary of the Oputa Panel, he betrayed his bias and contradicted his preachments for equity and fairness, when he accepted the position without looking at the composition of the commission which had Justice Chukwudifu Oputa as chairman.
Equity demanded that as Justice Oputa was a Christian, that the next powerful position in the committee which is that of the secretary should have gone to a Muslim. And Bishop would have been the first to scream if both the Chairman and Secretary of such a sensitive commission have been Muslims.
But he accepted it because he was the one receiving the favour.
Bishop Kukah’s recent attack on the Buhari administration in a supposed Christmas message also exposes his bias as it fails the test of fairness and objectivity.
If one is to ask the Rotary Club question of, is it the truth, is it fair to all to concerned? etc, one would see that the comments by the Cleric are not what he proclaims them to be.
They are at best, rants of political opposition disguised in the cloak of a cleric to appear as objective to deceive many.
The bishop in his Christmas message accused President Muhammadu Buhari of institutionalising northern hegemony by “reducing others in public life to second-class status”.
We ask, is this true? Is it fair to all concerned? The answer is no.
The Federal Executive Council is composed of representatives of all the 36 states of the federation and they all operate equally as a team. We, therefore, fail to see how they have been reduced to second class status.
The Bishop also said there could have been a coup if a non-northern Muslim president does a fraction of what Buhari did.
This is the most unfair comment because it amounts to coup baiting as it is agitating the minds of non-northerners to consider that like of action since their compatriots would have acted in a certain manner if they had been adversely affected in the share of public offices.
But this is not even true as we recall that during the administrations of Obasanjo and Jonathan the scale of public appointments weighed against the North, yet there was no coup.
The Bishop also said that President Buhari deliberately sacrificed the dreams of those who voted for him to stratify and institutionalise northern hegemony.
Again we fail to see how this is true as Bishop Kukah did not expatiate on this.
What we know is that the President has given all the regions equal opportunities in his cabinet and in serving the nation.
The Bishop also said Mr President is pursuing a self-defeating and alienating policy at the expense of greater national cohesion.
We believe this is untrue because the President has been a great force for the peace and unity of this country.
He also accused President Buhari of handing over a majority of the plum jobs to Northern Muslims and that Buhari must pause and turn round.
We observe at this stage that Bishop Kukah has moved from alleging regional bias to trying to use a religious sentiment. This is because he saw that his charge of regional bias failed and he must clutch at straws.
This is the same Bishop Kukah that did not raise his voice when President Jonathan appointed a Christian to replace a Muslim as Chief of Army Staff or replaced a Muslim CBN Governor with a Christian.
Most of the charges Bishop Kukah is levelling against Buhari are rehash from certain political oracles he usually visits.
For instance, former President Obasanjo has once accused President Buhari of trying to Fulanise Nigeria, whatever that means.
We all know that Bishop Kukah was the arrowhead of a peace meeting between Obasanjo and Atiku Abubakar to sack the Buhari government in 2019 and when they failed to achieve that through the ballot, they all resorted to illegal means, fruitless prayers and actions to undermine the President.
So Kukah clearly, is not speaking for the northern Christians but for Obasanjo, Atiku and co who are the arrowheads of the destabilization plot against Nigeria.
He should desist from lending himself to be used by politicians because his gift is to serve all of humanity, not himself.
Bandits Lay Siege To Armed Forces Command And Staff College, Jaji
Some criminals, suspected to be bandits, are currently laying siege around the premises of Armed Forces Command and Staff College (AFCSC) located in Jaji, Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
Their mission, according to some locals in the community who spoke to our correspondent during a telephone conversation, was to abduct some staff of the college and the communities around the area.
This is coming in less than two months after bandits stormed the Federal College of Forestry Mechanization, Afaka, Mando, also in Kaduna and kidnapped no fewer than 39 students.
AFCSC is a training facility for the Nigerian Armed Forces, including the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Air Force and Nigerian Navy.
A resident of the area, who simply identified himself as Adamu, told Daily Trust via telephone that the bandits have always surrounded the institution while terrorising the communities around the college.
“It is only Allah that has been saving us. They (bandits) have always rustled cows in our communities. Military operatives do engage them in gun battle anytime they come around, that is why we don’t have major casualties yet,” Adamu said.
The Commandant of the college, Air Marshal Olayinka Alade, confirmed this on Wednesday in Abuja when he visited the Army Headquarters to brief Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Attahiru Ibrahim, on the development and other issues in the institution.
Alade said the institution has decided to launch impromptu searching and clearance operations in some communities where the bandits are operating around the college having informed General Officer Commanding 1 Division.
“There are some communities around the school that have developed and because it is like part of the college, maybe they are hiding under that cover, so some bandits are there. Because of that, there is collaboration with other institution’s heads in the college. Constantly, we try to conduct an impromptu searching. We conduct search and patrol from time to time.
“What we discovered now is that, not too far ahead, some communities… it is like all these bandits have made all that place their aim, so I discussed with GOC 1 Div. From time to time, we need to carry out clearance operations,” the AFCSC Commandant said.
The Commandant further disclosed that the bandits rustled some cows behind the college on Tuesday, April 13 – a development that led to gun duel between them and the military operatives.
He, however, did not disclose whether there was any casualty, noting that he came to brief the COAS so as not to be surprised if he hears anything subsequently.
According to him, “In fact, yesterday (Tuesday), I was told that some bandits came to come and rustle some cows just behind us. There was an exercise that was carried out by the NACI. They actually encountered these bandits, they had to exchange fire during the exercise.
“Those are the things we’re trying to ensure that we are not surprised if they have come that close, then, we need to sit tight and ensure we clear that place.”
Deputy Nigeria Ambassador to Jordan, Ibrahim Mohammed,(1st left) the Managing Director Ministry of Tourism and Antiquiies, Abed Al Razzaq Arabiyat, (middle) Executive Secretary NCPC, Yakubu Pam (right) during a courtesy visit paid to the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities in Jordan recently
Coalition Warns Anti-Vaxxers, Urges Nigerians To Disregard Fake News Of COVID-19 Vaccine Side Effects
The National Vanguard on Covid-19 Administration and Advocacy has urged Nigerians to treat reports of side effects from the AstraZeneca jab as fake news, noting that some elements are out to frustrate the ongoing vaccination exercise.
This follows the claim of blood vomit by a woman in Kaduna after allegedly being administered the vaccine.
While the state government has vowed to investigate the report, the National Vanguard on Covid-19 Administration and Advocacy said the assertion is the handiwork of anti-vaxxers.
In a statement signed by its Director of Public Enlightenment, Samson Abu, on Saturday, the group, though, admitted potential side effects from the jab, added that some persons are out to sow fear in the minds of Nigerians.
Abu, therefore, appealed to Nigerians to disregard all fake news pertaining to the safety, efficacy and effects of the COVID-19 vaccine.
According to him, the supposed victim is an isolated case yet to be proven by any expert.
The group, however, urged Nigerians to continue to take the vaccine for their good and the safety of their loved ones around them
Read the full statement below:
The National Vanguard on Covid-19 Administration and Advocacy is appalled by the deployment of fake news by anti-vaccine elements in Nigeria in their bid to scare and discourage people from receiving the COVID-19 vaccine that is meant to protect against the Corona Virus and save lives.
The fake news, published with the headline “Woman vomits blood after taking COVID-19 vaccine” is a disingenuous attempt at creating a deepfake given the effort that was made to create the impression that one Hannatu Tanko was rushed to Gwamna Awan General Hospital in Kaduna State because she started vomiting blood after receiving the vaccine.
Interestingly, the same script was published by several blogs and a few undiscerning news sites without the publishers carrying out the necessary checks and without speaking with experts on what could have led to the woman’s condition.
The fake news also created the impression that there is coercion in the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine whereas people are voluntarily accepting the jab owing to their knowledge of how it protects one from catching the deadly virus. Such a desperate act could have only resulted from people that are keen on seeing the pandemic decimate humanity.
With more than half a million so far vaccinated, even if the account of the woman experiencing reactions to the vaccine were correct, the case would be an isolated one and the fact that sources claimed the woman is recovering confirms that the vaccine is safe while any unintended effect would be at worst temporary. We, therefore, find it unacceptable that the isolated and unproven instance is now being used by purveyors of fake news and anti-Vaxxers to discourage Nigerians from taking the vaccine. This is a huge disservice and unacceptable.
For the avoidance of doubts, experts’ views are required to confirm that what a person experiences after taking the jab is related to the vaccine. To do this, the experts would have ruled out that the symptoms exhibited by such are not caused by other underlying factors that coincidentally flared up at about the same time the person took their vaccine.
The National Vanguard on Covid-19 Vaccine Administration and Advocacy consequently warn detractors and anti-vaxxers in Nigeria that they have a responsibility to society to desist from sowing fear in the mind of the people especially when it is apparent that the fake news they are spreading has all the potential to hurt more people than save them.
We appeal to Nigerians to disregard all fake news about the safety, efficacy and effects of the COVID-19 vaccine and only based their decision to accept the jab or not on sound science, which would make them appreciate the benefits it offers. Nigerians, who truly value their wellbeing as the coronavirus pandemic continues to ravage the world, should make it a personal responsibility to take the vaccine for their good and the safety of their loved ones around them.
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