By Chuks Ekpeneru
A coalition of Nigerian Muslim professionals has differed with the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) over the warning by Bishop Matthew Kukah that Nigeria was heading towards a failed state under President Muhammadu Buhari.
In his Christmas Day Message, Kukah accused President Buhari of piloting Nigeria into darkness.
MURIC had quickly replied through its director, Professor Ishaq Akintola and described Kukah as a blackmailer, who wants a forceful change of government for his selfish interest.
The Muslim Professionals in a statement on Tuesday commended Kukah for what they described as “his boldness to speak truth to power”.
The group also faulted those vilifying him, saying they were doing so for their personal interests.
The statement signed by the group’s National Coordinator, Prof. Mohammed Inuwa, said some actions of President Buhari tend to undermine unity.
They commended Kukah for speaking the truth and said the country would be a great place to live if there were up to three persons like the Catholic bishop.
They said Kukah’s message should be a wake-up call to get the best policies for Nigerians.
The group said Bishop Kukah has remained constant in saying the truth to power.
“Even during the military era where people dreaded the powers that be at the time, Bishop Kukah, who was then a Catholic priest spoke truth to those at the helm of affairs without fear or favour. He has shown through his actions all the years that he is a true son of Nigeria in particular and Africa in general. We should support him for being bold enough to come out to speak what many Nigerians know is the truth but afraid to speak out for fear of the leadership”, the statement read.
“While we must admit that President Muhammad Buhari means well for the nation, we must say that most people in his government are grossly incompetent and don’t deserve to stay around power even in an uncivilized space,” the group stated.
The group also condemned the glaring marginalisation of the Igbo in every facet of national life.
“There’s nothing wrong with Bishop Kukah’s statement in the actual sense. Some regions particularly the South East have been marginalized in successive governments, and the administration of President Muhammad Buhari came and amplified it with the worst,” it added.
It said further that those attacking Kuksh were being promoted by selfish people in leadership to silence the truth.
”We strongly condemn the wrong approach taken to respond to a message by a patriotic Nigerian by these incompetent people working to derail the president’s agenda.
“It is completely wrong to be attacking Bishop Kukah by some faceless sponsored groups. Bishop kukah did not in any way call for a coup, he is too learned to do that.
“We stand completely with Bishop Kukah, this government must be fair to all Nigerians irrespective of tribe and religion,” it said.