By Jamilah Nasir
Matthew Kukah, bishop of Sokoto diocese of the Catholic Church, says President Muhammadu Buhari and some of his ministers are not happy.
Kukah said this in an interview with Abang Mercy , a social media expert.
The cleric said those currently in charge of this nation did not envisage that things would take this turn.
There has been an outcry of hardship among some Nigerians.
“We must get our people to a point in which they appreciate when the value of their life is depreciating. And that is what is happening to us now,” he said.
“In most part of northern Nigeria for example where children are stunting, when those children turn 30, 40 and they become part of your workforce, their capacity to interpret data, grasp the urgency of development is severely constrained.
“For me, these are some of the issues and that is why I say Buhari himself is not happy… except a few ministers, but even the ministers themselves are unhappy because they didn’t imagine that they would be going through the difficulty that they are going through.
“If I ask you to point at one department of government that is so upbeat about what people have achieved, I think it will be hard to find out any.”
Kukah said some of the president’s “new friends” in the All Progressives Congress (APC) were those he sent to jail while serving as the military head of state in 1984.
He said it was worrisome that the president has not changed the approach he used to fight corruption during his military regime.
Kukah added that the Nigerian leader was not brought into power by angels.
“I have known Buhari for a while but I don’t want to claim I am close to him but he is a man I have tremendous respect for,” Kukah said.
My worry is that President Buhari thought and probably still thinks corruption is stealing money, and the people stealing money are largely bureaucrats or government officials, which was what happened in 1984.
“Buhari simply went around and arrested all the people who were holding government offices.
The only thing we feel very sad about Nigeria is our collective amnesia. There are people who are key kingpins in APC today who were sentenced to various years of imprisonment by Buhari in 1984, some up to 100 years.
“But since this is Nigeria, many of them have finished serving their 100-year jail term. They have come back, joined APC and are active members of the party.
“Buhari was not brought into power by angels. We know the nature of the vehicle that would bring anybody to the presidency of Nigeria.”
Although the cleric said he was not in the position to access the Buhari administration, he maintained that the president still had the time to make right his wrongs.
“I am not the one to measure Buhari’s competence. It will take us four years to decide if Buhari is the man for the job or not. Or we have the national assembly; if they are serious and up to their job, they can stop an incompetent president mid-way,” he said.
“Buhari is going to be president for four years. We are just gone past the first half. And like the game of soccer, until the final whistle is blown, you can’t say who has won.
“It is quite conceivable that he might probably do something quite spectacular. For example, he is going to the south-east, which I think is quite unfortunate because it came so many years too late.
“But notwithstanding that, I think with a certain kind of smartness, and if the president has the ability to look back and say what could we have done differently, and if he can take his attention away from some of the hypocrites around him, I think Buhari is free to step forward and say he wants to run for the 2019 election.”