Bishop of Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Right Reverend Matthew Hassan Kukah, has disclosed that some people who once said he was very close to former President Goodluck Jonathan when he was in power are now saying he is now a loyalist of President Muhammadu Buhari.
He disclosed this while speaking with newsmen during his annual media chat in Sokoto at St Bakhita Secretariat on Monday, adding that throughout the period Jonathan was the president, he was never invited to the Villa for a day.
“In the beginning of this Buhari’s administration, some people said former President Goodluck Jonathan was my friend and he was someone I closely associated with.
“Unknown to those people, Jonathan people now are saying I am a Buhari man. Throughout the period Jonathan was the president, I was never invited to the Villa for a day to come and say prayer. The only time I entered the Villa then was when I was invited by the South Africa Ambassador for a prayer for (former South African president Nelson) Mandela.
“Let me be clear, I don’t have a problem with President Buhari. I am unhappy with the way governance is being done. I don’t have to like the president and the president doesn’t have to like me as well.
“This is our country and we have to make it great. If my brother were the chairman of a local government, will that stop me from telling him what he does not do right?
“It is a pity that we come from a tradition that people think or we are used to praise-singing those in power and when you criticise, you don’t like the person or you are his enemy,” he added.
Kukah also said it was unfair for any journalist or newspaper to report that he called for a military coup in his statement, calling for a fact check about his statement.
“I have no plan and will never play partisan politics for any reason. Those who link me to partisan politics because of my statement are only playing into the gallery.
“I have always been in a political terrain. Take for instance, I have listened to some brilliant Nigerian youths making comments about Chelsea or Arsenal and have never been to England. Most of the best commentators in football barely can’t kick a ball.
“So why will someone think because Bishop Kukah is speaking, therefore he is a politician? People who make this argument are totally ignorant of elementary politics and ignorant of the role of a priest.
“I understand and I agree with Nigerians that many people have probably not seen a priest saying the things I am saying which is okay. A lot of people have not seen a priest playing Ludo and when they see, it surprises them.
“The truth of the matter is a lot of us are into politics. Party politics, No. I am not a member of any political party and I cannot be. When it comes to voting, I perform my duties.
“I have no problem with Muslims, Christians or any other religion but what I don’t like is when someone is using religious issue to play politics, it is wrong.
“I have wrong feelings about our society, our life and how we run things in Nigeria. There cannot be a good Muslim or good Christians without a good Nigeria.
“My major concern is how to bring Nigeria back on track devoid of killings, attacks or whatever. The kind of problems we faced in the last few years is really troubling.”
Those who said I was close to Jonathan are now saying I’m a Buhari loyalist, says Bishop Kukah