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Kukah cooking again!

By  Olakunle Abimbola
Catholic Bishop of Sokoto, Father Matthew Hassan Kukah, just dished the latest broth, from his spicy kitchen.
But the starry-eyed had better be wary of rushing to taste: it might just harbour a virulent public discourse strain of coronavirus!
The Surgeon-General (SG) just warned that could be lethal to the mind!
If your focus is to think through the challenges of a country in crisis, and not just to titillate the traumatized public, as the good Bishop is wont to do, you will do well to heed the SG’s advisory.
Hear the holy polemicist go on a savage blast of cutting poetry: “Nigeria’s years of hypocrisy, duplicity, fabricated integrity, false piety, empty morality, fraud and Pharisaism have caught up with us.”  What colourful rush of poetry!  Simply brilliant.
Make no mistake: that poetic bazooka was levelled at President Muhammadu Buhari — he, whose integrity has been a subject of intense peer envy and disputation, both on the spiritual and temporal fronts.
But here lies the supreme irony: that damning portraiture is even truer of the sacred Father’s constituency: the ecclesiastical hustlers, though posturing as people’s champions, gunning for increased market share, in power, glory and influence.
All that became clear, and the scales fell off the eye of not a few, during the hyper-corrupt Goodluck Jonathan Presidency, when the holy hustlers, under the Ayo Oritsejafor-led Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), played merry Rasputin, on account of religious fealty, to the sinking Jonathan order.
Remember Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin, the Russian mystic that had the spiritual number on the last Russian Emperor, Nicholas II?
Yet this immaculate lobby, that wildly savoured illicit “Christian” influence under Jonathan — holy filth, sacred scandals, et al — are now railing and howling and growling and thundering about “Islamization” under Buhari!
The Holy Kukah is right: his holy ensemble is riven with “hypocrisy, duplicity, fabricated integrity, false piety, empty morality, fraud and Pharisaism”!
Didn’t Father Kukah himself urge everyone to leave Jonathan-era rot behind and “move on”?
And what could have amounted for the ruin of the present, than the free-wheeling heists of the past, which the immaculate Father would rather gloss over — because a “Christian” president was involved?
Still, it’s only fair to link Father Kukah’s comments to its two settings.
One: a hurting Kukah’s homily to a pained congregation, at the funeral mass for Seminarian Michael Nnadi, slain by Boko Haram lunatics.
And two: by own words, “provocative questions on corruption” at the public presentation of former EFCC chair, Farida Waziri’s memoirs,  One Step Ahead: Life as a Spy, Detective and Anti-Graft Czar , where incidentally Femi Adesina, President Buhari’s top spokesperson, was also book reviewer.
Now, no sane person would blame Father Kukah for being grumpy at such a tragic funeral mass.  The pained congregants needed re-assurance; and the Bishop’s offering was probably the psychological lift they needed.
Besides, you can’t blame anyone for giving the Buhari Presidency a proper dressing down, over the worsening insecurity spikes.  The government is there to secure and protect.  If it is failing in that cardinal duty, the citizens are entitled to howl, for a quick and sustainable fix.
But legitimate mourning is one thing.  Weaving wilful falsehood that claims terrorism — of which everyone is a victim — is targeted solely at Christians, just because a Muslim is president, is another.
That is arrant crap — and that’s where Father Kukah wilfully got it wrong.
Besides, by giving this dangerous narrative traction, are Their Holinesses bent on inspiring own holy band of Crusaders, to duel Saracens, for Nigeria’s theocratic soul?
That would lead nowhere but perdition.
CAN President, the Revd. Samson Ayokunle, latched on to this false narrative, after the callous be-heading of the kidnapped Adamawa State CAN chairman, the Revd. Lawan Andimi, again by Boko Haram beasts.  The Baptist priest went on and on, claiming Boko Haram was the latest proof of Christian “persecution” in Nigeria.
But again, that was pure fib.  Inasmuch as many Christians have been victims of Boko Haram terrorism, particularly its latest flare, these drugged fanatics are free-wheeling anarchists, who have wreaked far more havoc on their fellow Muslims.
But even this notorious fact — as the Presidency rightly pointed out — Father Kukah adroitly skewed, with a rather mischievous turn of phrase: “If your son steals from me, do you solve the problem by saying he also steals from you?”
The unwary would cheer this riposte.  But it’s nothing but a classic case of polemical fraud.
Read Also:  FG to Kukah: work for religious harmony
By “your son”, is the good Father suggesting Boko Haram has Islam’s divine stamp?  Or that because the president is Muslim, Boko Haram is regnant state policy to wipe out Nigerian Christians?
That fib isn’t supported by facts — and cleverly twisting stuff, to score cheap points, is dishonest and certainly un-Christian.
But again, perhaps one should concede to the Father that the alleged Islamist domination he passionately attacks, goes way back to his troubled southern Kaduna nativity.
In that cultural quicksand yoked together by mutual hate, there appears no love lost between Christians and Muslims, in their unending feuding to dominate one another.
That the Muslim side often gets illicit cover, from their religious cousins in power, appears an open secret.
But that is countered by the no less illicit one-sided media splurge, that the Christian side enjoys, from the dominant southern media — again, often times, on account of blind sympathy and faith fealty.
Even then, conflating these age-old ethno-religious feuding, with Boko Haram terrorism, is rather rich, if not satanically romantic.
It does nothing but muddy the waters.  The net-gainers from such emotive goading are the anarchists, against who everyone must unite, face down and defeat. Otherwise, the grand victims would continue to be the ordinary, vulnerable folks, Christian or Muslim.
One thing is interesting, though: even with the good Father’s bombast and tempest, he still sits pretty as Catholic Bishop of Sokoto, the seat of the Sultanate and the North’s capital city of Islam.
Even in Borno, the epicentre of the Boko Haram insurrection, a Muslim Governor, Babangana Zulum, just openly openly celebrated a lowly Christian teacher, Obiageri Mazi, for exceptional devotion to duty, even in the face of acute danger.
Might the Bishop in Sokoto, and Christian teacher in Maiduguri, be part of the Christian-Muslim Armageddon the good Father belched in his homily?
At the Farida Waziri show, Father Kukah even waxed philosophical over corruption as biological necessity, or political intervention.  Finger-pointing is cherished fetish of the Nigerian critical class, temporal or spiritual!
But pray, if Kukah and co are so super-efficient at own spiritual duties, how come Nigeria, wild with religiosity, is a stinking moral sewer and a haven of crippling sleaze?

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