The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has accused Bishop Mathew Kukah, the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto, of misrepresenting facts and deliberately exploiting the nation’s diversity to further his undisguised agenda against President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
The organisation said this while reacting to the cleric’s virtual testimony at the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission of the U.S. Congress.
BMO claimed that Kukah’s testimony was not a true representation of the security situation in Northern Nigeria, and the government’s efforts to tackle it.
This was contained in a statement by BMO Chairman, Mr Niyi Akinsiju and the Secretary, Cassidy Madueke in Abuja on Friday.
The statement read in part, “Like many Nigerians, we were aghast to watch Bishop Kukah, a key leader of the National Peace Committee (NPC), making a presentation before a U.S. Congress commission about alleged government-sanctioned persecution of Christians that is clearly at variance with the realities on the ground.
“We make bold to say that issues of banditry and insurgency in some parts of Northern Nigeria are pure criminality, not necessarily sectarian, and we’re seriously concerned that Kukah, who admitted in his testimony that Muslims have also been targeted, would even attempt to present criminal matters as religious cleansing or systematic persecution of Christians.
“In fact, all indications point to the Muslim community suffering more attacks from criminal elements in the North than the picture the Catholic Bishop painted to the Americans about a worse situation for Christians in the past ten years.
“More worrisome is the suggestion by Kukah that the Buhari administration isn’t only helpless but also not willing to deal decisively with bandits.”
It added: “We simply wonder how someone who lives and works in Sokoto wouldn’t be aware of the several bombing raids by the Nigeria Air Force on bandits’ locations in neighbouring Zamfara State, including the most recent one that killed at least one hundred twenty bandits in Sububu forest the day before his skewed testimony before the U.S. Congress.
“Kukah’s case isn’t that of innocent ignorance. It’s deliberate mischief because there is no way a public affairs analyst like him wouldn’t know that no administration has done more than the current one in twenty years to boost the operational efficiency of the Police and other security agencies.”