By Musa Sunusi Ahmad

The Prominent Civil Rights Advocacy group-: HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has asked the minister of information and Culture to shut up if he can’t read and understand the simple essay that was written by His Eminence the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese and one of the most patriotic lovers of Constitutional democracy Rt. Reverend Dr. Mathew Hassan Kukah. 

The Rights group said the minister of Information and Culture Mr. Lai Mohammed was as usual very economical with the truth and went on the voyage of discovery when he heavily misinterpreted the essay written in very simple English language by the highly cerebral and globally celebrated intellectual Reverend Doctor Mathew Hassan Kukah who did not in any way advocate any violent overthrow of a democratically constituted government in Nigeria or anywhere else in any of his over ten thousand published essays just as he only pointed out the obvious that President Muhammadu Buhari has consistently and continuously unleashed a divisive and scotchearth apartheid policies of divide and rule, nepotism and religious cum ethnic chauvinism and bigotry in all his appointments especially to top internal security Architectures including the recent promotions in the Nigerian Police Force in which the North got the significant percentage of all the promoted top senior police officers even when the Igbo speaking South East of Nigeria was allotted just one top position. 

The HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) said the entire interbal SECURITY architectures are dominated by persons from one section of the Country- Hausa/Fulani Moslem North to the exclusion of all others which offends the relevant sections of the Constitution that speak to the issue of federal character Principle as provided for in the Constitution and also offends Section 42(1) which speaks to the issue of discrimination on the bases of tribe, religion or political affiliations.  HURIWA said the current administration since 2015 has maintained the divisive posture of appointing only Moslem Northerners to head the police, the DSS, the Immigration, the Customs, the civil defence and especially all the strong defence positions in the military that commands and controls the largest numbers of troops and equipment. 

In a media Statement by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf, HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) recalled that His Eminence    Bishop of Sokoto Catholic Diocese, Mathew Hassan Kukah, had on December 25th 2020 Christmas Day essay  lamented that nepotism characterised the administration of the President Muhammadu Buhari. The Rights group said that this fact is so obvious that even some outspoken Northerners like the erstwhile Member of the Federal House of Representatives in the second Republic Alhaji Junaid Mohammed has several condemned President Muhammadu Buhari for nepotistic appointments of his Cousins, nephews and nieces into strategic national offices just as the likes of Comrade Shehu Sani amongst others also condemned these practices of the current administration. 

HURIWA recalled that the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto who has been very consistent in calling out the government over bad policies, had in plain English grammar explained that there could have been a coup or war in the country if a non-Nothern Muslim becomes a president and does a fraction of what Buhari did.

HURIWA stated that the Bishop made this known in his 2020 Christmas message titled, ‘A nation in search of vindication’, on Friday just as he had stated thus: “This government owes the nation an explanation as to where it is headed as we seem to journey into darkness. The spilling of this blood must be related to a more sinister plot that is beyond our comprehension. Are we going to remain hogtied by these evil men or are they gradually becoming part of a larger plot to seal the fate of our country?

HURIWA also recalled that the reputable Clergy had stated that: “President Buhari deliberately sacrificed the dreams of those who voted for him to what seemed like a programme to stratify and institutionalise northern hegemony by reducing others in public life to second class status. He has pursued this self-defeating and alienating policy at the expense of greater national cohesion. “Every honest Nigerian knows that there is no way any non-Northern Muslim President could have done a fraction of what President Buhari has done by his nepotism and gotten away with it.

“There would have been a military coup a long time ago or we would have been at war. The President may have concluded that Christians will do nothing and will live with these actions.

“He may be right and we Christians cannot feel sorry that we have no pool of violence to draw from or threaten our country. However, God does not sleep. We can see from the inexplicable dilemma of his North.”

The Rights group said the minister of Information and Culture Mr Lai Mohammed got the whole essay by the Prelate screwed up when he introduced something sinister and extraneous to what the Bishop of Sokoto Diocese had very well articulated in such a way that even a primary one pupil will not find it intellectually challenging to understand and apprehend the clear and unambiguous import of the message sent out by His Eminence Bishop Mathew Hassan Kukah of Sokoto Catholic Diocese. 

HURIWA regretted that rather than read the message in the essay and reflect deeply on ways the current administration will amend its ways and stop the violent defecation on the sanctity of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1999 as amended, the very loquacious Lai Mohammed chose half baked propaganda and extreme innuendos to seek to demonize the respected Clergy who is one of the few lovers of Constitutional democracy and modern day Nigeria that should work to uplift the welfare and protect the sanctity of the fundamental human rights and most especially the RIGHT TO LIFE as espoused in Chapter 4 of the Constitution and most particularly in Section 33(1). 

The Rights group said it was baffling that the minister of Information and Culture Mr Lai Mohammed could misinterpret these few lines of Bishop Mathew Hassan Kukah to mean the advocacy for a violent overthrow of government even as the Rights Advocacy group HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) stated that the texture, the context and the colouration of the statement made by the minister of Information and Culture Mr Lai Mohammed were totally disconnected from the facts adumbrated by His Eminence Bishop Mathew Hassan Kukah of Sokoto Diocese. 

HURIWA recalled that in his reaction to the Christmas essay by Bishop Mathew Hassan Kukah of Sokoto Diocese, the minister of Information and Culture Mr Lai Mohammed  said thus: “While religious leaders have a responsibility to speak truth to power, such truth must not come wrapped in anger, hatred, disunity and religious disharmony.”

HURIWA quoted the minister of Information and Culture Mr Lai Mohammed as saying that it is particularly graceless and impious for any religious leader to use the period of Christmas, which is a season of peace, to stoke the embers of hatred, sectarian strife and national disunity.

HURIWA recalled that the Minister also stated that: “Calling for a violent overthrow of a democratically-elected government, no matter how disguised such a call is, and casting a particular religion as violent is not what any religious leader should engage in, and certainly not in a season of peace,” Alhaji Mohammed said, adding that instigating regime change outside the ballot box is not only unconstitutional but also an open call to anarchy.”

The Minister was understood to be referring to Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah who was widely reported as berating President Muhammadu Buhari for alleged nepotism and saying that there would have been a coup if someone else were to be President.

HURIWA however said it was uncharitable and cowardly for the minister of Information and Culture Mr Lai Mohammed to intentionally spin the simple essay of Bishop Mathew Hassan Kukah out of context just so that he Lai Mohammed can continue to be a favoured boy of President Muhammadu Buhari when infact what he has done will in no way do any kind of good to any sort of legacies that the current administration intends to bequeath behind when it hands over to another democratically elected government in the year 2023. 

HURIWA wonders whether Lai Mohammed operates from another planet different from the one that Nigeria is geolocated for him not to have known that the cocktails of violence and mass killings happening right under the nose of President Muhammadu Buhari are highly unacceptable and that if not that the President Muhammadu Buhari is a Fulani ersthwhie Military General, the Fulani/Hausa dominated military would have staged a military overthrow of the government since it has clearly failed to maintain law and order and to flush out the series of armed non state actors and terrorists killing, maiming and wantonly destroying lives and property of the good people of Nigeria”.  

“The primary duty of government in line with section 14(2) (b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is to protect lives and property of Nigerians who are the owners of the Sovereignty of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the people of Nigeria are the ones that have donated the legitimacy to the Government to exercise authority and since the current administration has increasingly failed to keep to the primary duty for which it was elected to do, the best thing is for the administration to resign so a more competent Nigerian administration can be elected to restore law and order.”

HURIWA stated too that: “Only on Christmas day several villages in Borno and Yobe were attacked and scores of citizens killed. All around the Country, it is increasingly difficult for Nigerians to move freely because of the reign of terrorists and armed kidnappers. So is this Minister of Information Alhaji Lai Mohammed operating from the moon that he never read nor told about the persistent violence and bloodshed that his pay master has totally lost control and can not provide any meaningful solution to? Can this Lai Mohammed drive himself unaccompanied by security details from Lagos to Ibadan or from Abuja to Illorin in Kwara State  without being kidnapped or attacked? So what really is he talking about as if he is totally not aware that Nigeria has gradually become a failed state to an extent that even the Financial Times of London recently in its editorial stated clearly that President Muhammadu Buhari has ruined Nigeria and has rendered Nigeria comatose militarily, economically and other wise?”

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