THE BISHOP MATTHEW KUKAH HEADACHE CALLED AYO ORITSEJAFOR PHENOMENON AND THE CALIPHATE RITUAL COW SYNDROME— Struggling with the Burden of Episcopal Guilt over the Betrayal of Goodluck Jonathan
Nwankwo Tony Nwaezeigwe, PhD, DD
Director, Nigerian Civil War & Genocide Research Network
Research Fellow-in-Exile, Institute of African Studies, University of Nigerian Nsukka
Odogwu of Ibusa Clan, Delta State, Nigeria
I read with profound sympathy the spirited attempt by His Lordship Rt. Reverend Dr. Matthew Hassan Kukah, the Bishop of Roman Catholic Diocese of Sokoto to use his aesthetic mastery of Episcopal Latin verbosity to whittle down what is considered an incontrovertible Gospel Truth. I clearly understand how he felt agitated trying to mend an obvious irreparable broken spiritual calabash.
Unfortunately, like a broken calabash which cannot be mended, Bishop Kukah’s fire-brigade damage-control tirade lacks the desired impact, particularly when calculated from the algebraic political equation of the current state of spiraling violence and political precipice in Nigeria.
One had expected Bishop Kukah with his loaded knowledge and experience as a Middle Belt Christian leader to first address the current intractable jihad-driven state of disorder in Nigeria rather than engaging on a spineless and fruitless political promenade of attempting to defend the indefensible murderous Caliphate, an action that readily places him squarely on the saddle of a collaborator and heartless quisling. But as the Igbo often say, ukwu ewu weta ka wa ji akpudoa (a goat is tethered with the leg it puts forward), I am therefore duty bound to return our Lord Bishop from his Caliphate-cocoon state of reasoning to the realities of his office and role as an ordained protector of his Christian flock.
I once used to admire Bishop Matthew Kukah as a fiery young Roman Catholic Priest whose religiously precarious indigenous background should act as an inspiration to the spiritually dormant Christians of South; but this seems to have drastically evaporated with his elevated ordination as a Lord of the Papal Ecclesiastic Manor and subsequent appointment to the Bishopric of the Sokoto Caliphate. May be all those eclectic acts and scenes of melodramatic spirituality woven in presumptive radicalism were only aimed at one fundamental but hidden objective— elevation to the title of a Bishop.
And once that was achieved his theory of “And Jesus wept in Gethsemane” soon gave way to his lordly religious carriage as the lordly ambassador to the Court of the oppressive Arabian king. But I think in one breath we should sympathize with Bishop Kukah’s precarious position as a protector-Christian Lord under the political cacophony of a Christian-eating dragon miscalled Sokoto Caliphate. The best he could do as the Roman Catholic genius-loci in Sokoto is to maintain his relevance is to strike a balance between the dignity of his limbless office and the fear of the Christian-eating dragon by occasionally barking in support of his besieged flock while at the same time profusely hiding his set of dentition in-between his submissive flexing lips.
There is no doubt that His Lordship Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah began his limbless rebuttal to my long-forgotten article on the Caliphate Ritual Cow and Goodluck Jonathan’s Presidency on a very ignorant note by questioning my integrity as a scholar, professional historian and Civil Rights Activist. It is pertinent to recast his statement in this regard:
It is difficult to say how many poor, ignorant or even educated Christians, within and without the Christian community would have been fooled by the trash concocted by a man who claims to have a Ph.D by the name of Nwankwo Tony Nwaezeigwe. It is unclear who may have encouraged, inspired or sponsored him to write such a despicable piece.
However, for a man who claims to be in the History Department of a prestigious institute like the revered University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), I do not know if the abandonment of the study of History has affected the quality of his claims to have a Doctorate degree in History.
Let me first begin by informing his Lordship that I was educated to the letter of what I claim to be in spirit, body and soul. I mince no word in uttering what I consider as the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, to borrow from legal parlance. The only matter before us—I and Bishop Kukah presently is that of defining what is practically, morally, and spiritually considered as truth before objective-minded and de-dogmatized Nigerians beyond every modicum of sentiment. It is a matter predicated on no other fulcrum of psycho-spiritual judgment order than truth. I mean that truth Our Lord Jesus Christ pointed out in the Gospel according to Saint John Chapter 8: 32—“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
I have great respect for the Roman Catholic Church not only as one born into a predominantly Roman Catholic family, but one who had had the opportunity as a student of European Medieval History and early Christian Missionary activities in Africa to have a deeper knowledge of the complexities of its evolution to the present day and untold selfless sacrifices in bringing Black Africa up to her present state of elevated development. I also have a special passion for French and Irish Roman Catholic Clergies for their unsung roles in the revolutionary struggles in both countries.
I had the privilege of passing through an erudite thorough-bred Catholic Priest—the late Rev. Fr. Prof. Ikenga Raymond A.
Ozigbo from Oraukwu in Anambra State as both an undergraduate and master’s degree student as well as a junior colleague and I can rightly say that his reflective description of the inherent self-denial syndrome of an average Roman Catholic Priest of Nigerian extraction is graphically reflected in Bishop kukah’s contraption of what he believes to be the truth—a truth painted in deceptive apostolicity and authoritarian apostasy; which is founded on self-inflicted Medieval Romanist imperium syndrome.
I have also had the privilege of having a number of Roman Catholic priests passed through me as my students, and I can bet my knowledge with Bishop Kukah’s state of acute ignorance that I have a deep knowledge of the inherent psycho-intellectual problems associated with the circumscribed and mentally-caged nature of Catholic Seminary education which Bishop Kukah passed through. So I can easily add up the limits of Bishop Kukah’s knowledge to the subject matter he elected to be an unsung advocate.
A Pedigree of Selfless Civil Rights Struggles Painted in Intellectual Audacity
I think what I cannot boast of at the present is money, which of course I am not interested in having under dubious means. But in the matter of integrity Bishop Kukah would seem have misfired in respect of my pedigree.
I can state this fact clearly without the slightest equivocation, beginning from the neighborhoods of my hometown Ibusa in Delta State, through the four walls of University of Nigeria, Nsukka, to the streets of Lagos State where I labored for about one decade as a Civil Rights activist. My records are equally there as the Deputy Senior Prefect of Anglican Boys Grammar School, Akwukwu-Igbo, Delta State, 1980 Set, as well as the Propaganda Secretary of Civil Service Technical Workers’ Union of Nigeria (CSTWUN), Enugu Airport Branch, 1982 to 1984.
Intellectually, I became a historian by passion and not by accident of academic deficiency because as one of the best students in sciences and arts in my set I was fully qualified to do any science course; and this explains why I was first trained as an Aviation Telecommunication Superintendent before deciding to study history a the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. As a historian, I have equally proved my mettle in that field with proven scholarship. The following five books are just part of my over ten scholarly books which can easily be assessed online.
The POLITICS, CULTURE AND ORIGINS IN NIGERIA: The Igbo and their Nri Neighbors (2020) Washington D C and London: Academica Press
DELIVERED FROM THE MOUTH OF THE DRAGON: Face-To-Face Encounter With Islamist Terrorism (2020) Washington DC and London: Academica Press
THE AFRICAN THEATER OF THE MIDDLE EAST CONFLICT: Studies in Arab Neo-Colonialism in Black Africa (2019) Washington DC: Academica Press Inc.
Ngoni (An Historical Survey of the Ngoni People of Malawi) (1997) New York: The Rosen Publishing Inc.
THE IGBO AND THEIR NRI NEIGHBOURS (2007) Enugu : SNAAP Press Limited
On the matter of my pedigree in the struggles, let me begin by stating very clearly that in my struggles to defend the rights of the oppressed Christians of Nigeria, I believe I have done more to defend the interest of my Middle Belt Christian Brethren than His Lordship Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah might have done to the same people who are his kinsmen.
In the year 2000 during the protracted conflicts between the Hausa-Fulani residents of Lagos State and the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), especially after the killing of an Middle Belt ECWA Pastor by the OPC militants in Mile 12 under mistaken identity of being a Hausa-Fulani, I singularly intervened by making a case for a separate identity for the Middle Belt Christians before the leader of OPC, the late Dr. Frederick Faseun. That resulted to a synergy between the Southern Kaduna People’s Organization (SOKAPO) then and the OPC on the one hand, the Middle Belt organizations and their Southern counterparts on the other.
My good brother Dr. Alexander Mana then of the Nigerian Institute of Sports, and the then President of SOKAPO Lagos State, Mr. Isuwa Dogo are witnesses.
Indeed the Taraba State-born Ace-TV broadcaster and former producer of the AIT morning program Kaakaki Mr. Jika Attoh can explain further in this regard because it was during my live-interview with him on the OPC-Hausa/Fulani conflict that a detachment of Nigerian Mobile Police Force invaded the Studio and whisked him away, while I was lucky to escape without detection given my tender age then. Suffice it to state that it was that an incident that eventually ended his professional stint at AIT.
As a prophetic historian I was on Channels Television’s Sunrise morning program on April 11, 2013 where I warned the Federal Government about the approaching danger of armed conflicts through the importation of massive arms into the country, a prophesy that is fulfilled today. This can easily be accessed on YouTude.
However, because it was not coming from a Reverend Father Ejike Mbaka the the Federal Government and the likes of Bishop Kukah saw it as the barking of a hungry dog seeking a fat bone from a benevolent old man.
In January 2017 after the currently marauding armed Fulani herdsmen massacred over two hundred defenseless Southern Kaduna indigenes, I singularly mobilized funds and wrote a full-page newspaper advert article published on the Daily Sun, Vanguard, and Leadership issues of Friday December 9, 2017, in which I condemned both the heartless massacre and the criminal indifference of John Cardinal Onaiyekan and the Roman Catholic Church over the killings.
The younger brother of the late Chairman of the Leadership newspaper Sam Nda-Isaiah which whom I had extensive discussions on the subject matter of the besieged Middle Belt Christians can attest to the facts.
It should be recalled that neither Bishop Kukah whose kinsmen were the victims of the Fulani carnage nor John Cardinal Onaiyekan the ordained head of Nigerian Catholic Church who paradoxically sees the Jihadist Sir Ahmadu Bello as his eternal god-father could utter a single word of condemnation. It took the unquenchable boldness of His Eminence Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor to protest the carnage and went ahead to call for a one-day fasting and prayer for all Nigerian Christians in honor of the murdered Southern Kaduna Brethren.
In reaction to that solemn call by the President of Christian Association of Nigeria, the so-called Northern Muslim-powered Christian leader miscalled John Cardinal Onaiyekan openly dissociated himself and the Roman Catholic Church from the said prayer. Bishop Kukah whose kinsmen were the victims was there and could neither oppose his Cardinal nor organize his own fasting and prayer or any other form of protest.
The only reason for such abdication of spiritual responsibilities by John Cardinal Oonaiyekan and Bishop Matthew Kukah was why should it be Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor of all people to call for prayers. This was one of the sins Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor purportedly committed against the Nigerian Christendom.
It is important to note that I have since continued to be in constant synergy with the good people of Southern Kaduna even still in my present exile, of which the current President of SOKAPU Dr. Jonathan Asake is a witness. This further explains why I was privileged to be invited to the Southern Kaduna People’s Union Whatsapp Group for the objective of establishing a new university, until I withdrew in protest over their nonchalant postures to the on-going killings at the time.
At University of Nigeria, Nsukka I have the singular record of being the only academic staff under a space of one year to be arrested four times, detained four times, suspended four times, charged to Court four times, discharged and acquitted four times, under General Sani Abacha and finally sacked under General Abdulsalami Abubakar in 1999 and, later to be recalled nine years after, precisely in 2008. I went through all the said ordeals for no other reason than my defense of human rights.
Today I am in exile for the same struggle this time walking with the aid of clutches for no other reason than the reckless abdication of spiritual cum political responsibilities of Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah and his co-leaders of the Nigerian Christendom, particularly arising from their iniquitous sell-out syndrome to their Caliphate pay-masters.
During my nine year-spell of activism in Lagos State after my sack from University of Nigeria, Nsukka, I made profound impact on the body of Igbo residents in Lagos State, of which Igbo leader in Lagos during that period can deny.
Through my synergy with OPC the constant harassment of Igbo residents of Lagos State was stopped through the Igbo People’s Congress (IPC) which I founded and led. I was a fundamental factor in the settlement of Igbo-Yoruba conflicts in Apapa Wharf, Ojo Local Government Area, Yaba Market, and the Chieftaincy tussle between Chief Nwachukwu of Obodoukwu in Imo State and Chief Ohazurike of Ihiala in Anambra State.
That the Igbo are appointed Commissioner in Lagos State today was the result of my memo on the subject matter submitted to Senator Bola Tinubu then the State Governor through Dr. Frederick Faseun, of which the current Hon. Minister of Information Alhaji Lai Mohammed, then Chief of Staff, and Chief Joe Igbokwe of the Lagos APC are living witnesses.
So it befuddled my imagination when His Lordship Bishop Kukah wrote about both the source of my inspiration and who might be my sponsor. I want to remind him that if it were a matter of monetary inducement as a propelling factor to my activism then I shouldn’t be where I am today. I am not however compelling his Lordship to believe my foregoing accounts of pedigree on the thoroughfares selfless sacrifice and passionate activism, but one thing I will compel him to believe at this stage of disputation is that I am not only a critical historian threading on the thoroughfares of incontrovertible facts, but one with a conscious sense of prophetic historicism.
And I am going to prove this by pulling down seriatim his calculated monstrous mendacity constructed on an edifice of Episcopal Pharisaic syndrome from its Babelian Pinnacle of spiritual pusillanimity.
Bishop Kukah and the Contraption of Roman Catholic Truth
It is often impossible to see a man picking rubbish with his bare hands not having his hands stained in the process.
This is the case of Bishop Kukah’s attempt to exonerate the informant-driver from the role he played in leaking the information on the slaughtering of the ritual cow by the Caliphate. In doing this Bishop Kukah raised two self-indicting and absolutely stranger-questions which clearly placed him on the saddle of a collaborator. To quote him verbatim:
The first sign of trouble is the quality of judgment of the author. Anyone who knows a thing about the north knows that the sums do not add up. For the sake of intention or even motive, what does the driver stand to gain by making this sacrifice to save Jonathan or Christianity and undermine the agenda of his own master? Secondly, how would the driver have been privy to all the salacious details of the burial of a cow and this plot? So, we are all supposed to be so stupid enough as to believe that of all people, a driver would be the source of such information, that the driver attended the meeting, that he saw where and how the cow was slaughtered and that he is volunteering this information to a Christian because he loves Christianity or loves Jonathan?
Bishop Kukah wants us to first decipher the motive of the driver vis-à-vis what he intended to gain by betraying his master in favor of President Goodluck Jonathan and Christianity. I think Bishop Kukah should as well pose the same question to both Judas Iscariot for betraying his master Jesus Christ, and the Nigerian Roman Catholic Church for betraying President Goodluck Jonathan during the 2015 General elections.
It is like Bishop Kukah forgot that he was not addressing his wingless flock from his infallible Episcopal pulpit but critical minds outside the confines of his dogmatized sphere of Papal spiritual absolutism.
In the second question, which is a below-kindergarten level question, Bishop Kukah wants us to doubt the possibility of the driver knowing the details of the burial of the cow.
But the two questions which should be posed to Bishop Kukah are first, who were those assigned with the duties of carrying their Emirs’ and master’s personal effects to meetings, if not the drivers? Second, were the Sultan and the Emirs, including the crop of political and religious leaders of the Caliphate the ones who physically carried out the burial of the cow? Anybody with a personal driver knows that he is often at the mercy his personal driver in matters of his points of contact and personal activities both public and private.
One however wonders why Bishop Kukah decided to be the one to defend a driver he does not know particularly in an episode he denied the connection of his Church. Again why was Bishop Kukah quick in passing a moral judgment on the motive, sincerity and personal character of the driver with the compass of exoneration pointing at him?
Is it uncommon to see Muslims betraying their fellow Muslims in favor of the Christians in the same manner Bishop Kukah and his co-Roman Catholic leaders betrayed President Goodluck Jonathan? There is no doubt Bishop Kukah’s spirited attempt to later demonize the driver and question the veracity of the ritual cow is reflective evidence his first-hand knowledge of the ritual cow slaughter, and further betrays his pro-Caliphate dispositions against his oppressed Christian brethren.
In Bishop Kukah’s words:
I am convinced that first, no meeting took place in Sokoto and two, no driver approached any northern Christian with any of such story.
The conman may be the so-called northern Christian peddling a story that he knew would have traction and help him enter the loop of power.
I think Bishop Kukah should tell Nigerians the basis and source of his conviction that no meeting took place in Sokoto and that no driver approached a Northern Christian. Is he telling Nigerians to believe him simply because he is a Roman Catholic Bishop who should be unquestionably obeyed? Or is he telling Nigerians that as the Bishop of Roman Catholic Diocese of Sokoto he is so close to the Caliphate that no plan against the Christians of Nigeria passes without his knowledge?
In his further attempt to play the Caliphate advocate, a case of weeping more than the bereaved, Bishop Kukah proceeded further to engage on a diminutive mental promenade by seeking untenable refuge in President Jonathan’s psycho-dramatic indifference to the report of the ritual cow. In his words:
Luckily, at least President Jonathan is not agitated. Unlike his informants, President Jonathan decided to investigate, something his agitated informants totally ignored.” Bishop concluded the paragraph with the statement, “They wanted the Presidency more than Jonathan the President.
How weird! But we shall return to this later.”
What Bishop Kukah failed to comprehend in his illogical analysis of the subject of agitation is that the onus of agitation fundamentally lies with the led rather than the leaders. Pastor Oritsejafor was morally right to be agitated like every other citizen of the Nigeria who had the premonition of what is tragically happening today and which from all intents and purposes is the consequence of both the slaughtering of the ritual cow and President Jonathan’s cowardly approach to the report.
The question Bishop Kukah should ask himself is on what basis then are the on-going floods of confession and request for forgiveness on the part President Jonathan by the same Northern Muslim leaders? Bishop Kukah might not have had the cause to be agitated like the ordinary Nigerian Christians who are exposed to the Muslim slaughter-slap because he sees himself eternally protected by his Episcopal cassock from Fulani herdsmen.
Moreover, he has no immediate family of his own and so might not feel the pain of losing a loved one in the Herdsmen carnage. Bishop Kukah’s incongruous analysis is further faulted by Jonathan’s state of agitation during his visit to Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor after his defeat, when he re-echoed Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor’s statement: “Mr. President you are finished.”
Bishop Kukah seems to find no relevance in my reference to General Ironsi-Col Madiebo encounter, yet he was quick to notice some inaccuracies which he postponed for another day. By stating that Dr Hassan Tukur is not from Sokoto seems to me that the lordly Bishop does not know the difference between Sokoto Caliphate and Sokoto as a city and State.
One again does not know the moral basis of Bishop Kukah’s attempt to exonerate Dr Hassan Tukur and Col Sambo Dasuki from the plot to unseat President Goodluck Jonathan after Col Sambo Dasuki has personally confessed of working against the re-election of his boss. One tends to wonder Bishop Kukah’s source of evidence that the two men were not privy to the plot against President Jonathan when the same people are confessing in droves to the act.
I am further surprised that Bishop Kukah with all his wealth of knowledge and experience as both a seasoned Roman Catholic clergyman and National Treasurer of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) for six years would be telling Nigerians the wrong history of Christian Association of Nigeria. It is either his knowledge of the history of CAN is misty or that he is out to deceive his readers.
His claim that CAN was founded in 1982 is very very far from the truth. It is as despicably wrong as a Nigerian student in Secondary School stating that Nigeria got her independence in 1965 instead of 1960.
It is important to state that the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) was officially founded on 27th August, 1976 and, the credit of its formation must go to Chief Olusegun Obasanjo who as Head of State invited the leaders of Nigerian Churches to Dodan Barracks for a different purpose but ended up compelling the Christian leaders to immediately constitute themselves into a broad national Christian Association.
After his marching orders the Christian leaders moved to the Roman Catholic Secretariat which was not very far from Dodan Barracks to formally constitute the Association.
The first Constitution of CAN was adopted on 20th April, 1977, while the Organization was incorporated on December 19th, 1986. So the question is from which source did Bishop Kukah got his 1982 founding date?
The Head of the Roman Catholic Church in Nigeria then, His Eminence Cardinal Ekandem was subsequently elected the first President of CAN, an office he held for ten years (1976 – 1986). He was followed by Cardinal Anthony Okogie who reigned for first two years on acting capacity and eight years on substantive capacity. In sum therefore the Catholic Secretariat led CAN in her first twenty years and since there was no permanent Secretariat at the time it was formal for the two Presidents to use their official office to run the affairs of the Association.
This explains the reason for the use of Catholic Secretariat as CAN’s Secretariat at the initial stage, but Bishop Kukah deceitfully tends to present it as if the Roman Catholic Church was being magnanimous for hosting the CAN Secretariat.
Bishop Kukah should have stated why Primate Mbang did not use the Catholic Secretariat to run the affairs of the Association during his tenure as CAN.
Bishop Kukah’s analysis of the structural development of CAN over the years is deceptive in the sense that he deliberately failed to inform his audience that CAN has a laid down structure on which elections are predicated.
His analysis of the Vice President traditionally succeeding the President up to 2003 is grossly faulted by the fact that when Cardinal Anthony Okogie succeeded Cardinal Ekandem as President he was not his Vice President. It is unfortunate to see a whole Episcopal Lordship peddling blatant mortal falsehood on village square.
CAN on its formation in 1976 was constituted into three denominational blocs namely: Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, Christian Council of Nigeria, and Other Denominational Groups.
This was later expanded to the present five blocs—Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, Christian Council of Nigeria, Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, Organization of African Instituted Churches, and TEKAN-ECWA. Both the President and Vice President are elected from the heads of the five blocs.
It is therefore unfortunate that Bishop Kukah acting on the authoritarian impulse of a typical Roman Catholic Bishop whose words are often considered as law at the local level, expects Nigerians to believe as he put it, that the CAN Constitution was changed in order give room for the buying of votes.
The review of the Constitution of CAN became necessary in the light of the new structure of five denominational blocs and the need to introduce an all-inclusive CAN leadership and not the one that would have kept the likes Bishop Kukah as National Treasurer for ten years, or Cardinal Ekandem as President for twenty years without a framework for change of leadership.
It is highly unfortunate to see Bishop Kukah with all his acclaimed towering ecclesiastical shoulders as an impeccable de-tribalised clergyman introducing the subject of ethnic politics as a factor in the election of CAN President. Let us hear him:
Are we to assume that it was an accident that Rev. Akinola became President of CAN in 2003 from nowhere at a time when his kinsman, President Obasanjo would later begin to nurse the idea of a third term? Is it an accident that for the first time in the history of CAN, the President of CAN would not be able to secure a second term as it happened in 2007? Was it an accident that the collapse of Obasanjo’s third term project coincided with the failure of Primate Akinola to secure a second term?
If CAN found Cardinal Onaiyekan unelectable in 2003, what had he done to suddenly become electable in 2007? Did the king makers in CAN suddenly suffer a pang of conscience? What had changed in Cardinal Onaiyekan’s profile? The answer seems to be that with President Obasanjo gone, a CAN President under a Muslim President did not seem to offer much juice. It seemed safe then to bring back Cardinal Onaiyekan because the fat years had ended and ethnicity was no longer relevant. Or was it that the leaders of CAN had just returned from Damascus?
The realities would later unravel with the death of Yar’adua.
The Igbo of Delta State where I hail from often say: Onye kpo nwata nwunyem si ka-okpalia (The man who calls a little girl my wife invites insults from her).
I really don’t know what led His Lordship Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah to engage on this distasteful infantile and unholy promenade of intellectual suicide.
In advancing his presumptive ethnic reason for the election of Primate Akinola as CAN President in place of John Cardinal Onaiyekan which he predicated on Obasanjo’s Presidency Yoruba ethnic identity, Bishop Kukah with his wealth of historical knowledge did not know that John Cardinal Onaiyekan, Primate Akinola, and President Olusegun Obasanjo belong to the same Yoruba ethnic group. Or is the Bishop only being recklessly and clandestinely deceitful?
The truth is that John Cardinal Onaiyekan was advised in 2003 to allow Primate Akinola to be elected CAN President for the fundamental reason of equity within the rank and file of the five CAN blocs, since Cardinal Ekandem— Bishop Kukah a Roman Catholic had reigned for ten years as CAN President, and another Roman Catholic— Cardinal Anthony Olubunmi Okogie had reigned for almost ten years. But the likes of Bishop Kukah who had already taken the CAN leadership as a divine-right inheritance did not see such with their catechizing sense of spiritual objectivity. Onaiyekan came back again to be elected in 2007 because of the non-performing dispositions of Primate Akinola; the same reason John Cardinal Onaiyekan was later defeated by Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor.
It is unfortunate that Bishop Kukah who had all the while during the turbulent period of Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor’s Presidency of CAN pretended to be sympathetic towards his ordeals, would turn around in his true Pharisaic colors to fabricate untenable lies against him. According to Bishop Kukah:
With an Ijaw cousin from the South-South State of Bayelsa now in power, how could Pastor Ayo from the same zone and next door neighbour from Delta fail to gate crash and become President of CAN so as to support his kinsman? Cardinal Onaiyekan suddenly became unattractive, failed to get a second term. From nowhere, Pastor Ayo, not having held any position the CAN Executive, left his Word of Life Bible Church in Warri and is sponsored and wins the Presidency of CAN? Who sponsored him and how much did it cost?
At this point, CAN elections had become monetised with allegations flying around about shameful inducements of delegates by candidates
I thought Bishop Kukah was questioning my intellectual historicity when he kick-started his contra-mundun Homily on the Mount of CAN. The description of an Ijaw as the cousin of an Itsekiri who is ethnically Yoruba is to say the least the height of Episcopal deceit.
It is pertinent to inform Bishop Kukah that both John Cardinal Onaiyekan and Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor belong to the same Yoruba (Anago) ethnic group. It is also important to inform Bishop Kukah that Pastor Oritsejafor did not come from nowhere to contest the CAN Presidency.
Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor was a member of CAN National Executive Committee and as the President of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria at the time was fully qualified to contest the CAN Presidency.
It is important to inform Bishop Kukah at this point that Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor’s victory over John Cardinal John Onaiyekan was not predicated on monetized politics, but was the fall-out of the shameful abdication of responsibilities of such Northern Christian leaders as John Cardinal Onaiyekan and him Bishop Kukah by playing the roles of collaborators of the Caliphate against their fellow oppressed Christians of Northern Nigeria instead of acting as the vanguard of their liberation.
To be precise on those who sponsored Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, the Northern Denominational Bloc TEKAN and ECWA specially invited Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor to come to their rescue by contesting the CAN Presidency against John Cardinal Onaiyekan who they considered as being insensitive to their problems. And it is obvious that as part of the Caliphate-Christian collaborators Bishop Kukah would not have been informed of the move.
As President of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor did not spare a moment of any occasion that called for the defense of the cause of Middle Belt Christians. He was not only fearlessly outspoken towards their cause but supported them financially and materially when the needs arose.
One good example was the case of the only female and Christian Member of Bauchi State House of Assembly Hon. Rifkatu Samson who was ignominiously expelled from the House of Assembly for speaking out on the floor of the House of Assembly against the oppression of her people.
No Northern Christian leader of the status of John Cardinal Onaiyekan and Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah thought of intervening on her side, but it took the intervention of Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor to turn the matter into a national issue. To the likes of Bishop Kukah it was routine for Middle Belt Christians to suffer persecution in the hands of their Muslim Fulani oppressors and endure it till thy kingdom comes.
Again, one does not seem to understand from which angle Bishop Kukah lays his claim that “The sheer illogicality of Dr. Nwaezeigwe’s arguments is staggering.” Is it not a truism that Goodluck Jonathan paradoxically worked against his own re-election bid by refusing to heed timely advice and take proactive actions as in the case of the Caliphate ritual cow?
Is it not an incontrovertible fact that the Roman Catholic Church employed “Episcopal” Town Hall Meeting between the APC Presidential candidate Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) and representatives of the Roman Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria led by the then Archbishop of Jos, Bishop Ignatius Kaigama at Abuja, as the open identification of their anti-Jonathan stance? These are open truths which Bishop Kukah’s Episcopal cassock cannot cover or obliterate.
There is no doubting the fact that Nigeria and Nigerians including the teaming Christian population are in the present state of spiraling violence and insecurity because of the ungodly decision of Bishop Kukah and his Roman Catholic cohorts to play Judas Iscariot against the body of Christ for no other reason than selfish political end, of which Most Rev. Ignatius Kaigama and John Cardinal Onaiyekan were the Arrow-heads. Indeed by coming up to defend the Caliphate in the obvious case of spiritual onslaught against the body of Christ, Bishop Kukah has proved that he was and still remains a pawn of the Caliphate, a quisling in the manner of Judas Iscariot working against the very flock he was ordained to rear and protect.
Indeed Bishop Kukah throughout the length and breadth of his Episcopal tirade against inconvertible facts never denied this act of Judas Iscariot by the Roman Catholic leadership against thheir Christian brethren but, rather decided to seek refuge in limbless reasons wobbly constructed around the intimidating personality of His Eminence Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor. Let us hear him once again:
Pastor Ayo’s tenure was turbulent and the turbulence must be placed squarely around the table of those who had turned the CAN into a poodle, the praying wing of the PDP and a lap dog of the Jonathan Presidency. CAN’s fulcrum and focus was President Jonathan which was suddenly presented as if Jonathan had become the President of Nigerian Christians. CAN’s overt support for the Jonathan Presidency would suck CAN into the politics of PDP and leave it with the tragic sobriquet of being a Party for Christians!
Bishop Kukah no doubt was right in describing Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor’s tenure as turbulent, but failed in his back-up reasons which are more or less ingredients of an already existing anti-Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor syndrome among the Roman Catholic leadership; his sin being the audacity to floor their John Cardinal Onaiyekan in CAN Presidential election. It is true that Bishop Kukah might be well educated in Latin philosophy and Roman Catholic theology but, definitely not in Nigerian political history around which are tied intractable ethno-religious conflicts. Indeed it is right to state that here that while the cassock of a Bishop unarguably depicts the title to his office it does not depict knowledge and the sense of objective judgment.
Let me begin by informing Bishop Kukah that the idea of a Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) was not centered on spiritual regeneration of the Nigerian Christians because each denomination has its own liturgical framework which it guards jealously.
The fundamental objective behind the establishment of CAN was political, a unity constructed with the fundamental motive of countering the Jihad schemes of Sokoto Caliphate. The Northern Christian body of which Bishop Kukah belongs practically experienced this obvious danger during the Premiership of Sardauna of Sokoto, which came to climax in 1964. The result was the formation of the Northern Christian Association (NCA) which was later renamed Christian Association of the North (CAN).
The Sardauna Jihad scheme was powered by Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) founded in 1962 by Sir Ahmadu Bello which was led by Sheikh Abubakar Mahmoud Guni from its inception to 1970. In 1973, Sheikh Gumi conscripted other Muslim leaders to found the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) with the objective of extending the work of Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) to Southern Nigeria.
These were the two Islamic organizations that discreetly inspired the Murtala Mohammed coup against General Yakubu Gowon in 1975. General Olusegun Obasanjo who was Murtala Mohammed’s second-in-command and later successor knew about this conspiracy hence his equally discreet decision to forge a common Christian front against the Muslims as his fall-back spiritual base.
Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah might not be aware of these eternal facts because of the circumscribed nature of his historical knowledge, otherwise he should not have engaged on a mission of making a mountain out of a molehill of political mirage by employing the dubious tactics of cheap blackmail to smear the character of Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor. What was wrong with the President of Christian Association of Nigeria supporting a Christian President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to succeed? If the Muslims complained which is natural, should it then be the duty of disgruntled Christian leaders to pull down the same political edifice that provided them the semblance of political legitimacy and inclusiveness in Nigeria? How many Muslim Imams have done such against their fellow Muslim brethren on the saddle of Nigerian Presidency?
From General Murtala Mohammed to the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, all the Muslim Heads of State and Presidents never shied away from their overt political concubinage with Sokoto Caliphate. To state the obvious, there is no prominent Emir without an Oil Well in Niger Delta.
The Sultan of Sokoto alone has twenty-three Oil wells in Niger Delta. Who among their Muslim kinsmen or even among the exploited Christian South are raising eye-brows? Bishop Kukah wants us to accept from his myopic knowledge that Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor committed mortal sin by being close to a Christian President. The question is who else should have been very close the President if not the head of his religion?
Yes! Bishop Kukah wants us to demonize Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor for being very close to PDP and President Goodluck Jonathan for being in close relationship with the leadership of CAN, but at the same time wants us to accept as an an act of moral justification the open support himself, John Cardinal Onaiyekan and Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama gave the APC and their Presidential candidate Muhammadu Buhari in 2015, that consequently led Nigeria into the present state of political hocus-pocus bathed in the blood of innocent citizens.
Bishop Kukah wants us to believe that the Roman Catholic leadership was both morally and spiritually justified in going against both Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor and President Goodluck Jonathan for the reason of their distaste for the involvement of CAN leadership in politics, but at the same time wants us to accept as spiritually justifiable and politically expedient their “Episcopal” Town Hall Meeting between the APC Presidential candidate Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) and representatives of the Roman Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria led by the Archbishop of Jos, Bishop Ignatius Kaigama, at Abuja.
Is it not an irony of confused mind-set that the same Roman Catholic leadership who together with their Igbo-born roguish Priest Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka who once sang requiem for President Goodluck Jonathan are now singing the same requiem for President Muhammadu Buhari? Has Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor not been vindicated? One fact which even haters like Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah can neither take away nor obliterate from the stable of moral objectivity is that Pastor Joseph Ayodele Oritsejafor stands out as an indisputable epitome of visionary Christian leadership, principled in character, objective in judgment, fearless in dispositions, and regal in carriage to the distaste of those who hate justice, equity and fair play.
His tenure witnessed the apogee of mutual respect, and equality of status between the Caliphate and the Nigerian Christendom. Today CAN without Oritsejafor has relapsed into a pitied state beggarly organ with its President Dr. Dapo Ayokunle moving with the staggering steps of a dejected and abandoned spiritual mendicant.
But to Bishop Kukah and his Fulani hirelings shamelessly masquerading as Church leaders while innocent Christian blood wetted the land of their ancestors in the hands Fulani herdsmen and bandits, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor is no more and no less a fugitive Pastor who propped up the current heinous Fulani banditry in Nigeria. In the words of Bishop Kukah:
To be sure, the Presidency of Pastor Ayo was at best a period of unnecessary tumult even within the body of Christ and there are lessons for us to learn in the urgency of dialogue with our brothers of other faiths and how to guide our nation morally.
To be rightly guided by the above words of Bishop Kukah, could it therefore be said that it was Pastor Oritsejafor’s unnecessary tumultuous leadership that led General Ibrahim Babangida to put Nigeria into OIC? Was it also Pastor Oritsejafor’s unnecessary tumultuous leadership that led General Sani Abacha to put Nigeria into Development-Eight Islamic Nations?
Was Pastor Oritsejafor’s style of leadership equally instrumental to the incessant killings of indigenous Christians of Southern Kaduna, Benue State, Plateau State, and Taraba State? Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor’s overbearing leadership of CAN equally brought about the current upsurge of murderous activities of Fulani herdsmen and banditry down to Southern Nigeria? To Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor should also be credited the rise of Boko Haram insurgency. How far has Bishop Kukah’s theory of dialogue with his so-called brothers of other faiths gone to stop the current state of spiraling banditry and political precipice?
For such infantile blackmail to have come out from a Bishop of the Roman Catholic Church, a Church known for its unrivalled age-long tradition of critical scholarship, I think something must be wrong somewhere.
It is surprising that not a word is mentioned by the learned Bishop concerning the current state of insecurity in Nigeria, neither did he make any attempt to address the objective and subsequent backlash of the Caliphate ritual cow with regard to the on-going killings in Nigeria.
All he was concerned with was the attempt, albeit futile to dismantle the Caliphate ritual cow account as conscripted by the Caliphate to do, as well as exonerate the Roman Catholic leadership from the present chaotic state of Nigerian nation. But the facts are as clear as the moon which cannot be covered with bare hands.
The irony of Bishop Kukah’s spirited attempt is that the more he attempts to debunk the facts of the Caliphate ritual cow, the more he presents himself as a collaborator and by extension an accomplice to the crime since it takes only a Muslim within the circle of the Caliphate leadership to counter the facts, and not a highly protected Christian saboteur on the pay-list of the Caliphate.
Bishop Kukah’s monstrous diatribe has just revealed how heartless and insensitive the Nigerian Christian leadership could when it comes to the question of security of those they are ordained to lead.
Bishop Kukah tells us proudly that he is currently the Chairman of CAN Committee on Dialogue, and the question is dialogue under what basis? Is it dialogue to stop the endless spate of shedding of innocent Christian blood, or dialogue in the service of the Caliphate jihad objectives in return for the protection of his besieged Diocese under the seat of the Caliphate?
There is gainsaying the fact that His Lordship Dr. Matthew Hassan Kukah, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese is one of the stumbling blocks to not just collective Christian front, but the matter of security of the lives of Christians in Nigeria. His Caliphate-protective infantile harangue depicts a clear case of crass ignorance and calculated insensitivity to the dark political cloud currently hovering over the Nigerian nation. And I must state the gospel truth at this point.
This class of Christian leadership must first be dealt with before there will be any fruitful headway in the confrontation of the ominous danger posed by Fulani jihadists.