Bishop Kukah’s Critcism of Buhari Hypocritical, Opportunistic – Kperogi
The 2020 Christmas message of the Bishop, Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Mathew Hassan Kukah (read the full message here) has been described as a self-interested one, given the cleric’s silence in the past over similar situations he complained about in his homily.
The cleric had on the 25th of December, 2020, wrote to call attention to a number of things he believed have gone wrong with Nigeria under the present administration.
Nigerians have continued to react to Kukah in a typical biased manner, with most reactions reflecting religious leanings for or against the cleric.
US-based Nigerian academic, Farooq Kperogi, however explained in his well-read Saturday column, Notes From Atlanta, that “Kukah’s criticism of Buhari was hypocritical and tinged with religion and opportunism.”
Kperogi said he could not recall Kukah “being as severely censorious of Jonathan—or even Obasanjo— as he has been of Buhari even though Jonathan was the absolute worst president we had had until Buhari came to beat his record.
“Was Bishop Kukah benign to Jonathan because he benefited from his government in either symbolic or material terms? I don’t know, but it’s entirely legitimate to be suspicious of the intent of his very accurate and unassailable assessment of the Buhari regime. If he wasn’t nearly as critical of Jonathan when he also supervised Nigeria’s descent into anarchy and precarity, which made Buhari’s emergence possible, his motivation can’t be attributed entirely to telling truth to power.
“Anyone who defended—or, worse, still defends—Jonathan has no moral right to criticize Buhari and expect to not invite ridicule or a questioning of their motives.”
Does anyone who either ignored or defended Jonathan’s disaster of an administration, which has been made only more tolerable in hindsight when compared with Buhari’s, deserve to be shielded from having their motive questioned when they criticize Buhari?
“In other words, if Buhari’s successor turns out to be even worse than he is (the one thing no one can say with certainty about Nigeria’s leadership is that it won’t get worse than it is now), should people who ignored or defended Buhari be allowed to criticize his successor without having their motives questioned? I don’t think so.
He said if Kukah defended Jonathan in 2014, he is not different from current Buhari apologists who also defend incompetence at all cost, arguing forcefully that the cleric should not be allowed to get away with his “selective outrage.”
He warned in advance that those who defend Buhari’s incompetence today should equally not be allowed to criticise his successor for similar incompetence in the future.
“The truth is that every previous administration often benefits from a kind of cognitive bias that psychologists call rosy retrospection, which is the tendency to remember past times more positively as they recede into distant memories. Even Buhari will benefit from rosy retrospection years after his tenure. Should people who defend or ignore him now be given a pass if they come down hard on his successor?”
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