By Dr. Ahmed Idriss
There is massive corruption in Nigeria, and it is everywhere. It is a cancer that has been killing Nigeria and Nigerians. It is not just Boko Haram military generals, politicians, and high ranking government officials that are manifestly corrupt, even our so called clerics, both Muslims and Christians, are badly
corrupt!Following the outrageous statements recently made by the renown cleric, Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah, in which he sought to condemn probing the grandeur thefts committed by the Goodluck Jonathan cabal, the CUPS organisation can exclusively reveal that Bishop Kukah himself may be complicit in deep
corruption! Bishop Matthew Kukah is the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, and spokesperson of the controversial National Peace Committee, headed by the former head of state, Lieutenant General Abdulsalam Abubakar (Rtd).
Unknown to the Catholic Church and millions of Nigerians, we can reveal that Bishop Kukah is currently building two new mansions in a large compound at Bodinga Road, Behind Usman Danfodio University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto. The property is also adjacent to Sidi Mamman farm, just behind the General Post Office. The CUPS organisation has obtained exclusive photos of the double mansions being built. Our investigators discovered that the mansions are hurriedly being built within a span of just three months, and are very near to completion. It is estimated that the total cost of the land and building the two mansions is well over 1 billion Naira.
Because of the remote location of the double mansions, special overhead power supply cables were used to extend power to the properties from a junction that is 2 kilometers away. Meanwhile each of the two mansions enjoys arrays of solar panels that have the capacity to generate enough electricity to power its power needs. The solar panels are mounted on the rear side of the roofs, not visible from the front. According to our investigators, it is the need for the solar panels that forced the architects to design the
roofs so unusually steep.
The old African adage that “there is no smoke without fire” is very pertinent here. Bishop Kukah’s recent consistent attacks on probing corruption may be connected with his own personal circumstance. For the avoidance of doubt, we painstakingly scoured through the Internet and various news media sites to
compile some of the unguarded disparaging comments made by the cleric in support of former President Goodluck Jonathan, and in agitating President Muhammadu Buhari to stop probing corruption. Some of these comments are outlined below:
1. “I will advise that rather than chasing the ‘thieves’, the president-elect should address the issues of the misery and squalor that have become Nigeria’s lot, as development will raise the best army to fight corruption.”
2. “There is no such thing as probe in a democratic setting like ours. What obtains is investigation, and once people lead and things are not right, investigation becomes necessary. However, in doing that we must never be distracted from the spectacular actions undertaken by former President Jonathan. He
is an individual. I think this whole thing about probe can be ascertained once investigations are concluded. But we are saying that a lot of talk and speculation about this probe are distractions nobody needs. So the most important thing is that we need a stable country first before we can talk about these
things. And they will have happened down the line…”
3. “His (President Muhammadu Buhari) challenge lies in how he responds to the perceived interpretations of his victory, especially within the various institutions, networks and interest groups, especially in the
northern part of the country…”
4. “I think what we are concerned about is the process. It is no longer a military regime and under our existing laws, everybody is innocentuntil proven guilty.”
5. “Again, our commitment is not to intimidate or fight anybody, the former President’s commitment and what he did still remains spectacular, and I think that President Buhari himself appreciates that. So our effort really is to make sure that the right thing is done.”
6. “President Buhari has to start governing and leave his anti-graft war on the back burner.”
7. “If Buhari insists on his probes, who is to say he wont be the victim of a probe himself when he leaves office? When will the cycle of probes end and that of governance begin?”
CUPS investigation shows that neither proceeds from businesses run by the Bishop, nor contributions from the local Catholic Diocese could buy such auspicious land and build these 2 mansions. Similarly, his annual income is nothing to write home about. The money for this grand project must have come from
sources that are at best questionable. It is highly regrettable, and deeply unfortunate that a so called man of God has allowed his greed for material consideration to undermine his conscience, tarnish his reputation as a prudent champion of the masses, and soil the highly esteemed office of the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto State.
Some naive people may want to argue why CUPS chose to expose Bishop Kukah, while there are other Nigerian clerics who have billions stashed away in local and foreign bank accounts, and even fret about using private jets. Well the answer is a simple one. No cleric in Nigeria, either Muslim or Christian has come out so boldly, and unashamedly, to cover up for the grandeur pillage caused by Jonathan and his cabal. Worse still, no cleric in Nigeria has dared to challenge the ongoing tsunami- like crusade against corruption, as did Bishop Kukah in the past few days.
For the first time in our history, Muslims and Christians in Nigeria, who worship the same Almighty God (Allah), albeit in two district styles, put aside their petty artificial differences, and genuinely voted for change. A change that is underpinned by a ferocious determination to kill off corruption once and for all. Bishop Kukah therefore deliberately put himself up against an unstoppable force that has the capacity to consume anyone who dares to challenge it.
It is important to mention that Bishop Kukah is a 63 years old highly articulate and intelligent man. He graduated with Bachelor of Divinity from the Urban University of Rome.
He has a Master’s degree in Peace Studies, which he obtained from University of Bradford, UK. He also has PhD from University of London School of Oriental and African Studies. It is unfortunate that his intellect and impeccable academic portfolio has deserted him on this occasion.
On behalf of the 180 million Nigerians who are embarrassed and perplexed by this sordid affair, we ask Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah to come clean and explain where he got the money to build these two mansions. If he can’t, we recommend that he resigns from his position as the Bishop. This position has
become untenable. Like all other Nigerians, we at CUPS immensely respect the Office of the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese.
May God save Nigeria and Nigerians. Amen.