The Southern Kaduna People’s Union, Youth Wing, has described the Arewa Youths Consultative Forum as tribalistic and full of religious bigotry for calling for the arrest of Bishop Matthew Kukah over his Christmas Day message.
SOKAPU Youth Wing, in a statement signed by its National Youth Leader, Comrade John Isaac, stated that the statement credited to the AYCF and signed by its National President, Yerima Shetima, calling for the arrest of Bishop Kukah, was baseless and senseless.
In the statement made available to journalists in Kaduna State on Tuesday by the SOKAPU youths, the group stressed that Kukah, who is the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, gave his Christmas Day message because of his love for the country.
They added that the President would have been long overthrown if he were to be a non-Northerner or not a Muslim, given the “gross nepotistic leadership style of his administration, which is naive and lacks the sense of history.”
It said, “The attention of the Youth Wing of SOKAPU has been drawn to a statement credited to the Arewa Youths Consultative Forum and signed by its National President, Yerima Shetima, calling for the arrest of Bishop Mathew Kukah over his Christmas Day message.
“We’re, however, surprised and saddened that despite the visible failure of the Buhari administration evident in the high rate of kidnapping and banditry, even in the President’s home state of Katsina, that despite the poor state of the Nigerian economy which has seen Nigeria plunge into recession for the second time in five years with a ridiculous foreign reserve and an embarrassing debt profile, the AYCF could allow itself to be used.
“That despite the clear signs of maladministration in the Buhari’s administration evident in the fact that the administration has continuously bankrolled bandits and the Boko Haram groups through the payment of ransoms and the freeing of captured terrorists under the guise of repentant members,
“That despite the clandestine and lopsided composition of the security architecture of the country, the AYCF could allow itself to be drawn in the murky waters of tribalism, ethnic loyalty and religious bigotry, choosing to overlook the realities of the North – a region which has become a pool of blood and a yard of graves.”
SOKAPU further stressed that the North was unarguably “a valley of dry bones, a dent of terror and horror and unquestionably the most insecure and dangerous part of the country where no one is safe including the President.”
The group added, “It is therefore unfortunate that the Arewa Youths Consultative Forum would call for the arrest of a bishop who only pointed out the obvious.
“It thus appears that the AYCF is naive of historical facts. It is therefore imperative to remind the forum that President Buhari in 1983 thwarted a democratically elected government of Shehu Shagari, citing nepotism, insecurity, corruption, and poor state of the economy, all of which are worse today than they were in 1983.
“It has become necessary therefore to state in clear terms that the entire youths of Southern Kaduna distance and disassociate themselves from the AYCF’s call for the arrest of Bishop Kukah, a call we all consider as not just baseless but senseless.
“The Buhari administration is undoubtedly the greatest political and administrative fiasco Nigeria has had since independence.
“While we, the youths and people of Southern Kaduna stand firmly with Bishop Kukah and condemn any call for his arrest, we are calling on all well-meaning Nigerians to speak out and save the country from sliding into a failed state as the signals are at the moment clearly visible to the blind and audible to the deaf.”
Kukah, in his Christmas Day message, slammed the Buhari-led administration, accusing it of promoting nepotism.
The bishop had said, “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?
“President Buhari deliberately sacrificed the dreams of those who voted for him to what seemed like a programme to stratify and institutionalise northern hegemony. 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 got 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.”