From Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
Amidst the hue and cry over the Christmas message of the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Most Revd Matthew Hassan Kukah, the social critic has remained unfazed over the development.
In a brief chat with Saturday Sun, the Convener of the National Peace Committee said he had nothing to worry about the message which has raised dust within the religious and circular milieu.
The former Secretary-General of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria who dwelt on questions ranging from direct threat to his life, his safety and fear of possible arrest, simply said there was nothing to worry about.
Following Saturday Sun inquiry on if there was direct threat to his life, Kukah simply said “about what?” He went further to respond to a question regarding his safety, even asking our reporter “How? What do you mean?”
Asked if he received threat messages from some members of the public over the message, Kukah said “to say what nah?” According to him, “there is no wahala nah. Everybody is free to say his own.”
“I just placed a mirror. Everybody will look at himself and decide what they think they see,” he said while responding to the Coalition of Northern Groups who threatened to report him to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
On the issue of possible arrest, Kukah said: “Arrest for what? You are irritating me with your questions. Please, talk about something useful. Otherwise, let me go.”
Meanwhile, the Archbishop Emeritus of the Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, has expressed satisfaction over the position taken by the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) to back Kukah’s Christmas message.
Onaiyekan who spoke with Saturday Sun, said Kukah was not alone and merely expressed what the bishops wanted to say.
“Everybody has their own way of doing things and they should be given the freedom to speak. If you think he is telling lies, they should tell him the lies. Let us see what he is saying that is not true. But if it is that they don’t like the truth that he is saying, that is a different matter altogether because inability to accept the truth is what is killing us,” Onaiyekan said.
Asked why the message was raising dust, Onaiyekan further said he believed the government was jittery.
“It must be that this government is getting more and more jittery; less and less patient with opposing voices. They expect that everybody should be praising them and even when we see no reason to praise them, we are supposed to be praising them, telling them that we are very well, everything is fantastic.
“But we know very well that not many people are saying that. They should be ready to listen to uncomplimentary remarks, especially when it is geared towards getting a better result for the nation,” Onaiyekan maintained.