From John Adams, Minna
As Bishop Matthew Kukah’s Christmas message continues to generate reactions among Nigerians, All Progressive Congress (APC) chieftain and former Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism in Niger State, Mr. Jonathan Vatsa, has advised the Federal Government and Arewa youths to leave the clergyman alone and address the issues he raised.
Vatsa who is coordinator on Public Affairs to Niger Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello stated this in a statement in Minna title “when shall we accept the truth” where he said that all issues raised by Kukah were the truth.
He said it was unfortunate that some ‘political contractors’ were picking holes on what he said was “the truth and sincere assessments of the present situation in the country.”
“The country is worst than it was six years ago. Nothing that Bishop Kukah said in his Christmas Message that is not happening in the country today. The security situation in the country today is worst since independence, the entire country is under siege from criminal elements with the worst scenario in the north. Traveling to any part of north is like passing a death sentence on yourself,” he said.
He alleged that the divisions among Nigerians under President Muhamadu Buhari were more visible than the one that led to civil war in the 60s.
He expressed the regret that rather than look at Kukah’s assessment of the situation in the country and try to proffer solutions to them, the Federal Government and its sympathisers were picking holes and politicising the Catholic cleric’s “genuine and sincere observations.”
He said Niger State had lost its peace in the last six years due to bandits activities with the government spending more money fighting security issues than on infrastructure.
“Every right thinking human being knows that the country is drifting towards anarchy with the current situation. Niger state has lost its pride name of food basket of the nation to home of bandits. Farmlands have been turned to burial grounds for people killed by bandits, yet we don’t want to take criticism. People must be allowed to air their views,” he said.
Vasta said the greatest challenge facing the Buhari administration was its inability to accept genuine criticism, correct its mistakes and forge ahead.
He said apart from security challenges, hunger and poverty had taken over the country, saying the feeding formula of average Nigerian had changed.
“It is either 1-0-0, 0-1-0, 1-0-1 or in some homes its 0-0-0. Over 50 per cent of Nigerian homes cannot boast of three meals a day,” he said.