Opinion

On Matthew Kukah’s mischievous claims before the US Congress

Jonathan, Mark, Dogara and Onnoghen all from the same faith, were President, Senate President, Speaker and Chief Justice at the same time

On Matthew Kukah’s mischievous claims before the US Congress that for the first time in Nigeria, we have the President, Senate President, Speaker and Chief Justice all from the same faith.

I have read people here ask Kukah why he was mute when Jonathan, Mark, Dogara and Onnoghen all from the same faith, were President, Senate President, Speaker and Chief Justice at the same time, respectively.

Well, I personally think this discussion should have been centered around the merit of their emergence. But it is okay if people want to remind Kukah – then any information put out should be correct statement of facts.

For instance, the President, Senate President (SP) and Speaker were duly elected through democratic processes. While the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) was recommended for appointment according to laid down rules in the Judiciary.

Yakubu Dogara and Walter Onnoghen were not Speaker and CJN respectively during Jonathan’s administration.

Oladimeji Bankole and Aminu Tambuwal were Speakers of the 6th (2007-2011) and 7th (2011-2015) House of Representatives (HoR) respectively, when Jonathan was President. While Yakubu Dogara was Speaker of the 8th HoR (2015-2019).

Also, Aloysius Katsina-Alu was the CJN when Jonathan became President in 2010, then Late Dahiru Musdapher, then Aloma Mukhtar, then Mahmud Mohammed, in that order until Jonathan vacated in 2015.

However, we witnessed a time in 2007 when one faith dominated the centre, where the Vice President (VP), SP and Speaker were all from the same faith.

We had Umaru Yar’Adua as President, then Goodluck Jonathan, David Mark, Patricia Etteh as VP, SP and Speaker respectively. While Idris Kutigi was the CJN.

In the later part of the administration, Goodluck Jonathan became President, David Mark was the SP, Oladimeji Bankole became the Speaker, while Aloysius Katsina-Alu became the CJN.

it is ridiculous that whenever the likes of Kukah want to advance their bigoted views, they resort to the use of religion. However, they turn around to claim that Nigeria is a “secular state” where no religion should matter in national affairs, whenever it suits them

If we go further down the memory lane, we had similar cases of dominance by one faith, but Kukah chose to ignore it and cry over only what seems to appeal to his bigoted sentiments.

From 1960 after independence, the Governor General (GG), SP and CJN were all from one faith. Nnamdi Azikiwe was the GG, Dennis Osadebay was the SP and Adetokunbo Ademola was the CJN. While Ibrahim Jalo Waziri was the Speaker.

Likewise in 1963 after Nigeria became a Republic, Nnamdi Azikiwe was the President, Nwafor Orizu was the SP while Adetokunbo Ademola and Ibrahim Jalo Waziri remained as the CJN and Speaker, respectively.

Therefore, it is ridiculous that whenever the likes of Kukah want to advance their bigoted views, they resort to the use of religion. However, they turn around to claim that Nigeria is a “secular state” where no religion should matter in national affairs, whenever it suits them.

All the political office holders came from different Geopolitical Zones of the Country, campaigned and convinced Nigerians to vote for them. How is it an issue if they happen to adhere to the same faith, whenever the positions were open for contest to every citizen?

Whoever wants to join politics has the right to do so, but people should stop using religion as guise to cause unnecessary confusion and international disgrace.

Yusuf Muhammad Tukur Illo

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