By Chimezie Godfrey
Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and former Vice President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar has described the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Rev. Father (Dr.) Mathew Hassan Kukah as a remarkable public intellectual, and a formidable advocate for good governance whose contributions to Nigeria’s democracy are immeasurable and unquantifiable.
In a statement in Abuja on Tuesday signed by his Media Adviser, Paul Ibe, to celebrate Bishop Kukah at 70, the former Vice President said that “the man of God has never hesitated to speak out on Nigeria’s ills and criticise our leaders when they derail from the responsibility of providing good governance and deepening our democracy.”
According to Atiku, “Bishop Kukah is widely misunderstood because he speaks truth to power; a task that often attracts adversaries in our kind of society.”
On the allegations of partisanship, he reminded that “religious leaders are the moral compass and conscience of the people, and therefore, they have the obligation to tell leaders the truth when they are going wrong.”
The Wazirin Adamawa explained that “Kukah is a great asset to Nigeria and humanity because of his tireless commitment to peace, unity and peaceful coexistence in the country and the passion he attaches to these efforts is amazing.”
“Not once did I ever hear Kukah preach hate or bigotry in his sermons. All his sermons are focused on issues that can make Nigeria better. His passion for our unity and justice for all is one of his greatest virtues.”
The former Vice President described Kukah as a “giant fountain of inspiration” and added that it is impossible to interact with the cleric without tapping from his depth of knowledge, wisdom and incredible experience about life.
He wished him God’s continued blessing in good health and many more years of service to the country and humanity.