Garba Shehu Accuses Kukah Of Falsehood, Slams Him With Biblical Passages

Malam Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, made references to at least two biblical passages in his response to Bishop Matthew Kukah’s latest criticism of President Muhammadu Buhari.

During his virtual presentation to the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission in Washington DC earlier in the week, the cleric had alleged that Christians were being persecuted under Buhari.

He had said the people are yet to see any tangible move towards tackling insecurity which, according to him, has a religious undertone.

The clergy also claimed that violence against Christians in Nigeria was a recurring experience of many years, but the spate of the attacks has risen steadily in the last 10 years.

But in his response, Shehu described the presentation of the bishop as “incredible falsehood”.

He said it was “unfortunate and disappointing” for citizens of Nigeria to bear witness to one of their Churchmen castigating their country in front of representatives of a foreign parliament.

Shehu defended the appointments made the current administration and faulted the clergyman’s position that abduction of students in the North were targeted at Christian schools.

“There is no bias in this government when the president is northern and Muslim, the vice president southern and Christian, and the cabinet equally balanced between the two religions.

“But neither is there anything in our Constitution to state that political posts must be apportioned according to ethnicity or faith. It takes a warped frame of mind for a critic to believe ethnicity is of primary importance in public appointments.

“It is yet more troubling to hear a Churchman isolating one group for criticism purely on ethnic lines.

“With due respect to the esteemed position he holds, the Bishop’s assertion that only Christian schools are being targeted by bandits or terrorists is not supported by the facts on the ground.

“As a nation and a people, we must together define evil as evil. We must not allow our religious differences to divide us. No one gains but the evil doers when we divide our ranks according to ethnicity and religion in confronting them. The bandit, kidnapper and terrorist are the enemies of the people who should be confronted in unison….

“There is no place in mainstream civil discourse for those who actively, negatively, and publicly label an individual ethnic group, especially before a foreign audience. These are not the views expressed or opinions held by the vast majority of the citizens of Nigeria.

“For all our challenges as a nation, nearly all of us seek to live together in harmony, celebrating differences, and finding common ground as Nigerians above all. But people like Kukah are doing their best to sow discord and strife among Nigerians.

“As a nation and a people, we must together define evil as evil. We must not allow our religious differences to divide us. No one gains but the evil doers when we divide our ranks according to ethnicity and religion in confronting them. The bandit, kidnapper and terrorist are the enemies of the people who should be confronted in unison.

“To be clear, The Bible is definitive on matters of ethnicity and racialism: In Romans 2:9-10, it says: “There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; but glory, honour and peace for everyone who does good”; And in Galatians 3:28: “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Whether Christian or Muslim, we stand by these beliefs and are steadfastly committed to them in governance.

“There is no place in mainstream civil discourse for those who actively, negatively, and publicly label an individual ethnic group, especially before a foreign audience. These are not the views expressed or opinions held by the vast majority of the citizens of Nigeria. For all our challenges as a nation, nearly all of us seek to live together in harmony, celebrating differences, and finding common ground as Nigerians above all. But people like Kukah are doing their best to sow discord and strife among Nigerians.

“Going by the history of the Church as is well known, it will stand up publicly for the truth. It is time others did the same.”

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