“I am all for peace but not for peace at any cost” – Greg Laurie
The first time I met Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah it was on a flight from Lagos to Abuja on the old Oriental Airlines. We were both in hurry to get to Abuja given the usual delay we had experienced in Lagos, something quite common with Nigerian domestic airlines. We boarded our flights and we sat next to each other. He had in his hand a book titled “A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes.” I was quite elated to find a Nigerian priest open to alternatives argument outside of the usual religious dogma. At the time, a brief history of time was then the most popular science book by British physicist, Stephen Hawking. Since that time I have had fond memories of him. You can then imagine my deep sadness given his recent crusades for peace at the cost of “all the money in the world.”
First let’s give those who do not know the background to the story. In his recent interview on Channels Television, Bishop Kukah said “the singular decision that Jonathan took and I think that, as Nigerians, we must become sufficiently serious and realise that that singular act is what has kept us as a nation. So, I think that even for that singular act alone, Nigerians must be appreciative of what President Jonathan did…even if he stole all the money in the world.” My initial retort as I read this is a loud yell, NO! Not again! How many times are we going to be subject to these never ending warped logic?
Elections are meant to produce winners and losers and when you lose an election you don’t hold the whole nation to temper tantrums like Jonathan’s henchmen, Godsday Orubebe did. Yes, Jonathan may have prevailed on his boys to hold their fires but what would they have done? They lost the Nigerian people. Even the people of Bayelsa, impoverished by their policies are about to vote out their Abuja appointed governor. The vast majority of Nigerian voted for President Muhammadu Buhari. No single protest followed Orubebe’s antics. Why because we had a peaceful election where Nigerians freely exercise their vote. The same free election that brought GEJ to power in 2011. Everyone including international observers who came acknowledged the victory of APC at the polls. Everyone, including Jonathan himself knew before the election that he was going to lose. This is why he postponed the election twice. Nigerian of all hue at the time were fed up with the dysfunctional PDP regime. Jonathan did not do us a favor by conceding election. He did himself a favor. Yes, he could have rigged the election or refused to concede but then he would have prepared himself to face opprobrium from the whole world. Yes, he could have taken the Lauren Gbagbo’s route but is he ready to end as Gbagbo did?
The Punch newspapers in its editorial yesterday write that the National Peace Committee has been “parading the corridors of power of late, scheming to exploit its connections at the highest level of government to advance a suspicious agenda.” My take is that such amorphous conglomeration of Nigerian top one percent has always been in control of Nigeria’s body politic. They have always been around the corridors of power, military or civilian. They are essentially responsible for the wasteland Nigeria has become. By whatever name you may call them, Nzeribe’s Association for Better Nigeria, or Kanu’s “Youth Earnestly Ask for Abacha”. These so called non democratic elitist power grabbers understand only one thing and that is their own selfish interest. That is their directive principle. Period! They do not care about Nigeria or the Nigerian people and they are not representative of Nigerians.
Kukah said he empanelled the committee himself and brought others in, most of the folks he brought in to the committee are his friends, some of them with questionable history of corruption and abuse of the Nigerian masses. They exist only for their own self preservation.
The first mistake Buhari made as president of Nigeria is to give this committee an imprimatur of a governmental council. What an errant nonsense. An undemocratic and unconstitutional panel set up by a religious leader, populated by tainted character is not in the best interest of Nigeria. What is more, their minds are made up; they believe “ab initio” that anyone calling for investigation of corrupt practices under GEJ regime is disturbing the peace of Nigeria. Nigerian voted for change and not Kukah’s peace at any cost! President Buhari, please disband this council right now and return any government money that the council may have spend to the country’s coffers immediately.