Kukah knocks Governor Bello, says, “He is a poor advertisement of what young people can do”

A combined photo of Father Kukah and Gov Bello

The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese and Convener of the National Peace Committee, Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah, has knocked the Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, for being a poor representation of the teeming Nigerian youths.

Bishop Kukah, who spoke against the backdrop of current disturbing violence in the North Central state ahead of the November 11 governorship election, said of Governor Bello; “Sadly, I think he’s been a very poor advertisement for what young people can do.”

Speaking during an interview on Channel TV Sunrise Daily Programme on Wednesday, the Catholic Priest said; “I feel very sad because Kogi has been on the front burner, and Yahaya Bello, the governor, prided himself on being the youngest governor and being a representation of what the youths of this country can do if they are given the opportunity.”

Elected for a second term in November 2019, Governor Bello, 48, became the Kogi State Chief Executive in 2015 after the death of Abubakar Audu, who was initially the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

On the current face-off between the Labour Movement leadership in the country and the Imo state government, Bishop Kukah sued for peace, even as he urged all parties and stakeholders concerned to sheath their swords and allow for peaceful elections in the State.

Bishop Kukah, who urged the Organised Labour to explore a peaceful resolution to the conflict, said; “We keep making the point, the people who are contesting elections are our sons and daughters and whatever we do, in conscience, we must always think about the common good.

“Civil society organisations, unions, and churches with a bit of moral authority must always act in the common interest of everybody. Without a country, there will be no trade union. All you need to do is just look outside the window and see what is happening in the Middle East today, specifically in Israel and Gaza.”

According to him; “When elections go wrong, it is ordinary people who suffer. I hope the labour leaders in Imo will really be more circumspect and ask themselves ‘Who stands to gain and who stands to lose what?’ At the end of the day, it is the people of Imo, they are not electing someone who is outside their state.

“Imo is a deeply Christian environment and I hope their religious leaders and others with moral authority can prevail on the union to defer whatever may be their grievance; this can only be resolved in a peaceful environment. We appeal to them to do what is needed and ensure that elections are duly conducted. Our people have suffered enough.”

While appealing to the police and other relevant agencies to ensure security during the governorship elections in the three states, the Catholic Clergy said the people’s welfare and well-being cannot be sacrificed on the altar of personal or group interests.

“It’s very difficult to make this point, but sometimes we in Nigeria behave as if we are just a bunch of spoilt people. If we look outside the window and see what is happening elsewhere, the earthquakes, human and natural disasters that have afflicted the world. And we have to ask ourselves, ‘What have we done to God that he has been so magnanimous and gracious to us?’ Why do we turn the sword on ourselves?” [Forefront except headline]

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