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Kukah: Patriotic homiletics and patriotic journalism

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Mathew Hassan Kukah

On the eve of Christmas that has just come and gone, Matthew Hassan Kukah, Ph.D., the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto who is quite popular and more than well known to those who are glad to know men like him, at least, by reputation, held many of us under his sway. The critical Bishop aptly used the Christmas occasion to deliver his Christmas message which he contemplatively entitled “A nation in search of vindication.” It was a religious, moral, philosophical, political, psychological, historical, sociological, literary, in fact, an all-in-one message of aesthetic faith and taste of a connoisseur who numbers among the finest political and moral critics of our country. Everything Bishop Kukah said in his aforesaid Christmas message illuminated (and still illuminates) the homiletics for it. And his homily on his Christmas pulpit was one instance, one fair instance, of the pernicious effect of emotion his homily instigated or provoked in any guilty one or class of guilty ones, all of whom have been lambasting the well estimated priest and Bishop.

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When I first took a look at his published pulpit performance I never at all felt that anyone in his right senses or consciousness of mind would repudiate it. From the beginning to the end the Bishop’s message was/is lucidly logical, chronologically appealing and appetizing, sensibly and spiritually enervating and enlightening. And the poetry in the delivery I found (and still find) captivating. Of course, I discovered this sweet effect after my second reading. And a third reading after I heard/saw what his castigators were spewing and threatening to do to him stimulated me to acknowledge the message as the homily of a true patriot of our country. Indeed, I was aroused and aroused endlessly to the fullest of my satisfaction by the patriotic frankness and courage of the priest. And my mind soared back to what I saw in the writing of Reverend Father Felix Ajakaye whose enrichingly huge book I focused on more than a fortnight ago. Clearly, this priest of virtue, this Sokoto Bishop of patriotic righteousness and courageous courage, has always been repeatedly asserted as such by his many admirers within and outside the Catholic Church and the Body of Christ. But what he rendered and the manner in which he rendered it could not (and cannot) but allow me now to underline the assertion for posterity that Bishop Matthew Kukah is primarily and for all times should be seen as a good man of God who is spiritually and otherwise a model Nigerian patriot. If you wrongly feel that I am flattering the priest, I will simply ask you to treat my flattery as righteous flattery from the Almighty’s vine yard. But I insist that there is no flattery whatsoever of my subject here. Those who threaten him (and are still doing so) should read again and again what the priest has delivered and how he has delivered it; so I beg those of them who have the benevolence to read it again to read it as something more than a mere criticism of our man of Allah who has not presided over our country’s affairs so far as the broad-minded and broad- hearted leader we crave for to give us directions devoid of nepotistic and other misleading tendencies.

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Those who have been flogging Bishop Kukah have been amusing me with their inferior amusement in words and thoughts. They have in the main been flippant, ironical and sharp-tongued to the point that they always end up satirizing themselves and mocking their Northern genius. Like them, Kukah is a Northerner, but the Bishop is employing his genius as a patriotic Northerner, and as a Nigerian patriot, to boot, on behalf of our country.

In the clarity and persuasiveness of his homiletics, this truthful Northerner and Catholic Bishop of Sokoto affirmed thus: “Every honest Nigerian knows that there is no way any non-Northern Muslim President could have done a fraction of what President Buhari has done by his nepotism and gotten away it. There would have been a military coup a long time ago or we would have been at war. The President may have concluded that Christians will do nothing and will live with these actions. ”Kukah’s observation here (and elsewhere in his homiletics) is patriotically to the point. Buhari’s nepotism, “partisanship and commitment to reinforcing the foundations of northern hegemony have had the opposite consequences”; and sooner than later even “very prominent northerners with a conscience” will say enough is more than enough and [would raise] the red-flag” that would lead us to the certain directions of our dream and greatness. Who disputes this, would do so at his peril for Nigeria’s greatness that will be everlastingly so cannot be denied us and our country.

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Can they do this alone? Our journalists, our patriotic journalists, from both the South and the North, will join our prominent Nigerians of conscience from all walks of life to give our compatriots something quite different from what is presently denying us national cohesion. A new patriotic epoch of happiness shall soon be delivered to us. In this wise, patriotically prophetic journalists will assign themselves the value of patriotic journalism. Excellently, outstandingly, our tabloids (and television and radio stations of real merit) have so far been on the same gloriously glorious page in the homing glory with Bishop Kukah (and the other prophets).

Who disputes this? Clearly no one who is with God or who is with Allah will deny that our current doom is already cast away. Who disputes this? Of course, none who has faith in the Will and Justice of God and Allah will do so. Who disputes this? Rejoice, our people. Rejoice, compatriots, rejoice. Rejoice, patriots, rejoice. And if you are yet to read what Kukah has just delivered, and how he has delivered it, go to our tabloids, our solidly patriotic tabloids, such as this paper, and read and re-read it and the attendant patriotic comments on the homiletics. Blessed be.

Prof. Afejuku can be reached via 08055213059.

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