Garba Shehu fights dirty, posts 2018 photo of Bishop Kukah ‘reconciling’ Atiku with Obasanjo – Reuters

Mr. Garba Shehu, President Muhammadu Buhari’s Principal Special Assistant for Media and Publicity, appears to have taken personal offense to recent criticism of his principal by Bishop Matthew Kukah of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto.

Shehu, for the second time in 48 hours, slammed Kukah after he berated the Buhari administration in his Easter message on Sunday.

Shehu said Bishop Kukah did not speak as a Christian in his interview with Arise TV, where the cleric responded to the backlash from the presidency and reiterated that Buhari had done “a terrible job” as president of Nigeria .

“A very un-Christian response. In fact, he doesn’t mention religion at all this time – his response is entirely political and nothing else,” Shehu said in a Facebook post alongside a photo from 2018 that shows the cleric reconciling the 2019 presidential aspirant, Atiku Abubakar, with the ex-president. Olusegun Obasanjo before the elections.

Garba Shehu fights dirty with Bishop Kukah

In his initial response to Kukah’s Easter sermon, the presidential aide said the cleric ‘dedicated his Easter message not to the death and rebirth of Christ that man might be saved – but to damnation government in the most anti-Christian terms”.

He added that Kukah overlooks the teachings of the Bible in James 1:26 which says “If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceive his heart, that person’s religion is worthless”.

But Kukah, in his response on Arise TV, said, “These guys (Garba Shehu and Femi Adesina) shouldn’t be sitting in their air-conditioned office drinking coffee and thinking it’s all honky-ass. That they do not agree with the text of my message.

The words of the cleric: “I don’t know if any of them (Adesina and Shehu) have the capacity or ability to speak of guilt or non-guilt, but let me first of all make things clear.

“I gave my sermon to my congregation in the cathedral. Thus, the bearer of the message is above all the good people of the diocese of Sokoto.

“Of course, I am not unaware of the state of mind of my two friends, Femi Adesina and Garba Shehu, when it comes to talking about Bishop Kukah. They seem to suspend reason and get carried away.

“Unless, of course, Garba Shehu is planning to convert to Christianity or a hidden Christian or an anonymous Christian, I appreciate that when it comes to speaking, he has no quoted the Holy Quran. All it does is end up with convoluted interpretations of the Bible that are embarrassing in their contexts.

“And I’m surprised that Femi Adesina, who I believe is such a reverend in the Foursquare Gospel Church, I’m surprised he’s unable to help his friend who they sat with.

“But let me say that I made them an offer and I’m still offering to pick the place, pick the time and let me know. I want to sit with all three of them, starting with their minister and the two. Let’s sit down together and talk about Nigeria. I am ready. I will pay my share and I repeat this offer to them again.

Kukah further challenged presidential spokespersons to stop engaging in “shoddy writing” and to argue with him on issues.

“They are the only spokespersons who have spent a lot of time buying, photocopying paper and just typing. They were involved in writing the worst quality, never talking about the issues.

“So the first thing is to show you their ineffectiveness. They are used to writing statements instead of talking to Nigerians about policies.

“What that tells you is that 99.99% of what they write involves guessing what the mind of the president is. They have no contact with the president. They have no contact with government policies. All they do is write on behalf of the president.

“There is nowhere where work of this nature is done and has been so badly done.”

Kukah recalled that he played a role in getting former President Goodluck Jonathan and Buhari to sign a peace accord ahead of the 2015 presidential election.

“The reason I say that is that I’m no stranger to the process we’re in.

“While we were doing all these things, Femi Adesina was getting a salary from Orji Kalu. He was doing a good job in The Sun as a reporter. Garba Shehu worked for Atiku. Lai Mohammed worked for Tinubu. So I think everyone should be able to answer by their father’s name.

“And I can say the reason I’m emotional and passionate about the things of this country and where we are today is that I’ve paid my debt. Every one of my haters tell me where it was at the most critical moment in Nigeria’s history.

“It’s not that now people’s bank accounts are inflated. They are probably trying to preach the gospel to us that they don’t believe in,” he said.

Jack C. Nugent