Bishop Matthew Kukah, the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, has described the controversial N42m tithe paid by a man into a church account in Benue state as ‘chicken feed’.
Kukah said this in an interview when he was asked how he felt about such an offering to the church while the society was riddled by people who lacked basic necessities of life.
He said: “This (N42m tithe) is ‘chicken feed’ compared to what contractors and businessmen and women are paying to corrupt church men, who are largely partners in crime and claim to be praying for rich people.
“So, it is important to check and cross-check your facts. You should educate us by telling us what really happened now that the right hand knows what the left is doing.”
Kukah further said the anti-corruption efforts of the Muhammadu Buhari administration lacked a clear strategy and “proper understanding of the enemy”.
The cleric added that the President was still stuck with a mindset of his military days.
The Catholic bishop maintained that he was against the metaphor of “war” as a strategy to fight corruption.
He expressed sadness that even with the metaphor that hadd been adopted by the government to tackle corruption, the desired results had not been achieved.
Kukah said it did not speak well of the government’s anti-corruption efforts when the national assembly and the executive could not agree on a pick for Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) chairman.
“It is not enough to say we will fight the corrupt, especially when the President is still stuck in a mindset of his military days, which sees corruption as something that wicked and unpatriotic politicians and office holders are doing. Still, we believe that corruption is what the political class has done,” he said.
“I was, and still am, against the lack of vision, clarity, diagnosis, strategy and intellectual depth of what we call a fight against corruption.
“Conceptually, I was and am against the idea of the metaphor of war as a strategy because once we saw it as a war, the government believed it only needed to rally its army and then go to the war front.
“Sadly, even if we took that metaphor, we were unlikely to get the desired results because this was a war without timelines, without a proper understanding of the enemy, his strength and his landscape.
“Every day, the predicament of the government is a more visible and palpable illustration that we were right all along: an assembly led by the ruling party and the President cannot agree on the choice of the chairman (of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission), the leader of this fight. What does this tell you?”
He said the EFCC should be “less preoccupied by the politics of the moment.”
“All these monies that our sensibilities are being assaulted with, what do they do to us? Are we supposed to salivate or what?
“We have been showing armed robbers on television for years. Has it reduced armed robbery?” he asked.