There’s confusion in Aso Rock –Bishop Chukwuma

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From Chidi Nnadi, Enugu

The Archbishop of the Enugu Ecclesiastic Province,
His Grace, Dr Emmanuel Chukwuma has lambasted
President Muhammadu Buhari and his wife, Aisha,
over their recent outburst in the media, saying that
their blames and counter-blames constitute
national disgrace.

The First Lady had first raised the alarm that her
husband’s government has been hijacked by a
cabal and the president retorted that she belonged
to the kitchen and other rooms in Aso Rock.
Dr Chuwkwuma who is also the Bishop of Enugu
Anglican Communion believes that the altercation
between the president and his wife showed that
there was confusion in the Aso Rock Villa, warning
the two to understand that they are the foremost
leaders of the country and should therefore find a
more amicable way of settling their differences.
In this interview at the Archbishop’s Court in
Enugu, Dr Chukwuma also spoke on the raid of
judges by the Department of State Services (DSS)
and recession.
Few days ago, the wife of the President, Aisha
raised the alarm that a cabal has hijacked the
government of the husband and Buhari came out
to say that his wife belongs to the kitchen and
other rooms; how do you look at this outburst of
the wife and the response of the President?
This is to show that Aso Rock is in confusion,
because when this type of thing begins to happen
between husband and wife that are supposed to be
leaders of the nation, then that tells you that things
are not right in the nation, and it is a very serious
national disgrace when they begin to expose
themselves like this. It means that the two don’t
agree because right now, the husband said, “I
don’t know the party my wife belongs,” and the
woman is saying that the man as far as she is
concerned has neglected those who campaigned
for him and was left in the hands of few cabals.
Who are those cabals? It is what we must ask. But
it is quite clear that Buhari with what he is doing
has no clear agenda. Some people must have
been controlling the few agenda for their own
selfish ends, and that is why we have not got any
solution to Nigeria’s problems. So, it is high time
we began to ask, where are we going Nigeria? For
the wife of the President to come out to say she
doesn’t even like the way the government is going,
which means things are bad and really the people
are complaining. She said, “I’m not happy with my
husband’s government,” if a woman can say that
she is not happy with the husband’s government,
that means Buhari should re-examine himself
because things are getting tougher and tougher;
people are getting fed up. There is no short cut to
any success now, and we begin to ask, “where are
we going?” So, it is high time we began to ask
ourselves, “is this government the change that we
want or a change that has changed us into serious
agony?” So, for me, I believe that Buhari has failed.
He has failed in his home, he has failed in
governing this nation because if not, most of the
things we are hearing now, even concerning the
judges and other things; it’s a terrible situation. I
think Mrs Buhari is speaking the truth and she is
an insider in the house. I think she should,
therefore, be allowed to have her freedom because
the President was the one that said there was no
place for the First Lady, and he cannot say that
because everywhere in the world, even America,
the wife of the President has her own role to play,
and the majority percentage of the population of
Nigeria are women, so I cannot see how you can
push the women aside. I think women should be
given their place, if the whole women rise to
support the wife of the president, it will cause
confusion. There will be no peace for Buhari. So,
he should watch it and be very careful.
Before the President came into office, he said that
he was not going to maintain the office of the
First Lady; so from what he has just said that the
wife belongs to the kitchen, it appears he meant
his word?
Yes, but that is absolutely unacceptable, a woman
like that who is so enlightened and who has a
vision, and has her own programme for the women
can’t just have a place in the kitchen; yes, she
cannot abandon her responsibilities in the kitchen
or in the bedroom because they are also her
responsibilities, but additionally, she must take
care of the other women of this nation. She should
be given free hand to do that and that is exactly
my view because she cannot just be locked up in
the bedroom or in the kitchen. Buhari does not
have time for the women of this country and the
wife must be given that sort of responsibility to
look after the women, otherwise things will go bad.
The judges you mentioned, are you saying that the
DSS raid of some of these judges they assumed to
corrupt was wrong?
Well, it won’t be too wrong if the thing has been
done in a proper way. I feel they should have
given them some respect to invite them other than
raiding their houses like somebody who is a
criminal, we have to confirm that; but in all, the
lawyers are to be blamed because the question is,
“who gave these judges money?” It is the lawyers
who probably played the role of go-between for
them and the people, probably in tribunal or
whatever; they collect this money and give to the
judges. So they should trace this money to the
lawyers who get them for the judges and all of
them should be persecuted. But the process from
which the judges were approached was absolutely
wrong as per the respect to the judiciary. The
judiciary should be given their respect, and if not
immunity, but respect. To come to a house of a
judge and take him away like a criminal is
absolutely unacceptable, the DSS went too far. I
think they should give respect to whom respect is
due.
It has been said in some quarters that this
recession in the country started in 2014; do you
think it will be right again to place all these
blames on President Buhari?
Well, the thing there is if it started in 2014, at least,
things were better. Rice was not N21,000. In
recession, the exchange of naira was not what it is
today. So, I don’t believe so, there is something
wrong somewhere with the management and policy
for financial procedures and we have to look into
that because right now from 2014 till now, you will
find out that things have gone worse, even Mrs
Buhari is saying that people are now agitating for
Goodluck Jonathan’s government, saying that it
was better because things were easier at that time.
So, we cannot say that corruption was not there at
that time but the life at that time was easier. And
we cannot say that there is no corruption now, but
there is hardship.
Beside the cabal the First Lady mentioned, have
you seen anything other wrong in the Buhari’s
administration?
Yes, a lot of things are wrong, inasmuch as I said
it in Aso Rock that when you say you are fighting
corruption, Buhari is not fighting corruption, he is
only trying to recover the money stolen. Fighting
corruption is not when you are recovering money.
Fighting corruption should start from you, as he
said, “Change begins with me,” it should begin
with him really because in that Aso Rock, there are
a lot of corruption there. The man who is the
President of Nigeria is not sincere in the fight
against corruption. And that is why there seems to
be selective negligence. He seems to be selecting
some people and leaving some people. If not,
members of his cabinet are supposed to be
probed as governors and the way they used their
money to sponsor his campaign, what has he
done about it? Not only that too, you find out that
even up till now, a lot of things are wrong with the
budget.
When you make a budget and the year is coming
to an end, why are we still waiting for the
implementation of the budget by release of funds,
people are being owed. So, that is one of the
things that are tying him down. Not only that, you
will find out that this present government, they
seem not to be sensitive to the needs of the
people; by now, we should have been having some
relief, some palliative measures to make life easier
for Nigerians. The exchange rate for the naira is
still very high, school fees are quite expensive, the
salaries of workers are stagnant while inflation has
gone high. Now a bag of rice is higher than the
minimum wage, how do you want people to
survive? Something is wrong with that. And again,
most of the things they claim to be doing on the
railways are the work started by Jonathan and they
are now claiming they are doing it, how many old
lines have they removed from the Eastern part of
Nigeria? You find out that this is one sided, and he
(Buhari) seems not to be doing well in the case of
Fulani herdsmen, so that is another thing that is
wrong, he seems to be very much passive about
it.
What advice will you give to the president to
move the country forward?
Mr President should dissolve his cabinet and find
people who are technocrats indeed. Most of the
people who are in his government are selected on
sentiment to settle them on the money spent on
his election. They are not technocrats and they are
not professionals in that profession. I can’t
imagine when a lawyer is seen in the housing and
road construction ministry. I can’t see a way
where somebody who is a medical doctor is in the
labour ministry. He should listen to reasonable and
responsible people. He seems not to be listening,
he seems to be a military democrat and that is not
acceptable in this country. And again, he should
try as much as possible to make sure that he
settles his home. All this discussion between him
and Aisha should be settled. Nigerians are not
happy when the house and the first home is in
disarray. We want them to be settled and speak
with one voice, and those bad advisers around him
should get exterminated with immediate effect so
that he will be able to do better for Nigeria.

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