BY AMOS TAUNA, KADUNA – Five years after the death of former Governor of Kaduna State, Sir Patrick Yakowa, Bishop Mathew Kukah says the north is reaping the fruits of exclusivist policies that sought to privilege tiny, unproductive and selfish elite whose gargantuan greed only fed and nourished its ego.
Kukah said the outcome of such greed is what has produced the millions of abandoned children that roam the streets across States in northern Nigeria.
Speaking through Rev. Fada Anthony Shawuya, at the launch of a book titled, “Governor Yakowa’s Funeral Homily -Matters Arising”, Bishop Kukah said the selfish exclusivist policies laid the foundation for the civil war and the mindless fratricidal toxicity that is today, Boko Haram.
The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto further said that metaphysically, the struggle to end all the vices represents what is going on in Southern Kaduna, saying; “Looking back, I will take absolutely nothing; I repeat nothing from this sermon, which sparked off the responses and what you are celebrating today.
“Today, what do we have in Southern Kaduna? Today, what do we have in the north? Today, does the north feel strong or weak? Today, is the north better united or divided? Today, is the north more just, fair to its own citizens?
“Today, we are reaping the fruits of the exclusionist policies that sought to privilege tiny, unproductive and selfish elite whose gargantuan greed only fed it. Its belch is what has produced the millions of abandoned children that roam the streets in northern Nigeria.
“These selfish exclusionist policies laid the foundation for the civil war and the mindless fratricidal toxicity that is today, Boko Haram. Metaphorically, the struggle to end all this is what is going on in Southern Kaduna.
“However, we are proud that Yakowa left us huge, unforgettable, indelible, ingrained, unfading, deep spiritual and moral infrastructural highways and social amenities such as, integrity, respect, accommodation, humility, goodness, kindness, righteousness, morality, rectitude, honesty, truthfulness, honor, probity; propriety, decency, respectability, nobility, worthiness, merit, trustworthiness; blamelessness, purity.
“These were the qualities that endeared and made General Buhari to cancel his birthday celebration which I was billed to speak as a mark of honour for Yakowa. Today, we pray for his quick recovery.
“Some of my friends have continued to use this sermon against me, pretending that it was divisive. Well, looking back let those with a bone of honesty in their body rise up and refute the claims I made.
“I never set out to write a memorable speech, but, as it has turned out, even Martin Luther King’s historical speech, I have a Dream, turned out differently because in the end, the circumstances dictated that he departed from his main text.
“So, moments such as these call for sobriety and reflection and inspiration that is often outside the control of the speaker. I am grateful to God that the honour I did to a great man has created ripples that will outlive us all,” Kukah enthused.
Also speaking, the Catholic Bishop of Kafanchan, Bishop Jospeph Bagobiri, said: “Yakowa and the likes of Makarfi, Namadi and the Jonathans at the Federal level, taught the people that in exercising leadership in a plural society like ours, trust should not be limited to only those who worship with us, speak like us and are of the same mind set like us.
The Bishop called on the victims of Fulani herdsmen and Boko Haram terrorism to free themselves from fear and work towards rebuilding new lives.
He lamented what he termed institutionalized injustice in Kaduna state, saying the political structure was skewed to favour a particular side.
According to him; “Within Kaduna South local government area, for instance, settlements of one ethnic group, which has a minority number, have been allocated 339 polling units, while the others which is the majority has 68 polling units.”
He said the same injustice was reflected in political appointments, sitting of Federal Schools and institution and even in terms of projects and sundry issues.
Governor Dickson, who was represented by Senator Foster Agoda (Bayelsa West Senatorial District) lamented that Yakowa died in Bayelsa in the course of attending the burial ceremony of the father of late Uranta Dauglas, as mark of his friendship with the Bayelsa people.
In his remarks, former Governor of Kaduna state, Mukhtar Ramalan Yero, who was Yakowa’s deputy, said he learnt a lot from Yakowa, adding that the Funeral Homily of Yakowa had stirred all kinds of reactions and said he would speak on it one day.
Reviewer of the Book, Chief Mike Ozekhome, said that Yakowa was a great leader and the first Christian to become Governor of Kaduna state.
Ozekhome said the controversy over Bishop Kukah’s Funeral speech at Yakowa’s burial ceremony was needless because he spoke and admonished wrong doings the way a serious clergy would do.
The author of the Book, Francis Damina, said he was surprised at the diatribe that visited Kukah’s homily, adding that being a protégé of Kukah, he compiled some published articles and opinions on the matter, had discussions with the authors, who all accepted that it should be published into a book.