The Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina has attacked the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye and sacked Abuja Imam, Sheikh Muhammad Nuru Khalid and other clerics for criticizing Buhari’s administration.
Adesina said some Christian and Muslim preachers of working closely with the enemies of Buhari to bring his government down.
Adesina said critical comments by clerics against the Buhari government as part of the insecurity Nigeria is facing at the moment.
Buhari’s spokesman said uncouth language which has become the stock-in-trade of some preachers in Nigeria today is no longer acceptable.
Globalgistng reported that the Chief Imam of the Apo Legislative Quarters Juma’at Mosque in Abuja, Sheikh Muhammad Nuru Khalid, had criticised President Buhari for failure to visit Kaduna over the terrorist attack on the Abuja-Kaduna train, saying mere condemnation wasn’t enough.
He argued that the president was in Kaduna for campaigns but refused to visit the state after the bomb attack on the passenger train.
“Everyone condemned the incident, except the bandits. So condemnation is not enough. The president should visit the state to sympathise with the victims.
“The president has been to Kaduna for campaigns but couldn’t go to the state on a sympathy visit,” he had said.
Last Sunday, during a thanksgiving service, General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, said he was more worried about Nigeria’s failing economy and rising insecurity than the 2023 general elections.
While condemning the recent bombing of an Abuja-Kaduna train by terrorists and killings going on across the country, Adeboye lamented that Nigeria was slowly moving into bankruptcy under Buhari’s watch going by the volume of debt incurred by the administration.
He said, “For now, so many things are on my mind! Most especially, the attacks on Kaduna State. Why Kaduna? Who is trying to isolate Kaduna and why? And after Kaduna, which state is next?
“I am also worried about rising crude oil theft in the country. News has it that as of now, more than 80 per cent of oil produced in the country is being stolen. Besides, it is also in the news that more than 90 per cent of Nigeria’s income is used to pay interest on money borrowed and we are still borrowing more.
This means we are moving steadily into bankruptcy. I am more concerned about all these for now and not who becomes what at the next general elections.”
Also lamenting the country’s declining economy and rising insecurity, Sheikh Nuru Khalid, Chief Imam of Apo Legislative Quarters Mosque, Abuja, was sacked recently for describing President Buhari as a failure in one of his sermons.
While preaching to congregants, Sheikh Khalid had said, “Is there nobody to take responsibility? I want to believe that we have all failed. I failed as an Imam to teach you that life is sacred. You all failed as parents to teach your children that killing is bad. Our community leaders have failed. Our politicians have failed. Governors have failed, and His Excellency the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has failed us.
“Let me tell Mr President, under your watch bandits are taxing Nigerians. Is that in the provision of the Constitution of Nigeria? Under the Constitution, no one has a right to tax Nigerians, except authorised by the Federal Government.”
Irked by those criticisms, Adesina in an article on Thursday accused some Christian and Muslim preachers of working closely with the enemies of Buhari to bring his government down.
According to him, regardless of their hate for his principal, Buhari was going to end his tenure well with good legacies.
He said, “If a preacher brings down fire seemingly from Heaven, but speaks evil about the leadership of his own country, he impresses me not. Because the Good Book enjoins us to pray for those in authority, for there can be no power, except the one God has ordained. He installs kings and deposes them.
“Even as a preacher, Christian, Muslim, God has not ceded that authority to you. He sits in Heaven and makes the earth His footstool. The clouds of the sky are the dust of His feet. That is God, and no man should compete with Him. But uncouth language is the stock-in-trade of some preachers today. Words are no longer seasoned with grace.
“Most of those who utter incautious, inflammatory words about the state of insecurity in the land, only want power through the back door. Some had never liked Buhari, so he must fail. Others supported him in the past, thinking they would be able to lead him by the nose. When they failed, they said he wouldn’t get a second term in office. Before their very eyes, he coasted to victory. Still, they are unrelenting in their opposition. But there’s nothing you can do against a man who God has ordained for certain roles.
“It’s funny to hear some others asking the government to quit. And so, what follows? Disorder. Higgledy-piggledy. People running helter-skelter, insurgents and bandits taking over. They don’t care about the country, nor about the people. When things burst, they take the next flight out of the country in first-class seats.
“The security challenges we have are being tackled. Robustly. President Buhari, more than any other leader in the past, has equipped, trained, and motivated the security agencies, who are rising to the occasion, with many of them even paying the supreme price. To be condemnatory of the entire effort is to be unkind, evil, and unappreciative.
“Some people merely excoriate without suggesting viable alternatives. What can our security agencies do better? How can they do it? No, that is not on their agenda. All they want to see is that Buhari should fail, and fall. But they are not God.
“What the times call for is an encouragement of our security forces, not wanton denouncement or chastisement of their work and sacrifices. ‘May God bless our troops’ should be the singsong, not petty politics and grossness.
“Nigeria will win the war against evil. The Buhari government will win the war of tongues unleashed against it. Happily, the majority of Nigerians know the truth. They may not have the platform to speak out like the vocal minority, but they know those truly serving them, and those merely interested in sticking their snouts in the nectar of office. The year 2023 will show.
“Unguarded comments can further inflame the insecurity in the land, and it surely does. And those shooting off their mouths know what they are doing. They want things to become topsy-turvy, jumbled, so they can come out and say, ‘we told you.’ But they won’t succeed, because God is interested in Nigeria, and a lot of millions of helpless people. That is why President Buhari will land safely, and soundly, to the glory of the Almighty.”
Insecurity has risen to alarming levels while extreme hardship has been the lot of citizens under President Buhari’s watch in recent times.
Since the turn of 2022, scores of Nigerians have lost their lives at the hands of armed gangs and kidnappers, who continue to run riot all across the country with the government failing to curb the menace.
But despite the glaring failure, Buhari and his lieutenants claim they have been performing extremely well.