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Bishop Kukah: ‘Buhari still picks my calls even though I criticize him a lot’

The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Matthew Hassan Kukah, has been one of President Muhammadu Buhari’s fiercest, harshest and consistent critics.

But he says there’s no hard feelings between him and the nation’s number one citizen; and that the president still picks his calls.

“If I pick up my phone and call Mr. President now he will pick it up. The other time he missed my calls, he called me back and we greeted each other.

“But you know some people cry more than the bereaved,” the Bishop stated during an exchange with journalists at the St Bakhita Catholic Secretariat, Sokoto.

Kukah also said his criticisms of the president have been nothing personal.

“All what I have been clamouring for are not personal. There are two issues that bothered me with this administration. One is the quantum of loss of lives and I don’t think there is anybody who is happy about this.

“The second is the allocation of position with favouritism and nepotism. One thing lacking in this administration is the inability to manage our sense of diversity.

“I have always been a critic of government before this administration and I stand on my challenge to those who don’t reason along with me to counter my position with superior argument.

“Nigerians are still to learn how to disagree on the disagreeable. We are still to learn how to debate without argument and we are still to agree that some of our best friends are those that criticize us. Criticism is not an abuse; it is what purifies democracy,” he added.

Kukah also blamed overzealous aides for trying to drive a wedge between him and President Buhari.

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