Renowned cleric, Bishop Matthew Kukah has denied that former President Goodluck Jonathan
contacted the National Peace Committee for the 2015 general election to beg President Buhari
on his behalf.
The media was recently awash with the news
that the meeting, held Thursday night between
Buhari and Jonathan was initiated because the
former president sought for understanding on
alleged corrupt practices and mismanagement of
funds under his administration.
The report claimed that he was hearing about
some of the graft allegations for the first time.
Fielding questions from State House
correspondents after a meeting with President
Buhari, Kukah said: “Anybody is free to come to
our committee, but former President Jonathan
never by telephone or another means talked to
the committee. We went to see him, but that is
after we had already seen members of the
political parties, members of the civil society.
‘We planned to see the Speaker because we couldn’t see him yesterday (Monday).
“This is a very planned series of interventions,
essentially just to hear out everybody and I think
the good news is that Nigerians are committed
to a new nation, they are committed to ensuring
that the gains and blessings God has given us
come to fruition”.
On why the intervention has become necessary,
the Cleric said: “This is not an intervention, it is
a hearing out process. We just had an election; it
was like a wedding.
“But now is the reality of government – now the marriage and people need to be encouraged. We need to reaffirm that this is our country and the only thing we can collectively be opposed to is injustice, inequity, corruption and in that regard we all had one single conversation.
“The President has also reaffirmed the need for
this committee to continue, and the international
community has very much welcomed the
contributions of the committee. Essentially we
are not policing, but when the need arises, we
help to build confidence in the process,” he said.
Kukah said the committee gave a bit of update
about the relevance of the peace committee
itself and how it can help to nurture what God
had given to Nigerians, during its meeting with
Commenting on the administration’s stance
against corruption, Kukah said,
“In our conversation with President Buhari and
members of the parties, I don’t think any
Nigerian is in favour of corruption or is against
the President’s commitment to ensuring that we
turn a new leaf. I think what we are concerned
about is process; it is no longer a military regime
and under our existing laws everybody is
innocent until proven guilty.
“Again, our own commitment is not to intimidate
or fight anybody. The former President’s
commitment and what he did still remains
spectacular, and I think that President Buhari
himself appreciates that. So our effort really is
to make sure that the right thing is done”.