The Bishop of the Sokoto Catholic Diocese, Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah, has described the N12 million allowances for the delegates to the National Conference as scandalous and unacceptable.
He was speaking exclusively to Saharareporters at the Nigeria Summit 2014 in Lagos, where he noted that the National Conference is being held at a time of great anxiety, a time of frustration, a time of great polarity, a time of ideological disorders.
“The writing of a new constitution should not be a decision of gathering 400 or 500 people and if you must gather them there’s absolutely nowhere in the world where you can talk about gathering people that otherwise ought to be ready to make a patriotic commitment and sacrifice and you say you are giving people N12 million,” he said, expressing the hope that the report is not true.
He recalled that when he served as the Secretary of the National Political Reform Conference every member received N20,000 per month. “I am not talking about whether it was enough or not, that is not the issue, but I know the sacrifices that people had to make because this is about our country.”
He noted that the opposition party says that the decision to take 12 million is a political decision and that people are making political statements and that there was going to be a lot of grandstanding, but at what expense.
He further observed that many people may see the success of the conference as a Jonathan thing and its failure, on the other hand, as a way of weakening the President.
On the security situation, he recalled a report the other day that 130 people have died in his part of the country, and that the numbers continues to rise by the day in other parts of the country.
On the rise of the Boko Haram insurgency, Bishop Kukay said, “The real source of this crisis if you remember it’s that after the killing of Yusuf people went to court and they say the court awarded 100 billion to both families and people who lost their lives and lost thousands. The government didn’t react to that; what happens is that when you think about what you could amid the debris.”
In that regard, he said, “People who have lost loved ones with no government interventions all you are doing is just recruiting more members for Boko Haram for the future.”