- Buhari says comment made by the cleric is unfair.
- Lauded cleric for his effort in housing IDPs.
President Muhammadu Buhari has reacted to the comment made by the Catholic Bishop of Yola Diocese, Rt. Rev. Fr. Stephen Mamza that he was “sleeping on duty as Commander-in-Chief.”
Describing the comment as unfair, Buhari, who spoke through Malam Garba Shehu, the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity said that it was unbecoming of a religious leader, like Mamza, to engage ”in an action that broke the old tradition of staying above politics”.
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”In an action that broke the old tradition of staying above politics, the Catholic Bishop of Yola Diocese, Rt. Rev. Fr. Stephen Mamza delivered a homily in which he spoke angrily against President Muhammadu Buhari, whom he described as ‘sleeping on duty as Commander-in-Chief.’This is not a fair comment.
While highlighting the changes in the past three years around Yola, the capital of Adamawa state and the Catholic Church in particular, Shehu said that a true assessment would show that if not for the Change Administration of President Buhari, things would have continued the way they were, or even get worse which could not have happened”if a Commander-in-Chief was asleep.”
Noting that the cleric is part of the success story recorded by the Buhari administration in Northeast, especially in Adamawa, playing a strong role in the state,
”Bishop Mamza was and is still a strong member of the Adamawa Peace Initiative (API), composed of religious and community leaders which did the lovely work housing and feeding 400,000 displaced people from Northern Adamawa and Borno States in 2015.
”The API also did the extraordinary work of easing tensions between Muslims and Christians during that period and ensured that both groups did not turn on one another based on suspicion. the presidential aide reiterated that the Boko Haram insurgents have been degraded.
”As widely reported by the local and international press, in the premises of St. Theresa’s Cathedral where Rev. Mamza ministered, there were more than 1,500 IDPs, mostly women and children on whom the church administered food rations and issued bags of maize, cooking oil and seasoning.
”We are truly touched and very grateful for the work that the Bishop and the others had done in that difficult period,” he said.
“The more than 400,000 displaced people absorbed by the Adamawa community have all gone back to Borno State and to those council areas in northern Adamawa.
”In addition to the capital,Yola, the towns of Michika, Madagali and Mubi which had been occupied by Boko Haram during their military advances have since been retaken by the Nigerian military,” he added.
Shehu also pointed that the military personnel are also clearing litters of Boko Haram’s carnage and through the support of the administration as well as local and international partners, are rebuilding roads and bridges, power lines, burnt schools, markets, destroyed churches and mosques.
”Without an iota of doubt, the Northeast is better off with President Buhari than it was under the previous administration.
”That should explain the massive turnout of voters in the region, in spite of threats to life and property, to vote for the return of the President for a Second Term of four years.
”Sadly, one of the realities of today’s Nigeria is that it easy to blame President Buhari for the violence all around us,” he added.