The Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, His Eminence John Cardinal Onaiyekan, has denied granting an interview published last Sunday by an online news medium where he was alleged to have made some damaging statements about the reputation of President Muhammadu Buhari.
In the purported interview, the Cleric was quoted to have said, among other things, that “there is no sign that Nigeria has a president”. The interview further quoted the Cardinal as recalling that President Buhari “has a long history of a dictator and never obeys court orders. He has not changed himself but wish to change Nigeria. Three times he has disobeyed court orders in less than a year in office”.
Cardinal Onaiyekan was also purported to have described the president as an oppressor, who has undermined the Nigerian constitution and that he should tender an unreserved apology to the nation for the embarrassment of his leadership, for the deaths of unarmed civilians, who were brutally killed by overzealous security agents, and for the embarrassment he has caused leader of the Independent People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu and his pregnant wife.
In his reaction, the Cardinal, via a statement on Friday signed by his Personal Secretary, Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Ojeifo, dissociated himself from the said interview.
“He did not grant any such interview to any journalist or any print or online news medium”, the statement said. “The general public should beware of this and stop the further dissemination of the fictitious interview”.
Mr. Onaiyekan described the interview as the handiwork of mischievous people who want to capitalize on his credibility to sow discord and disaffection in the land.
He, therefore, called on those behind the malicious interview to repent and seek God’s forgiveness “for their misdeeds”.