ICYMI: Afghanistan: Kukah, others running to US for help deceive themselves, says MURIC

Islamic human rights organisation, Muslim Rights Concern, says Nigerians including the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Matthew Hassan-Kukah, running to the President Joe Biden government to help Nigeria are deceiving themselves.

According to the group, recent events in Afghanistan and Biden’s comments on Monday showed that the United States was only out to protect its nationalistic interest.

MURIC Director, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, stated this in a chat with The PUNCH on Tuesday.

The PUNCH had earlier reported that the Islamic militant group known as the Taliban or the Mujahedeen retook Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital, about two decades after they were driven from Kabul by US troops.

Before then, Taliban militants seized about 20 cities in the country following the withdrawal of US troops beginning in early July.

Afghanistan civilian President Ashraf Ghani subsequently fled the landlocked Asian country on Sunday, abandoning the presidential palace to Taliban fighters.

US President Joe Biden
US President Joe Biden

Speaking on Monday, incumbent US President Joe Biden said he stood by his decision to withdraw American forces from Afghanistan, adding that the troops cannot be dying in a war that Afghan forces were not willing to fight themselves.

Biden also stressed that the objective of the US under the then government of President George Bush had been fulfilled.

“We went to Afghanistan almost 20 years ago with clear goals: get those who attacked us on Sept. 11, 2001, and make sure Al Qaeda could not use Afghanistan as a base from which to attack us again. We did that. We severely degraded Al Qaeda and Afghanistan. We never gave up the hunt for Osama bin Laden and we got him,” he stated.

However, in an interview with The PUNCH on Tuesday, MURIC Director, Prof. Ishaq Akintola accused America of fleeing the country after allegedly deceiving Afghans for 20 years.

MURIC Director, Ishaq Akintola

He said, “America deceived Afghans by using them to dig in in Afghanistan. After invading Afghanistan, America remained there for 20 years with the support of some locals. Now, what have they (Afghans) gained from it?

“America has no problem, it is its national interest as far as America is concerned.”

The Professor of Islamic Eschatology at the Lagos State University described the development as “an interesting one” and asked Nigerians wont to seek US for help to learn a lesson.

Akintola said, “It is an interesting development and this is a big lesson for developing countries, particularly Nigeria, a developing democracy. Those who are in the habit of harassing their fellow Nigerians, intimidating the government and even citizens with threats of reporting them to America, to Britain, to France, relying on foreign powers to get what they do not deserve, to learn a good lesson from this.

“No foreign power will give your country what will benefit your country. Foreign powers, colonial masters will always seek their own interest, work for their own interest. They will never make you benefit from democratic dividends from which your country and the citizens will gain.

“Matthew Kukah just returned from America to speak at the American Congress, of course, on invitation. They are deceiving themselves, America will not come to Nigeria to benefit Nigerians. America will not go to Afghanistan to benefit Afghanistan.

Ousted Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

“When Biden spoke yesterday (Monday), you can see the nationalistic impulse in him. He was talking about the interest of America not that of the Afghanistan people. He told the American people that their interest lies in what concerns America, American security.

“Now, America has abandoned the Afghans after using them. Imagine how Afghans trooped out to the airport and are running after an American Air Force plane in order to fly them out but this was the same America that deceived them. And these were the locals who wanted to run away after America used them to target Osama bin Laden and others.”

The scholar also said the Taliban has learnt its lessons and should be allowed to govern Afghanistan in as much as it would not walk the path of extremism and terrorism as it did 20 years ago before its dethronement by US forces.

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan
An image grab taken from Qatar-based Al-Jazeera television on August 16, 2021, shows Members of Taliban taking control of the presidential palace in Kabul after Afghanistan’s president flew out of the country. Source: AFP

When contacted for comments, Rev. Fr Christopher Omotosho, the Director, Social Communications of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto told our correspondent on Tuesday that Akintola does not deserve a response.

Recall that Kukah had in a virtual appearance before the US Congress criticised the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), for mishandling insecurity and the rampant kidnapping of schoolchildren.

Kukah also accused the President of nepotism, highlighting key appointments that favoured individuals of his faith.

Muhammadu Buhari
File: The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.)

But the Presidency in a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, had flayed Kukah and accused the cleric of sowing discord and strife among Nigerians by spreading falsehood to discredit the regime.

This newspaper had also reported that earlier in the year, Buhari called on the US to consider relocating US Africa Command from Stuttgart, Germany, to Africa, nearer the Theatre of Operation in Nigeria to combat terrorism but the US had said it had no plan to relocate the Command. PUNCH

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