Kukah said this in an interview with Abang Mercy, a social media expert.
The cleric said those currently in charge of the nation did not envisage that things would take this turn.
He said: “We must get our people to a point in which they appreciate when the value of their life is depreciating. And that is what is happening to us now.
“In most part of northern Nigeria for example where children are stunting, when those children turn 30, 40 and they become part of your workforce, their capacity to interpret data, grasp the urgency of development is severely constrained.
“For me, these are some of the issues and that is why I say Buhari himself is not happy, except a few ministers, but even the ministers themselves are unhappy because they didn’t imagine that they would be going through the difficulty that they are going through.
“If I ask you to point at one department of government that is so upbeat about what people have achieved, I think it will be hard to find out any.”
Kukah said some of the president’s “new friends” in the All Progressives Congress (APC) were those he sent to jail while serving as the military head of state in 1984.