• Saturday, June 22, 2024
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Take your country to where it was before Buhari, Kukah tells Nigerians

Take your country to where it was before Buhari, Kukah tells Nigerians

Matthew Kukah, the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto, said Nigerians should reclaim their country and take it back to where it was before outgoing President Muhammadu Buhari came to power eight years ago.

The forthright clergy also said the incoming administration must prioritise the task of creating hope in Nigeria and working to rebuild the country into a large tent of hope and opportunities.

In his Easter message, he praised Buhari for not seeing his criticisms as personal as some of his aides have consistently done, saying, “I commend you (Buhari) for the fact that you have known that none of this was done out of malice but that we want the best for our country.

“May God guide you in retirement while we all embark on the challenge of reclaiming the country we knew before you came,” Bishop Kukah said.

The outspoken cleric lashed out at the deteriorating state of affairs in Nigeria under the leadership of President Buhari and referred to the challenges that Nigerians have faced over the years, including failure of the electoral system, all accusation of hate speech against imaginary enemies, and corruption amongst others.

Read also: How social media changed the face of politics in Nigeria

He also bemoaned the utter failure of the political class to address these issues and provide solutions that will improve the lives of Nigerians and called on the people to take action to reclaim their country from those who have failed them.

Acknowledging that Nigeria was once again preparing to usher in a new chapter in its history, Kukah pressed home the imperative for the incoming president to address the core issues facing the nation, instead of focusing solely on infrastructure and empty political promises.

He said it was the hope of Nigerians that the next government will identify the establishment of a strong foundation of social justice, equality, and respect for human rights in Nigeria instead of choosing to focus on the mere construction of physical infrastructure, but rather

According to him, “I am hopeful that you will appreciate that the most urgent task facing our nation is not infrastructure or the usual cheap talk about dividends of Democracy. These are important but first, keep us alive because only the living can enjoy infrastructure.”

He said, “For now, the most urgent mission is to start a psychological journey of making Nigerians feel whole again, of creating a large tent of opportunity and hope for us all, of expanding the frontiers of our collective freedom, of cutting off the chains of ethnicity and religious bigotry, of helping us recover from the feeling of collective rape by those who imported the men of darkness that destroyed our country, of recovering our country and placing us on the path to our greatness, of exorcising the ghost of nepotism and religious bigotry.”

Kukah who also emphasised the critical role that the judiciary will play in shaping the future of Nigeria, urged the Justices of the courts in Nigeria to recognise the immense responsibility resting on their shoulders, and to approach their work with a deep sense of commitment to justice, fairness, and the rule of law.

“Nigerians,” said Kukah, “are looking up to you to reclaim their trust in you as the interpreters of the spirit of our laws. The future of our country is in your hands.

“You have only your consciences and your God to answer to when you listen to the claims and counterclaims of Nigerian lawyers you and have to decide the future of our country.”

He also had a message for the country’s youths whom he urged to learn from the mistakes of the past and avoid repeating them in the future.

“I salute your energy and courage. You fought a good fight across party lines. Your engagement and involvement substantially changed the contours of our politics. Things will never be the same again,” Kukah said.

“You must look at the mistakes of the past and avoid them. Note that your actions today will shape tomorrow. Learn the rules of good sportsmanship, know the rules, know your roles, know when to fight, what to fight for, and know when to walk away so you can embrace other fights.”