Archdiocese of Sokoto Bishop Matthew Kukah said that governance in the country has stalled because of “random leadership” without proper succession plans.
He said the men who have ruled the country since independence came to power without being ready to solve the nation’s challenges.
“Buhari had already said after trying in 2011, ‘I’m done. I am not interested anymore. ‘Yar’Adua had already said,’ I’m done. I want to go back to the classroom. ‘Obasanjo was taken out of prison to become president,’ he said.
Mr. Kukah spoke on Sunday at a virtual session titled “Occupation Without Conspiracy” where he asked panelists questions on governance, leadership, development and security in the country. The event was moderated by Toyin Falola, Professor of History at the University of Texas.
He noted that the unpreparedness of the nation’s past leaders limits their ability to plan and “ponder how to solve the country’s problems. This is the reason for the corruption in the system. “
He blamed the institutional collapse, the difficulty of thriving outside government and the meritocracy thriving without political aegis.
“What counts as governance is digging a whole to fill a hole because you borrow money to win elections and you see that there is a link between the spiral of contracting and unfinished contracts,” he explained.
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As a way forward, he suggested that it was important to raise the bar on leadership and improve the quality of the good people in leadership.
This can be achieved through education, which can help expand the boundaries of cohesion in the country.
When asked if religion was adding to the challenges in the country, he described religion as a sword that does what its handler uses it for.
He noted that education is key to preventing this as it helps drive counter-narrative as it ensures independence of thought and healthy debates.
When asked about Nigeria’s diversity, which was haunted by excitement over suspicion of dominance by some groups over others, Kukah suggested that the government should manage the diversity of the nation in order to instill citizenship.
Regarding Nigerian democracy, citing the introduction of Sharia law in Zamfara, Kukah said attempting theocracy in some parts of the country had not produced the desired results.
“What we see today (in Zamfara) is that what we are proud of? Let’s say what we have in Northern Nigeria is what we like to say theocracy is what we like to have? “
After the #EndSARS protests across the country last year, he added that it was important that the government “take the road seriously”. because that’s where the people live.
He added that the road is “the most basic signpost we need to build” because “we will speak in the streets after the elections”.
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