Nigeria Has Lost Its Soul To Mindless Corruptions In High Places, Says Bishop Kukah

Father Kukah
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From Ankeli Emmanuel, Sokoto

The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Matthew Hassan Kukah in his 2024 Easter message titled,””Nigeria: Time To Heal” has affirmed that Nigeria  must have lost its soul as evident by the mindless corruptions and debauchery in high places.

Bishop Kukah, who insisted that there are tough times ahead added that neither politics, right economic policies nor positive rating by the world’s agencies will not change the fate of Nigeria, stressing that the country is in one of the  most difficult phases of its national life.

His words: “Today, things are hard. Really very hard in Nigeria. I see it on the faces of our people every day. We are in one of the most difficult phases of our national life. But we are not alone. However, I am optimistic that our country will heal from the scars of hunger and destitution, that the wounds of physical and psychological violence will heal. But first, we Christians must wake up to our duties and responsibilities of what it is to be Christian as an individual, a family, a community or in public life””.

Kukah, the respectful outspoken clergy while clarifying that his festive messages to Nigerians will continue as his deep concern for the nation, and has nothing to do with
whoever is in power, strongly advocated  that public service should be a call to use the resources of state for the good of all.

He stated: “In keeping with my discipline as a priest of the Catholic Church, I do not carry the partisan flag of any political party or hold brief for or against one set of politicians or another. What I try to do is to highlight the issues facing us as a nation, provide moral clarity, and offer some policy options from where I stand. From where I stand, I often see missed opportunities, wrong turns likely to lead to cul-de-sacs.

“I try to differentiate between mistakes of the head and those of the heart. Often, our destination may be the same, but the routes often differ and what I believe I should do in conscience is offer perspectives. I allow for the fact that of course, I could be wrong, but then, Democracy is about letting our voices be heard.

“While those in power and politicians talk to the people, as a priest, I talk with the people. But when our voices and views are taken together, we can compose a beautiful melody for a united nation. In this way, government’s vision and policy become our vision and policy, thus creating a common threshold of trust”.

Bishop Kush, who lamented that Nigeria is reaping the fruits of the wrongs it sowed years ago,  maintained that “our leaders have looked like men in a drunken stupor, staggering, stumbling and fumbling, slurring in speech, with blurred visions searching for the way home.

“The corruption of the years of a life of immoral and sordid debauchery have spread like a cancer destroying all our vital organs. The result is a state of a hangover that has left our nation comatose.

“Notwithstanding, Easter is a time to further reflect on the road not taken. It is a time to see if this Golgotha of pain can lead us to the new dawn of the Resurrection. Nigeria can and Nigeria will be great again. Let us ride this tide together in hope.

“Many Nigerians are wondering and asking questions such as, what time of day is it? Where are we? How did we get here? Where is here? Where are we going? How long do we still have to travel and are there any map readers to tell us if we are on the right path?

“Neither I nor anyone can answer all these questions, but together, we can think through them. Let us not all pretend to be ignorant. It is not so much who knows what. It is rather a matter of accepting the challenges, having the honesty to ask the most difficult questions, and holding each other accountable. In this way, the road may be long, but it will be easier to travel together in faith and confidence”.

Proffering measures for having a vibrant naton, Bishop Kukah said: “First, the federal government must come up with a robust template for how it wishes to reverse and put us on a path of national healing. This must include a deliberate policy of inclusion that will drastically end the immoral culture of nepotism.

“The government must design a more comprehensive and wide-ranging method of recruitment that is transparent as a means of generating patriotism and reversing the ugly face of feudalism and prebendalism.

“There is need for a clear communications strategy that will serve to inspire and create time-lines of expectations of results from policies. There is need for clarity over questions of the Who, What, When, and How national set goals are to be attained and who can be held accountable. This will take us away from the current Communications-by-announcement-of-appointments policies as if this is all that government is doing.

“Second, the notion of rejigging the security architecture is a hackneyed cliché that is now at best, an oxymoron. It is difficult to fathom our current situation regarding the ubiquity of the military in our national life. It is impossible to explain how we can say we are in a civilian Democracy with the military literally looking like an army of occupation with an octopussean spread across all the 36 states and Abuja. This has very serious consequences both for its professionalism, its integrity and perceived role in protecting society. No other person than the immediate past Chief of Defense Staff, General Lucky Irabor who recently referred to the military as facing the dilemma of what he called, see finish. It is now difficult to say whether the persistence of insecurity is a cause or a consequence of military ubiquity.

”Trillions of Naira continue to go into bottomless pits with little measurable benefits. Our military’s professionalism cannot be diluted by the recruitment of hunters, vigilante groups and other unprofessional and untrained groups. This is not sustainable because it leaves the military open to ridicule and perceptions of surrender. Fighting insecurity is now an enterprise. I believe our security men and women can defeat these criminals in a matter of months.

“All we hear and see are fingers pointing to the top. No, this must end. The alternative is too frightening to contemplate. The time was yesterday, but today is still possible.

“Third, it is cheering to hear that the President has announced that kidnapping and banditry are now to be treated as acts of terrorism. If so, we need to see a relentless and implacable plan to end this menace with a definite date line for bringing these terrorists to their knees, no matter what it will take. Without a timeline for eliminating these evil, despicable, malevolent and execrable demons from among us, our future as a people will be imperiled.

“I commend the government over its promise to stop paying ransom to bandits and kidnappers. However, merely going to the forest and returning with victims leaves the government open to suspicion from citizens. The government needs to show results of  a well co-ordinated plan  and time lines to bring back all citizens in captivity and give us back our country.

“Fourth, I encourage the President to continue on the path of probity, to take further steps to cut down the overbearing costs of governance and to put in place more comprehensive plans towards achieving both food and physical security across our nation. Merely distributing money through already corruption riddled structures is not enough and diminishes the dignity of our citizens. No one needs to line up to receive aid when we are not in a war. Give our people back their farms and develop a comprehensive agricultural plan to put our country back on the path of honour and human dignity. May our blessed Mother who stood by the cross of Her son, watched Him die and laid to rest and rejoiced to see Him rise, intercede for our dear country. Nigeria must embrace the blessings of the risen Christ so as to heal again”.

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