Roman Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah, has berated Nigerian politicians for being selfish and not doing the needful to rescue “endangered” Nigerians from the shackle of poverty, “Nigerian politics is an organised crime. The politicians are organised criminals who look out for themselves,” he said while speaking on The Signature Show, African Independent Television (AIT) on Sunday, February 18, 2018.
The most outspoken Nigerian men of God said Nigerian politicians are not worried about the plight of Nigerian people who voted them to power, “I say to politicians that are my friends: do you know how ordinary people despise you?”
“Because of the lack of moral authority at the centre, people are resorting to self-help.”
His The Signature Show interview isn’t the first he’d be speaking on governance and democracy in Nigeria.
In January (2018) during a launch of a book titled “The Shadow List’’ written by Dr Todd Moss in Abuja, Kukah had said that fighting corruption and fixing Nigeria required more than a God-fearing leader.
“I have said it severally; let Nigerians keep saying they want a God-fearing leader.
“Nigeria does not need a God-fearing leader, because God-fearing has become an excuse to appeal to Nigerians and win elections.
“Governance in Nigeria is a criminalized enterprise and a criminalized state cannot progress; so we must come to terms as to why it is that this country is in such low portion.
“Fixing this country requires much more than that; national cohesion, holding our country together is the most fundamental project if we are to fix this nation.
“This is what we need because I am aware of how angry and frustrated Nigerians have become, especially in an environment where people are intrinsically not concerned about corruption but about their inability to access.”
Bishop Kukah on fighting corruption
The fearless man of God, who spoke on the mass appeal President Muhammadu Buhari got in 2015 is worried that the ordinary Nigerians on the street haven’t felt the most publicized change the ruling party party, APC, promised.
“President Muhammadu Buhari has not demonstrated to me that he is concerned about bureaucratic corruption.
“The fact that you’re recovering money that was stolen doesn’t mean you’re fighting corruption.”
Earlier in the month, Bishop Kukah, declared that formation of political coalitions in the country would not solve Nigeria’s multifaceted problems. That was after associates of former President Olusegun Obasanjo launched his latest pet project, Coalition for Nigeria.
“When they fall out with the person they helped to win election, they expect us to follow the same way.
“Each time you have problem with your wife, you go and marry another wife; how many wives are you going to marry?” he asked rhetorically at a press conference in Abuja.
“Military rule has not ended in Nigeria”
Bishop Kukah also believes that Nigeria is still under military rule considering the set of leaders and those they helped in political offices.
“Military rule has not ended, if it has, who is our president today?
“The joy I have is that after 2019, the Pharoahs of antiquity will retire and won’t have the capacity to affect us anymore.”
He had also called on Nigerian politicians not to take the patience of the military for granted for 18 years, “We as Nigerians should not take the patience of the military for granted.”
He said that the overwhelming presence of the military personnel in parts of the country is a sign that the country is not democratizing.
Bishop Kukah noted that it is obvious that Nigerians are far more divided now than they were before the 2015 general elections, pointing out that there has to be Nigeria before anybody could be its president.
“I go to Sokoto with my big cross. I don’t feel insecure. A lot of Muslim youths carry my bag, I don’t see them as Muslim youths. The truth of the matter is that our country is in big trouble.”
Other quotes by Bishop Kukah on The Signature Show
“For this country to be taken seriously everybody seeing a role in public life must be subjected to public scrutiny!”
“What is the greatest tragedy for me is that we’ve gone through a moral state where we are neither hot nor cold”
“Till we develop a collective moral revulsion for the situation we face, we will continue along this path.”
Despite being given role in political-related responsibilities, Bishop Kukah has never been afraid to tell the government of the day the truth, making him stands out among other men of God in Nigeria and across Africa.
Between 1999 and 2001 he was a member of the Nigerian Investigation Commission of Human Rights Violations. He has also served as the secretary of the National Political Reform Conference in 2005 during the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.