“We are where we are because of our inability to interrogate the system, our inability to realise that nothing comes for free and everything has to be contested and fought for.”
The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Most Revd. Bishop Matthew Kukah has called on Nigerians to play active roles in governance, stressing that electing angels will not change the trajectory of the country for good unless citizens colonise the streets.
Bishop Kukah made the assertion when he appeared on Channels Television NewsNight program monitored by Heritage Times (HT) on Monday.
“We must have the capacity to agitate against unacceptable outcomes even if it take us days and take our lives. The elites are just sitting there doing nothing because they benefit from this carcass of a state.”
The fiery Bishop went on to assert that: “We are where we are because of our inability to interrogate the system, our inability to realise that nothing comes for free and everything has to be contested and fought for.”
The cleric also berated civil societies for playing passive roles after Nigeria’s transition to democracy in 1999, lamenting that not much have changed since the military era.
“In the final analysis that is why we have civil society activism. In 1998 I published a book titled ‘Democracy And Civil Societies’, the book was my gift to Nigerians in preparatory to democracy in 1999. My conclusion in the book was that Civil Society and dictatorship cancel themselves out. If we want a vibrant democracy, civil societies must be alert.”
“Unfortunately, a lot of people who were active in Civil societies went to sleep because they erroneously thought the end of military rule was the beginning of democracy. If you are measuring how far we have covered in the route of democracy, our current president is a former General, this is how far we have come.“
It is worthwhile to note that Bishop Kukah’s comments come at time Nigerians are gearing up to vote leaders into elective positions come 2023.
The cleric was in December 2020 appointed by Pope Francis as a member of the Dicastery for the Promotion of Human Integral Development.
Kukah, whose wealth of experience in the areas of human rights, justice and reconciliation, has been commended by many, is currently the Chairman, Dialogue Committees of both the Regional Episcopal Conference of West Africa and the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria.
He is renowned for his non-sentimental pose and frank criticisms of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.