The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto, Most Rev. Matthew Kukah, has urged the incoming government to keep Nigerians alive before embarking on fulfilling electoral promises.
Kukah stated this in his Easter message on Sunday.
The Bishop noted that while the country is preparing for the next administration, the pressing need for the incoming President, Bola Tinubu, should be to address the core issues facing the nation.
He expressed hope that the next government would recognise that Nigeria’s most urgent task is not the mere construction of physical infrastructure, but rather the establishment of a strong foundation of social justice, equality, and respect for human rights.
Kukah noted “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.
“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.”
However, the Bishop commended the President, Muhammadu Buhari for recognising that his criticisms of the current administration were a desire to see Nigeria achieve its dreams.
“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,” Bishop Kukah said.
“May God guide you in retirement while we all embark on the challenge of reclaiming the country we knew before you came.”
Kukah also emphasised the critical role that the judiciary plays in shaping the future of Nigeria.
He noted “Nigerians 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.”
Addressing the Nigerian youths, he noted “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.
“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 rules, know your roles, know when to fight, what to fight for and know when to walk away so you can embrace other fights.”