Matthew Kukah, the Bishop of Sokoto Diocese of the Roman Catholic Church, has told Nigeria’s President muhammadu Buhari that he needs to stop complaining about the country’s past and focus on fixing the country.
This admonishment comes as President Buhari said that he inherited nothing from the past 4 administrations before him.
Kukah, made this call while speaking at the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, CBCN, in Ondo saying that power was taken over by the Buhari administration to fix problems, “not agonise”.
He also said the war against corruption would have no effect if people have no food on their table, saying until the government gets to the root cause of poverty and inequality in the society, it is not fighting corruption.
“Even my best friends in All Progressives Congress, APC, now realise that nobody can sing the song about Jonathan being responsible for the problems we are in,” Kukah said.
“We are not asking you to change the whole world. (You say) Jonathan created problems: we are now riding a train between Abuja and Kaduna now; the train wasn’t there before.
“Things that Jonathan did that can help Nigeria, let’s continue with them. The bad things that Jonathan did and those who deserve to go to prison should go to prison. But sending people to prison will only be useful if it puts bread on the table of people,” the Catholic Bishop said.
“I still believe that unless we get to the root cause of poverty, inequality, which is really the evidence and symptom of corruption; you can talk of fighting corruption all the rest of your life, and very little is going to happen.
“The previous government didn’t only do bad things; it did a lot of good things. And I think the business of government is not our business; our business is: if the previous government did badly, that is why we voted a new government.
“We didn’t vote a government to complain about yesterday. If we wanted yesterday, the new government would not be there. It is really about taking responsibility. No matter how much you praise or abuse Jonathan, he is not the president of Nigeria.
“As the head of a family, no matter how bad things are: no food in the house; you as a father can’t enter the house crying. It is the question of developing the mechanism: you can’t solve the problem.
“I think that people must understand, you take power to solve problems, not to agonise.”
Kukah accused the government of not communicating effectively with its citizens on the state of the country.
“This is why you increasingly have a situation which people are not willing to make sacrifices because they still believe that their obligation is to protect themselves,” he said.
“I think unless government openly explains and engage people very constructively, what you are going to face is a situation which ordinary citizens are finding the best ways to protect and defend themselves.
“All government needs to do is to think out, a bit more clearly, how it can engage ordinary Nigerians. It is not enough to tell people to get back to the farms; the issues are much more than that. It is not enough to say you have big plans for agriculture; it is developing very clear, short, medium and long term solutions to the present situation.
“People are suffering from combination of both physical and psychological insecurities, and also, the very real threat that is poised by all kinds of agencies: the herdsmen, armed robbers, kidnappers and many more.”