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Kukah calls for national reconciliation before 2023 polls

The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Most Rev Matthew Kukah, has again berated President Muhammadu Buhari, over his regime’s inability to tackle insecurity and corruption in Nigeria.

Bishop Kukah in his Easter message titled, ‘To mend a Broken Nation: The Easter Metaphor’, said every aspect of life in Nigeria has been destroyed, while corruption is enthroned.

His words: “Our dear country, Nigeria, still totters and wobbles as we screech towards a dangerous and avoidable canyon of dry bones.

“One would be tempted to ask, what is there to say about our tragic situation today that has not been said? Who is there to speak that has not spoken? Like the friends of Job, we stare at an imponderable tragedy as the nation unravels from all sides. The government has slid into hibernation mode.

“It is hard to know whether the problem is that those in power do not hear, see, feel, know, or just don’t care. Either way, from this crossroad, we must make a choice, to go forward, turn left or right or return home. None of these choices is easy, yet, guided by the light of the risen Christ, we can reclaim our country from its impending slide to anarchy.

“The challenge of fixing this broken nation is enormous and, as I have said, requires joint efforts. With everything literally broken down, our country has become one big emergency national hospital with full occupancy.

“Our individual hearts are broken. Our family dreams are broken. Homes are broken. Churches, Mosques and infrastructure are broken. Our educational system is broken. Our children’s lives and future are broken. Our politics is broken. Our economy is broken. Our energy system is broken. Our security system is broken. Our Roads and Rails are broken. Only corruption is alive and well.

Kukah said that one of the critical issues to be tackled before the 2023 general election is reconciling the citizens, who have been torn apart along ethnic, religious and tribal lines.

The fiery cleric again accused the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration of promoting division of the people on the basis of ethnicity, religion and region.

“The challenge of fixing this broken nation is enormous and, as I have said, requires joint efforts. With everything literally broken down, our country has become one big emergency national hospital with full occupancy.

“Our individual hearts are broken. Our family dreams are broken. Homes are broken. Churches, Mosques and infrastructure are broken. Our educational system is broken. Our children’s lives and future are broken. Our politics is broken. Our economy is broken. Our energy system is broken. Our security system is broken. Our Roads and Rails are broken. Only corruption is alive and well.

Kukah said that one of the critical issues to be tackled before the 2023 general election is reconciling the citizens, who have been torn apart along ethnic, religious and tribal lines.

The fiery cleric again accused the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration of promoting division of the people on the basis of ethnicity, religion and region.

“The greatest challenge for Nigeria is not even the 2023 elections. It is the prospects for the reconciliation of our people. Here, the Buhari administration sadly has divided our people on the basis of ethnicity, religion and region, in a way that we have never witnessed in our history.

“This carefully choreographed agenda has made Nigerians vulnerable and ignited the most divisive form of identity consciousness among our people. Years of friendships, cultural exchange and collaboration built over time have now come under serious pressure from stereotyping.

“Notwithstanding these challenges, religious leaders must recover and deploy their moral authority and avoid falling victim to the schemes of politicians and their material enticements”, he said.

While commending President Muhammadu Buhari for accepting the report of the Committee on the Prerogative of Mercy and granting pardon to over 150 Nigerians serving various terms of imprisonment, Kukah urged him to also rise to the challenge of tackling insecurity, which appeared to have put every citizens in captivity.

“The more serious challenge is to immediately free all innocent Nigerians who are held captive and whose only crime is that they are living in Nigeria”, he said.

Kukah said with the news of the purchase of new sophisticated weapons, Nigerians are hoping that the president and the military will quickly roll out a strategy for routing this cancer that has afflicted the country.

According to him, the general feeling is that the military has the capacity to end this tragedy if they get the required leadership from their commander-in-chief.

“If the president can end this tragedy, he will immediately get the support of all citizens and hopefully leave office with his head held high”, he added.

Kukah also described the country’s situation as tragic and highly disturbing, saying that government appears to be hibernating and not doing much to arrest the slide in the country’s affairs..

“The real challenge before us now is to look beyond politics and face the challenge of forming character and faith in our country. Here, leaders of religion, Christianity and Islam, need to truthfully face the role of religion in the survival of our country. The Nigerian constitution has very clearly delineated the fine boundaries between religion and politics”, he said.

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