“You go to a lady who has just lost her husband and reassure her she will be fine. She will nod, but she is aware that it is not appropriate. But if you tell her, ‘It’s okay’ as a Priest, she will know that someone is concerned,” the Local Ordinary of Nigeria’s Sokoto Diocese said.
He further said, “Government has failed miserably. And this is what is causing us more suffering, anguish, and sorrow; we are dying alone, burying our loved ones alone, and all we get are simple words that don’t really mean anything to us.”
In his presentation, Bishop Kukah sought to blame President Muhammadu Buhari-led government for “alienating citizens from government by distributing power unequally at the top.”
“Anybody who loves this country would have to accept the fact that the APC as a government and the President must take responsibility for the fact that the way power has been distributed in Nigeria has created a sense of alienation and it is the underlying factor why people feel the way they feel, why people feel so disenchanted, why people don’t feel a sense of psychological, emotional, cultural or even economical involvement in their country and there is the need to reclaim all of those things back,” he explained.
He added, “Government has come up very-very short; and this is what is increasing the pain, the agony, sorrow of people that we are dying alone, burying our people alone, and all we get are just simple statements that really say nothing to us.”
Speaking about secessionist groups lobbying for the splitting of Africa’s most populous nation, the Nigerian Catholic Bishop said that staying together as a country will incur less cost than breaking apart.
“Yes, it may be right for everybody to want to go. Yes, it may be right for people to want to feel so dissatisfied that they want an end to what we have today. But the cost of staying together is far cheaper than the cost of everybody going their way,” Bishop Kukah observed.
He continued, “The challenge now is how do we connect back because all the things we are hearing now, nobody would have expected to hear them and now everybody wants to go home.”
“Of course, all of us are angry but in my view, the challenge therefore is what kind of palliative do we need to calm our nerves; and I am not talking here of the palliatives in the way and manner that we understand them but something needs to happen to send out a signal to Nigerians that things are under control,” Bishop Kukah said.
“With the fact that we have the US Secretary of State speaking to us virtually, we would have preferred that our President spoke to the President of America rather than the Secretary of State but anyway, half bread is better than nothing,” the Nigerian Bishop said.