The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah, Saturday expressed concern over the manner that Nigerians voted along regional and ethnic lines in the last general election.
He wondered if the trend persists, where the capacity for managing the nation’s diversity would come from.
He said that “We are practicing politics of very poor quality. The politics is so regionalized, factionalized. Whenever I look at the map of the last elections, I don’t feel proud as a Nigerian.
“That you have an election in which very clearly the country is divided into two and the lines are precise meaning what the north is saying and thinking is different from the south is saying and thinking is different from what the south is saying and thinking. They are not reality they are perception. And if this is the kind of countries have, how do we develop the capacity to manage diversity.”
He spoke in Abuja during his lecture presentation on Optimizing Public Relations Strategies for National Cohesion”, at the 2019 Annual General Meeting of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR).
According to him, the nation has been so divided that even the appointments of universities Vice Chancellors are based on state of origin and religion.
He noted that it is now impossible for a southerner to become an Vice Chancellors in regions other than their own.
The priest urged the Federal Government to interrogate those that Governors that introduced Sharia law in 1999, on the emergence of Boko Haram sect.
He said the areas of operation of the sect are now contiguous with the areas where the Sharia declarations were made, stressing that to create a much better, just and fair society, hypocrisy has to stop.
He said that it is now virtually impossible to travel from Sokoto to Zamfara by road because of insecurity in the country.
The priest recalled that “in 1999, Sharia law was declared in Nigeria, and almost all the 19 northern states joyfully, exuberantly adopted Sharia. According to the principles of Sharia, we are supposed to be seeing joy, happiness and equity and so forth. Well, those who brought the Sharia should now tell us and Boko Haram and bandits have now taken over our country.”
Kukah has in the last few years delivered a lecture on national cohesion, adding that the nation’s current challenges are due to inability to manage its diversity. He said to tackle the issue of diversity, there must be an excellent application of team work management skill.
According to him, the nation’s quest for national Cohesion remains an illusion because too many issues have not been resolved.
He noted that Nigeria has no clarity of vision and it is only in the country that people drive vehicles without navigational aids.
Kukah said that there is no is institution in Nigeria that has not been taken over by quacks, “including our politics. There is no institution you can blame in this country, everywhere.”
He said that whereas the universities should have been the ones to proffer solutions to national issues in the country, there has been a persistent war between them and the government.
The academic experts that should brief the president are never engaged to do so.