2019: Nigeria’s problems will not disappear with Buhari’s removal- Kukah

Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Fr. Bishop Mathew Hassan on Thursday quashed calls for President Muhammadu Buhari’s removal as the country gears up for 2019 election, arguing that the president’s removal is no quick fix to the challenges confronting the nation.

Kukah stated this during his remarks at a public lecture organised by The Kukah Centre in Abuja, tagged: “How to make Democracy Work for Africa.”

Noting that nation building is like growing a marriage, Kukah enjoined Nigerians to be patient with the recent administration, stressing that such endurance and commitment is required to develop the country.

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Buttressing his point, he contended that if changing political officers during every election year was the answer to Nigeria’s problems, the country should not at his present state as it has been governed by different leaders since it returned to democracy in 1999.

Commenting on calls for a ‘Third Force’ which was intiated by erstwhile President Olusegun Obasanjo, as a replacement of Buhari in 2019, the Sokoto Bishop said what Nigerians need was change of orientation, wondering what result such move would produce with the same crops of leaders that have led the country for years.

He went on to stress the need for the entire political class in the country to see power as a trust given to them by the people, noting that such consciousness on the part of politicians was what the country needs to move forward.

He said: “Since 1999, when we returned to democracy, we had prayerfully hoped that by now, we would have covered a lot of mileage but almost 20 years later, it seems to be quite a bit of tragedy.

“Building a nation is like staying in marriage or pursuing any vocation in life that requires lots and lots of patience and hard work.

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“On the issue of 2019 and the third force coalition, I reiterate that if every time you have problem in your marriage, you go ahead to marry a new wife, how many wives will you end up marrying?

“The solution to bad marriage is not a new marriage. I am talking as a Catholic priest. The problem with the APC is that it is a coalition and that is why it is falling apart.

“The major limitation in Nigeria is that the people in power feel it is them against the rest of Nigerians. Democracy has opened up a space, and as such, anybody who holds power holds that power in custody and in trust for the people.

“People’s right across our country are frustrated with democracy; they are frustrated because it has not been able to offer them the hope they had dreamt about. But we still have to convince our people that it is still probable for democracy to work.

“Nations of the world have tried theocracy, which is the government by Priests or Imams and have found those systems wanting. They have tried tyranny, apartheid and so on. At the end, everybody has agreed that democracy is the best system that approximates the tool we require to manage diversity, especially for a country like Nigeria.

“Democracy is not what politicians can offer to us, it is not what the President can give to us, and it is not what governors or senators can do on part time basis. Democracy is a process which each and every one of us imbibe, adopt certain ingredients that regulate our lives.”

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