The Catholic Archbishop of Sokoto, Most Reverend Matthew Kukah on Thursday, said that Nigerians are worse off and more frustrated under the President Muhammadu Buhari administration. The cleric backed positions of former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, who had earlier warned that the country is more divided and drifting into a failed state under Buhari’s watch. Bishop Kukah made this declaration during a virtual presentation of his paper titled “The Journey So Far: Nigeria, Democracy and Development,” on Zoom organized by the Association of Retired Career Ambassadors of Nigeria (ARCAN) in Abuja. Regretting that the country is more divided, he indicted Buhari for showing greatest degree of insensitivity in managing the country’s diversity, classifying his appointments as “lopsided and against the spirit of a united Nigeria.” His words: “We are finding it difficult to manage our diversity.
Indeed, this is not a period in our history to talk about merit or meritocracy. “If Buhari does not visit the idea of people feeling excluded from the system, then he is laying a bad foundation. Even many Northerners are not happy with the skewed appointments by the President. The truth is, we cannot continue to live in a country where Nigerians are worse off, Bishop Kukah says to Buhari Most Rev. (Dr.) Anthony J.V. Obinna, Archbishop of Owerri Archdiocese • President Buhari •Archbishop Kukah there is no feeling of inclusion because we are not a conquered people. “Where we are supposed to be is not where we are. When you recruit people based on religious and ethnic considerations, it diminishes the system, create tension and make others feel like they don’t belong to the system. We are in a digital knowledge economy, and the world has no role for ethnic jingoism, religious and cultural arrogance.
“I call on President Buhari to appreciate that Nigerians expected more than what we have today. We have never been as divided, cynical, sad and frustrated as we are today. We pray the world will not leave us behind. The Bishop advised that the use of ethnic and religious consideration in decision making by government should be discouraged by President Buhari before the end of his tenure. Failure to do so he said will present serious challenges to the incoming government. Bishop Kukah observed that despite the nepotistic inclination of government, the greatest number of the Nigerian poor is domiciled in the North. The Clergy advised Nigerians to insist that anyone seeking a public office must have the requisite qualifications because the new world does not have a place for the country’s current method of recruitments which rewards people based on basis of their respective ethnic and religious affiliations.