Mohammed Aminu in Sokoto
The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Mathew Hassan Kukah, tuesday attributed the current recession in the country to maladministration and wrong policies adopted by the federal government.
Speaking with journalists on his 40th anniversary in priesthood in Sokoto, Kukah maintained that the policies of the present administration was not properly thought through before implementation, which landed Nigeria into recession.
He emphasised that recession is a product of corruption and that Nigerians are paying the price for making wrong choices in the past.
“It is maladministration that produces corruption. Could we not have seen this so called recession coming?
“You can always tell when it is about to rain. If you see the clouds gathering, sometimes you can smell the rain. You cannot go out on a journey without an umbrella and complain when it starts to rain. So, it is the choices that we made that landed us into this recession.
“The policies adopted by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has not been properly thought through. Bad things happen in spite of good intention and that is why we ended up in this situation,” he said.
The cleric lamented that neither the government nor the citizenry was aware when the current recession and hardship would end in the country.
“We always talk about this recession and the hardship in the country but we have no idea when it will end.
“We are feeling the pinch but there is no clear conversation with ordinary people to suggest what we need to do to come out of this recession,” the cleric stated.
On the mutual suspicion between Muslims and Christians in the country, Kukah attributed the issue to ignorance.
He posited that it was this lack of integration between the adherents of the two religion that is making it difficult to build a united Nigeria.
He appealed to the Northern elite to redouble efforts towards integrating the Muslim and Christian communities in the North.
“Muslims and Christians meet at party headquarters, attend weddings together and other activities but I don’t know why Muslims in the North are afraid to enter a Church. And it is this fear that is making it difficult to build a united country.
“I have entered several mosques in Qatar, Jerusalem and even here in Sokoto during the wedding of the daughters of former Governor Aliyu Wamakko.
“It is ignorance that is responsible for 90 per cent of our problems in Nigeria and it is a tragedy that we cannot pray together. We exploit the negative and stereotypical dimension of religion and it is this fear that Boko Haram has continued to exploit.
“I pray that during my lifetime religion will not be a tool of fear. A situation where Christian and Muslim children will have an idea what the bible and Quran is. If they learn this, they will be able to understand one another. We must enforce the right of children to have idea about one another and their belief,” Kukah averred.
On his 40 years in priesthood, Kukah described the journey in the last four decades as wonderful and expressed gratitude to Nigerians and particularly public officers for their support.
“When I look back at 40 years, I look at years of blessings that came from nooks and crannies of this country. I want to thank the Catholic Church, public officers and Nigerians for giving me this opportunity, as they have enriched my life,” he added.