Peter Dada and Atta Ede
The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop
Matthew Kukah, has asked President Muhammadu
Buhari to stop agonising about the past
administration but to tackle the challenges facing
He said Nigerians did not vote for him ( Buhari) to
complain about previous government but to
perform better than his predecessor.
The clergymen stated this at a dinner organised by
the Ondo State Government after the 2016 Catholic
Bishops Conference of Nigeria held in Akure, the
state capital on Wednesday.
He said, “We didn’t vote a government to complain
about yesterday, if we wanted yesterday the new
government would not be there. The previous
government didn’t only do bad things; he did a lot
of good things.
“I think the business of government is not our
business; our business is, the previous
government did bad, that is why we voted a new
government. It is really about taking responsibility.
No matter how much you praise or abuse (former
President Goodluck) Jonathan, he is no more the
President of Nigeria. I think that people must
understand that you take power to solve problems
not to agonise.
“We are not asking you to change the whole world,
but Jonathan created problems: we are now riding
a train between Abuja and Kaduna now; the train
wasn’t there before. Things that Jonathan did that
can help Nigeria, let’s continue with them. The bad
things that Jonathan did and those who deserve to
go to prison should go to prison. “
Kukah added that the only way the current
administration could succeed in fighting corruption
was to first solve the problem of poverty and
inequality in the country.
“I still believe that unless we get to the root cause
of poverty and inequality, which are really the
evidences and symptoms of corruption; you can
talk of fighting corruption all the rest of your life
and very little is going to happen.
“Sending people to prison will only be useful if it
puts bread on the table of the people, “ the
Catholic cleric said.
In his remarks at the dinner, the Ondo State
Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, reiterated his call
for the restructuring of Nigeria to reflect the needed
true federalism as the only panacea for the
development of the country.
Mimiko expressed worries that the Federal
Government was biting more than it could chew
with the larger percentage of the resources at its
disposal to the detriment of the federating units.
The governor posited that the problem of
corruption facing Nigeria could be addressed with
the right policy.
He called for the prayers of the religious leaders in
the country to tackle inter-religious conflicts,
noting that the (conflicts) might lead the country to
more danger that might be difficult to overcome.
“Government has the responsibility of bringing
these bigots to book. We are not comfortable with
what the bigots are doing. What they are doing is
most worrisome in Nigeria. The Church has a
major role to play by praying for Nigeria,” the
Meanwhile, about 200 pastors and bishops from
the Anglican Church across Nigeria are currently in
Makurdi, the Benue State capital, for a one-week
conference where they would pray for the peace,
security and development of the country.
The Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom, while
declaring the conference open at the Benue State
University, Makurdi, expressed excitement that the
state was hosting the All Anglican Clergy
Conference and assured the pastors that their
security would be guaranteed.
Ortom said, ‘’The government and people of the
state believe in divine intervention in human affairs
and my conviction accounted for the dedication of
the state to God at the end of May, this year.
“My faith in God right from my teenage years has
accounted for my elevation from a humble
beginning to the present status and I’m resolute in
my determination to serve God wholeheartedly.’’
He expressed appreciation to the Primate of the
Church, Most Reverend Bishop Nicholas Okoh, and
other clergy and the laity of the church, for making
themselves available for God to use them to bless
the present generation.
Ortom urged them to carry on with their activities
at the conference without any fear of molestation
and advised Benue people to put their trust in God
to experience breakthrough in all facets of life.
He said he was sure that the conference would
bring blessings to the people of the state as well
as all the delegates.
The governor assured the people that his
administration was working tirelessly to revamp
the agricultural value chain, which he said, would
turn around the economy for the better.
In his remark, Okoh thanked Ortom for his
contributions toward the success of the
He reiterated the anti-gay stand of the Anglican
Church in Nigeria and advised members of the
clergy who had gay tendencies to resign their
position honourably or risk being disgraced out of