The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Matthew Kukah, has told President Bola Tinubu that neither God nor history will forgive him if he fails to deliver on his promised “renewed hope”, having striven for years to be at the helm of affairs of the nation.
Bishop Kukah said this in his Christmas message on Monday, adding that now that the former Lagos State governor is on the driving seat, Nigeria must turn the corner under his watch.
According to Kukah, Tinubu must have had enough time to think of the answers to many questions that are crying for answers and that under his watch, Nigeria “must end the ugly instrumentalization of religious, ethnic or regional identities.”
The cleric said, “Mr. President, Sir, congratulations and a happy Christmas. Now, you have what you prayed for, what you dreamt of, what you longed for. For the better part of over twenty years, you have plotted to be our President. For years, you campaigned for a new Nigeria through restructuring or overhauling the defective machinery of the Nigerian state.
“For years, you fought the military and other forms of dictatorships. For years, you fought for the victims of a deep state. For years, you sought to create an egalitarian society. For years, you sought a just society. For years you have built networks with individuals, communities and institutions. Now is harvest time.
“You are on the driving seat now. Under your watch, Nigeria must turn the corner. Under your watch, we must end the ugly instrumentalization of religious, ethnic or regional identities. You have had enough time to think of the answers to many questions that are crying for answers.
“Your future and that of our country is in your hands. Mr. President, you have no excuses before God or the people of Nigeria. Neither God nor history will forgive you if you fail. This is our moment, our date with history. Now, all eyes and ears are on you. Our prayers for a united country are with you.”
Referencing Tinubu’s “Renewed Hope” agenda, the Bishop noted that Nigerians have almost lost hope in the fact that a government can really and truly care for them, urging the President to ignite the hope.
“We have seen the first faltering steps of policy decisions which have elicited a mixture of controversy, anxiety and praise. This is to be expected. You have promised us a Renewed Hope Agenda, but know that hope has worn thin in our dear nation.
“Nigerians have almost lost hope in the fact that a government can really and truly care for them. Nigerians have lost hope in the fact that our politicians will put our interests first and find a way to deal with the cancer of corruption. We had lost hope in being united again given the seeds of division that had been sown. Ignite our hope again, Sir.
“We now have seen some renewed hope in your effort to run an inclusive government. We want an end to partisanship. The problems of Nigeria are deep seated and they are based on a culture of corruption that has become the foundation stone of governance. This evil structure has to be dismantled. Nigeria’s problems will not be resolved by palliatives.
“The problems deep and are structural. Please do not be afraid to reset the template of power no matter the cultural or historical myths. We are tired of promises and stories. We want evidence we can see and touch, he said.
Kukah also insisted that the senseless killings, abductions, extortion and kidnappings have to end and the sacredness and sanctity of human life restored, adding that blasphemy laws have no place in a democracy.
“Mr. President the killings of Nigerians by whatever name must end and end now. These senseless killings, abductions, extortions and kidnappings have to end and the sacredness and sanctity of human life restored. Blasphemy laws have no place in a democracy. We are not in a theocracy.
“Those who take life by whatever means must be fished out and punished. A culture of compensation to victims must be institutionalised and states must take full responsibility while criminals or those who hide them are fished out. We cannot go on this way. The seeds of hatred that have sprouted in Gaza show us the consequences of allowing a culture of distorted narratives to grow among us.”
He also called on the President to get rid of dubious people in the public service whom he said have turned the opportunity to serve into an ignoble enterprise.
“You must rid the public service of criminals who have turned the opportunity to serve into an ignoble enterprise. We concede that there are millions of decent men and women who genuinely wish to serve but are crushed by the deadweight of corrupt ogas at the top who use corruption as their oxygen!
“This surgery must happen if you are to succeed in any of your dreams of delivering much needed services to our people, Kukah said.