SOKOTO, JULY 30, 2021 (CISA) – The Rt. Rev. Matthew Hassan Kukah, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, has urged Nigerians to keep pushing for democracy and opening up of civic space in the country.
“We are treading on dangerous paths. Young people are feeling totally disempowered. We are faced with a nation that is consuming its own children; we are faced with the prospects of an uncertain future,” Bishop Kukah said on July 28.
“If there is any lesson we can learn, we are faced by political actors into whose hands we have entrusted with the future of our country and who have no understanding how diversity can be managed and who seem to have almost no intellectual capacity to understand that the strength of a nation lies in its ability to mobilize its resources. They have continued to seek to close the civic space,” he opined.
“The challenge for us is to understand that democracy is a work in progress. All of us engaged in democracy and opening of the civic space must realize this is a long journey and we must wear the shoes of a long-distance runner,” he added.
“Democracy is not an exercise undertaken by good men and good women, which is what Nigerians have always fallen victim to. We are looking for holy men, men of integrity, men of dignity to govern us and we assume that somehow, managing a diverse country like Nigeria does not require a certain level of deep intellectual reflection and understanding the complexity of managing a diverse society such as the one we have,” he bemoaned adding every generation will pass the challenges to the next generation but whatever Nigerians pass to the next generation must be a light of hope.
He was speaking on the topic “Civic Space: Pathway to Social Cohesion and Integration in Nigeria” at an event organized by The Kukah Centre (TKC) and Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA).