Just as a section of the country is trying to force mediocrity down the throats of most Nigerians, Certain sections of the country have refused to be swallowed up by the crowd and speak their truth even if it means speaking about Nigeria’s President Buhari.
One of those who have refused to be silent about the way Nigeria is being governed is the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Dr. Matthew Hassan Kukah, who said that President Buhari was the most irresponsible president in the world in his usage of power as Nigerian President.
Bishop Kuka expressed this opinion while delivering the annual Ulefunta/Oyemekun Festival lecture entitled “Building blocks for a good society” held at the Francis Idibiye Lecture hall of the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA).
According to the Catholic Bishop, the structure of the Nigerian presidency makes the holders of the office extremely powerful, so much that individuals who hold the office can unleash their power on any section of the country if they so chose.
“No president in the world has the kind of power the Nigerian president has and as such, no president in the world can be as irresponsible as the Nigerian president. His power is so much that he can give oil bloc to his girlfriend and many others. You thus can’t be a man of honour and live in a country like Nigeria and not be angry,” the Bishop said.
Bishop Kukah noted further that right from inception no Nigerian leader has emerged as President by circumstance unlike what obtains in the United States.
“What is the problem? It is the dilemma of leadership. In America, there are basic expectations of what a president should be. For instance, he must have gone through Harvard as an institution, he must have language and track records, not even wealth. You can’t surprise the system.
Here in Nigeria, local government chairman wants to be governor; the governor wants to be president and the president doesn’t want to go! Many states have two governors representing them at the National Assembly. Governors have control and monopoly of resources of state and they use same resources to oppress them,” he opined
He also reiterated that with the present structure of the Nigerian state the instability being experienced was inevitable. The only way out was to develop mechanisms that will tackle the instability in the country.
“In Nigeria, it is not a question of looking for trouble because trouble is already here. The Nigerian state has no capacity to protect itself and there is no loyalty to Nigeria from its citizens but to those who help individuals to get to positions in the system,” he said.
Kukah, however, singled two former Nigerian leaders out of the leadership rot; Chief Obafemi Awolowo and Alhaji Aminu Kano, whom he called “architects of a good society.”
“Awolowo, for his major quintessential evidence as somebody who already figured out what he would do with power if he got it; He understood the building blocks for an egalitarian society. Aminu Kano single handedly took on the feudal class in Northern society and had a deep understanding of society, even as he textually talked about a free society in a way and manner that didn’t offend religion,” he said further
He also said having a building block for a good society was not enough, the designs also have to be followed he said making a comparison that Nigeria has not developed because we refuse to follow the laid down design.
“We have to understand the building blocks of society which is not too different from the rules of building a house. A good society is not different from the building blocks of society. When a building collapses, it didn’t collapse in a day. It began to collapse a long time ago. For us to build a good society, we have to have eyes that monitor the needs, growth and development and feelings of that society. Then you can be sure of the quality of that society,” he concluded