The Catholic Bishop of the Sokoto Diocese, Matthew Kukah, has warned that Nigeria’s precarious situation could get worse if not urgently addressed before the 2023 general elections.
The cleric, who was a guest lecturer at the African Church’s 120th Founders’ Day, Tuesday in Lagos, noted: “We’ve all lamented enough and it’s a pity that everybody is lamenting at the same time, including the head of the house. So, I think we are running out of time, but it’s still not impossible for us to recover. The challenge now is whether the government can develop a greater sense of urgency about holding the country together. It’s important that the government reaches out to its children. It doesn’t matter what their grievances are, the responsibility of the government is to hear out every citizen.”
He continued: “A situation where too many people are singing aside the choirs doesn’t make good worship. So, I think the government needs to do more than seeing those agitating as troublemakers because we are already in trouble. The government tends to create trouble by the policies it makes, The Guardian reports.
“There’s a need for us to recover quickly because it’s going to even get worse with the coming elections if we don’t do a bit of homework now.”
On the anti-open grazing law, the revered Catholic priest stated: “We should focus on the economics of the legislation, in which case, we can create a win-win situation. But if we focus too much on keeping the Fulani and the cows away, we are not going to solve the problem because no one is putting bread on the table of others. It’s becoming too much politics, a little economy. So, if we make anti-grazing too much politics, then we will lose the argument. We cannot continue with this animosity across ethnic groups and all fabrics of the society.”
In his remarks, the host ministry’s primate, Emmanuel Josiah Udofia, said: “It is the responsibility of the church to ensure peace. There can never be any meaningful development either in the church or in society without peace. Therefore, it’s our responsibility to always seek the face of the Lord on behalf of the church and the society.”
Regarding open grazing, he submitted: “From the scriptural point of view, it is a sin to allow an animal to enter into someone else’s vineyard to destroy.”