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Nigeria One Big Emergency Hospital, With Everything Broken Down: Kukah

The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Most Reverend Matthew Hassan Kukah has likened Nigeria to one big emergency national hospital, with full occupancy.

The bishop, known for telling truth to power, said this in his Easter Message delivered at the Holy Family Cathedral Sokoto early today.

Kukah said: “The challenge of fixing this broken nation is enormous and, as I have said, requires joint efforts. With everything literally broken down, our country has become one big emergency national hospital with full occupancy.

“Our individual hearts are broken. Our family dreams are broken. Homes are broken. Churches, Mosques, infrastructure are broken. Our educational system is broken. Our children’s lives and future are broken. Our politics is broken. Our economy is broken. Our energy system is broken.

“Our security system is broken. Our Roads and Rails are broken. Only corruption is alive and well. So, we ask with the Psalmist, We look up to the hills, from where shall come our help? Our help shall come from the name of the Lord.

As 2023 election beckons, Kukah said the challenge is whether we have learnt any lessons from the tragedy that has afflicted us in the last few years.

“The Presidency of Nigeria is not a human right based on ethnic, religious or regional sentiments”, he said.

“The next President of Nigeria must be a man or woman with a heart, a sense of empathy and a soul on fire that can set limits to what human indignities visited on citizens that he or she can tolerate. We have no need for any further empty messianic rhetoric laced with deceitful and grandiose religiosity.

“We need someone who can fix our broken nation, rid our people of the looming dangers of hunger and destitution. Our Presidential aspirants must show evidence from their legacies and antecedents that they know the country well enough and its severe wounds.

“Whoever wants to govern us must illustrate that he or she understands what has turned our nation into a national hospital and show us plans for our discharge from this horror.”

Kukah also criticised the federal government for showing greater commitment to integrating so called repentant terrorists than getting “our children back from kidnappers or keeping our universities open”.

He said earlier last month, the armed forces Operation Safe Corridor announced the graduation of about 600 members of various terrorist groups who have acquired new skills and are now ready to be integrated into society. The total comes to over a thousand now.

“It is plausible to note that the programme involves pyscho-social support, rehabilitation, vocational training, skill acquisition and start-ups.

“Despite all this, the larger issue is that their various communities have expressed the reluctance to receive their erring sons back.

“Nigerians have no access to the transcripts of the texts of the confessions of these terrorists not to talk of evidence of their commitment to not sin again. We have only the words of the terrorists and the same military that they have been fighting a war with.

“It speaks volumes when the President and his military hierarchy choose to believe these young men who took up arms and for years waged war against their country, killed, maimed and wasted thousands of lives, destroyed entire communities and now, they are being housed, fed, clothed with public funds.

“All this while their victims have been forced to make the various IDP camps their new homes! Where is the justice for the victims and the rest of the country they have destroyed?”

As a priest, the Bishop said, he is not against a repentant sinner or criminals changing their ways. After all, the doors of forgiveness must always remain open.

“However, in this case, Nigerians have very little information as to the entire rehabilitation processes. Have these terrorists felt the heat or have they seen the light or, is their repentance a mere strategic and tactical repositioning?

“So far, we have no evidence that these terrorists have been able to confront their victims not to talk of seeking forgiveness from them. Something is wrong.

“We see these terrorists adorned in our national colours in their green and white kaftans, trousers, and looking like heroes of the state!

“Are we to assume that they have become acknowledged models for Nigerian youth?

“Perhaps the next graduating set might be treated to Presidential handshakes, receptions at the villa with full national colours!”

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