The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Matthew Hassan Kukah, yesterday said he would not stop speaking against bad governance in the country until Nigeria changes for the better.
Kukah, who stated this in his homily celebrating 45 years of priesthood and 10 years as Bishop in Sokoto, said keeping quiet in the face of injustice and bad governance was nothing but corruption.
He recalled with nostalgia how he took the vow to keep preaching the gospel with fidelity and constancy not minding whose ox is gored.
In keeping to this vow, Bishop Kukah said some might construe constant criticism of governments as causing trouble.
I did not promise to serve the President, governor, any politician, businessman or individual but preach the gospel with fidelity and constancy. Nothing I have accomplished as a result of myself. Were it not for the Catholic Church, I would have been nothing. I would not have been a priest. Constantly remind yourself that everything about you is God’s gift, Kukah admonished the congregation.
While noting that his happiness was not about how far he had been as a priest but had remained committed to his vow by preaching the gospel with fidelity and constancy.
“Keeping silence in the face of injustice is corruption. The things I keep saying is not for any government, I was saying it before this government came and I will continue to say same even after this government.
“We must passionately and deliberately fix this country. It is not by accident that we are here today; we must fix this country together. Human greed gives birth to all the problems in the world. Human beings cause all the evil in the world.
“If we look at how the world is broken today, we must all ask ourselves, what is our individual contributions to the broken world? You must have contributed by not necessarily joining the fight but your refusal to live a life that is sufficiently regulated by the spirit as the spirit illuminates darkness.
“Religion is not going to fix Nigeria; politics will not fix our country as those in power in Nigeria are not any different from the colonial masters. They have same mentality as they continue to steal the resources which is our collectively patrimony and hide same abroad.
“Nigerians should be faithful to the word of God and have confidence in the country. The situation we are today is not about whether Christian is the President or not. We must ask ourselves why the decay in the system? And the simple answer is because we are not doing what God asked us to do as Christians.”
On the political front, he said: “The Peoples Democratic Party , PDP, is not wanting to take over power because they want to do anything better, just as the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) do not want to hand over power because they are going to do something different. It is all about selfishness.”
On why Nigerians should continue to be proud of the country at all times, Kukah said, “God did not make mistake for you to have come from your small village.
I talk about Nigeria with pride because before our very eyes, God will do a great thing that we will all rejoice.
Reflecting on his life, Bishop Kukah said: “I am happy that sometimes, somebody will stop me somewhere and say thank you my Lord Bishop Kukah for making such a huge impact in my life. I schooled courtesy of your scholarship.”
He said his next plan was how to take five 5000 families out of poverty through an upcoming empowerment programme by the grace of God.