Roman Catholic Mission (RCM) Bishops in Nigeria have called on President Buhari to take full responsibility for the poor state of the economy and stop blaming his predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan.
Speaking through the Arch-Bishop of Sokoto Dioceses, Mathew Kukah at a dinner organised on the occasion of the Catholic Bishop Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) 2016 by Ondo State Governor, Olusegun Mimiko, at the International Event Centre, Akure on Tuesday September 13th, the clergymen said Jonathan was no longer president of the country and no amount of insults heaped on him will make things change.
“If the previous government did badly that is why we voted a new government. We didn’t vote a government to complain about wednesday. If we wanted wednesday, the new government would not be there. It is really about taking responsibility. No matter how much you praise or abuse Jonathan, he is not the president of Nigeria. I think that people must understand, you take power to solve problems not to agonise. As the head of a family, no matter how bad things are if there is no food in the house; you as a father can’t enter the house crying. It is the question of developing the mechanism. You can’t solve the problem by guess work. Even my best friends in APC now realise that nobody can sing the song about Jonathan being responsible for the problems we are in. We are not asking you to change the whole world.”
According to Kukah, it was better for this administration to identify the good in the past administration and improve on them than become slaves to its shortcomings.
“We are now riding a train between Abuja and Kaduna now. The train wasn’t there before. Things that Jonathan did that can help Nigeria, let’s continue with them. The bad things that Jonathan did and those who deserve to go to prison should go to prison. But sending people to prison will only be useful if it puts bread on the table of people. I think the challenge government is facing is this: just to be able to explain to the people that this suffering has something redemptive about it because if you know that at the end of this suffering something good is going to happen, people will be ready to live with the consequences. But so far, I don’t think government is communicating effectively with ordinary Nigerians and to know where we are and the state of things. So, this is why you increasingly have a situation which people are not willing to make sacrifices because they still believe that their obligation is to protect themselves.”
On the current war against corruption by this government, Kukah said
“I have always said, you can’t cure malaria by just providing tablets. You might provide tablets to cure malaria but you have to look at the cause of malaria. As long as dirty waters and mosquitoes are around, there will still be the disease. My argument has always been that we are not really fighting corruption. We started off with the assumption that corruption is all about people stealing money. But stealing money is actually the other end of corruption. The reason we don’t seem to make much progress is based on the kind of diagnosis; how we diagnose the problem. I still believe that unless we get to the root cause of poverty, inequality, which is really the evidence and symptom of corruption, you can talk of fighting corruption all the rest of your life and very little is going to happen.”