‘Fighting corruption’ mantra no longer working, we need leaders that will perform— Bishop Kukah


Matthew Kukah, bishop of the Catholic diocese of Sokoto, says Nigerians want leaders that can be perform.


Kukah spoke on Monday at an event organised by the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS) in collaboration with the Kukah Centre.


The event was themed ‘High-Level Forum on Political Communication and Issue-based Campaign in the 2023 General Elections’.


Speaking as one of the panelists, Kukah said Nigerians are looking for a country with leaders they can believe in.


 “As citizens, we need to get a sense that beyond talking to us about corruption, we need leaders that will ‘walk the talk’. This is because the corruption mantra is no longer working and it is not going to work,” he said.


“The greatest challenge for us in Nigeria is that our identity politics has not been well managed, and politics remains the most viable ingredient in managing diversity. Had we developed the skills to manage diversity effectively, the challenges confronting the country would have been tackled.”


Kukah also said Nigerians should not be focused on Christian-Christian or Muslim-Muslim candidacy, “because we are sounding as if the people that are contesting are from another planet”.


He added that for the country to get out of its challenges, it is the responsibility of those who govern to deal with it directly.


“We need to re-image and re-imagine Nigeria because the Nigeria that we have today is not the Nigeria that many of us can recognise,” he added.


Also speaking, Attahiru Jega, former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), said politicians do not match their campaign promises with actions.


“So, every four years, we had a cycle of election but when we look at the substance of governance, it has increasingly been on a trajectory of bad governance and virtually all socio- economic indices point to that in terms of the fundamental needs of people,” he said.


 “Our politicians, the way they plan their campaign and the way they govern when they get into power, have been leading this country away from that need of satisfying the needs and aspirations of the people.”


Jega said Nigerians have to begin to examine the role that they ought to play in the electoral process in order to choose the right leaders.

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