Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Matthew Kukah, has blasted Nigeria’s political elites, saying they have shown no commitment to the rules of the game.
Bishop Kukah made this known on Channels Television’s, Sunrise Daily on Friday, where he called for political office holders to show accountability and display sportsmanship in accepting electoral results.
“The truth of the matter is that the Nigerian political elites have shown no commitment to the rules of the game of politics; they are too many people who just see politics as a transaction just imagine an entry fee of 100 million Naira to be able to buy a form,” he said.
“Imagine the huge amount of money that people are asked to pay; it is just like going to watch a match or going to the nightclub. If you charge that much fee, what are you going to expect when you enter the hall. We are now hearing stories of the problem of vote buying and so on.”
The 70-year-old prelate believes the country’s democracy was below par as compared to other African nations.
“The quality of our democracy does not meet even local standards. That is the truth of the matter. We are operating in a very convoluted matter,” he said.
“Kenya, for example, has made a lot of mistakes, and guess what? Kenya already has had five or so presidents since December 13th, 1963. Jomo Kenyatta was prime minister for one year. Then, he became president but transported that to Nigeria.
“So, we don’t even have that sequence of that conversation. The point is that in every sense of the world very few African countries have such a checkered past as Nigeria has the series of military coups, the distortion of the political environment, the lack of commitment to law and due process, and the inability of this country having a very steady national assembly, “Kukah affirmed.
Kukah was a co-organiser of a peace accord signed by presidential candidates alongside the former Head of State General Abdulsalami Abubakar under the auspices of the National Peace Committee
Asked about the consequence of the accord, Kukah detailed that they will not just be mere witnesses but take up active roles in demonstrating its authenticity
“So they are more than just witnesses, they are penning their signatures is their affirmation of the commitment of all their parties apparatus to submit to the principles that have been laid down,” he added.
“The presidential candidates themselves had to sign, and that is why if you notice yesterday, it was the chairman of the APC that signed because Asiwaju was not present and of course, there were three other parties that didn’t show up for all kinds of reasons.
“Sometimes, people start up all these things, and then at the end of the day either they lose steam or then step out, but you know on balance we had 15 presidential aspirants that showed up and everybody appended their signatures it is really to give it a sense of validation.”