For 30 Years, People Asked Me To Run For President, Offered To Pay – Kukah

The fiery cleric argued that in politics, Nigerians are not looking for “holy people” or “good men”.

Bishop Matthew Kukah speaks at the House of Justice 8th summit held in Kaduna State on Friday, November 24, 2023.


The Bishop of the Sokoto Catholic Diocese, Matthew Kukah, says for decades, he has shrugged off appeals to run for the country’s top political office, despite claims that he would make a “good president”.

“A lot of people have been saying to me in the last 30 years, ‘Come and contest elections. Come and contest the presidency of Nigeria,’” he said during an address at the 8th House of Justice Summit held in Kaduna State.

Oga, make I finish with parish work, first. Because if I were under that illusion — a lot of people have told me, ‘We will pay for you. You don’t have to pay, because we believe you will make a good president.’

“But I know that I will not make a good president, because good presidents are not what you’re looking for.”

Kukah argued that in politics, Nigerians are not looking for “holy people” or “good men”.

“Because what do you mean by good?” he queried.


‘Judiciary, Priests Getting Sucked Into Politics’

The bishop also expressed sadness over what he described as members of the judiciary and Catholic priests getting sucked into politics.

“I am saddened by the fact that the judiciary has now found itself being sucked into politics,” he said, although he did not elaborate on the nature of political involvement.

“I would have also been sad — and I’m also sad — to the extent that even us who are priests in the church, we are getting sucked into politics because you will never come out the same.

“You go to wrestle with a pig inside poto poto (mud). You may defeat the pig, but you cannot go around showing yourself to see what you look like.”

READ ALSO: I’m Saddened Judiciary, Priests Getting Sucked Into Politics, Says Kukah

He however urged Nigerians not to be despondent, saying the best is still to come. Rather than worry about the next generation, Nigerians should be focused on the present, he added.

“You are using mobile phones today. It wasn’t the generation that went before us that gave us mobile phones. Every generation will contest its own problems. Let’s be concerned with the problems of the moment,” he said.

“Yes, we dream about the future. But like somebody said, today is the tomorrow you dreamt about yesterday. But let’s not be nervous. We should be nervous that we are underperforming because there are things we could have done differently and we can do differently.

“But there is a new consciousness that is emerging and it is that consciousness that we must build on. So, justices will do what justices will do.”