Christmas: End killings now, Kukah tells

Christmas: End killings now, Kukah tells Tinubu

The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese,  Mathew  Kukah, has charged President Bola Tinubu to find a way to put a permanent end to the killings of Nigerians by whatever means or name.

Kukah, in his Christmas message with the theme, “Time to Reclaim Nigeria’s Greatness,”  and made available to our correspondent in Sokoto on Monday, said the President, having got what he always wished for as the President of the country, must use his wealth of experience to end the ugly instrumentalisation of religious, ethnic or regional identities.

He also spoke on the 2023 elections and their consequences on the nation so far and called on leaders on every front to, as a matter of urgency, find healing as soon as possible.

He explained that this is not an easy job for any nation, and there are no shortcuts to nation-building.

He, however, said the last few years did test the nation’s collective resolve to stay united.

He said, “Now, the government must devise strategies for achieving reconciliation, which has eluded us.

“Our injuries are not invisible. Many national conferences have been held to chart a way forward. The trove of grievances and hopes is there, and all the government needs to do is to dust them up. No need to reinvent the wheel or attempt some new diagnosis.

The bishop added, “Mr. President, Sir, congratulations and a happy Christmas. Now, you have what you prayed for, what you dreamt of, what you longed for. For the better part of over 20 years, you have plotted to be our President. For years, you campaigned for a new Nigeria through restructuring or overhauling the defective machinery of the Nigerian state.

“For years, you fought the military and other forms of dictatorships. For years, you fought for the victims of a deep state. For years, you sought to create an egalitarian society. For years, you sought a just society. For years, you have built networks with individuals, communities, and institutions. Now is harvest time.

“You are in the driving seat now. Under your watch, Nigeria must turn the corner. Under your watch, we must end the ugly instrumentalisation of religious, ethnic, or regional identities. You have had enough time to think of the answers to many questions that are crying for answers. Your future and that of our country is in your hands.

” Mr President, you have no excuses before God or the people of Nigeria. Neither God nor history will not forgive you if you fail. This is our moment, our date with history. Now, all eyes and ears are on you. Our prayers for a united country are with you.

“We have seen the first faltering steps of policy decisions, which have elicited a mixture of controversy, anxiety, and praise. This is to be expected. You have promised us a Renewed Hope Agenda, but know that hope has worn thin in our dear nation.

“Nigerians have almost lost hope in the fact that a government can really and truly care for them. Nigerians have lost hope in the fact that our politicians will put our interests first and find a way to deal with the cancer of corruption. We had lost hope in being united again, given the seeds of division that had been sown. Ignite our hope again, Sir.

“We now have seen some renewed hope in your effort to run an inclusive government. We want an end to partisanship. The problems of Nigeria are deep-seated, and they are based on a culture of corruption that has become the foundation stone of governance. This evil structure has to be dismantled.

“Palliatives will not resolve Nigeria’s problems. The problems are deep and structural. Please do not be afraid to reset the template of power, regardless of the cultural or historical myths. We are tired of promises and stories. We want evidence we can see and touch.

“Mr. President, the killings of Nigerians by whatever name must end and end now. These senseless killings, abductions, extortions, and kidnappings have to end, and the sacredness and sanctity of human life must be restored. Blasphemy laws have no place in a democracy. We are not in a theocracy.

“Those who take life by whatever means must be fished out and punished. A culture of compensation to victims must be institutionalised and states must take full responsibility while criminals or those who hide them are fished out.  We cannot go on this way. The seeds of hatred that have sprouted in Gaza show us the consequences of allowing a culture of distorted narratives to grow among us.

“You must rid the public service of criminals who have turned the opportunity to serve into an ignoble enterprise. We concede that there are millions of decent men and women who genuinely wish to serve but are crushed by the deadweight of corrupt ogas at the top who use corruption as their oxygen! This surgery must happen if you are to succeed in any of your dreams of delivering much-needed services to our people.

“To be able to have credibility, your Renewed Hope agenda must be based on a solid foundation of faith and hope for the restoration of glory for our country. So far, a few of your key policies have unleashed a raft of suffering on the masses of our people. There must be a deliberate effort to restore hope to the faces of the poor and vulnerable in our society.

“We have heard the familiar stories of empty treasuries and the efforts at investigations. We wait to see if anything will be different. Lay the foundation for ending the unnecessary sufferings of our people.”

Kukah also appealed to Nigerians to continue to have faith in the country and stay the course in hope. “God will do great things for our nation, but we each must renew our commitment towards self-examination and repentance.

“Good politics and good politicians can bring about change, but all of these require the commitment and honesty of citizens to be honest at all levels. I therefore call on Christians, in particular, in this season to become real models of our faith.

“The call to be a Christian is not a call to join an Association or a Club. The fourteenth-century English poet Alexander Pope said, “Christ may be born a thousand times in Bethlehem, but if he is not born in your heart, his birth has no 

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