2023: Kukah lists qualities next Nigeria’s president should have

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Matthew Hassan Kukah

The Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Sokoto, Matthew Kukah, has listed the qualities to be possessed by anyone who would become Nigeria’s next president.

Kukah named the qualities known in his Easter Message on Sunday titled, ‘To mend a broken nation: The Easter metaphor’.

Mentioning the qualities, the cleric said Nigeria needs a person “with a heart, a sense of empathy and a soul on fire.”

According to him, the greatest challenge for Nigeria is not even the 2023 elections but the prospects for the reconciliation of Nigerains.

The cleric said, “One would be tempted to ask, what is there to say about our tragic situation today that has not been said? Who is there to speak that has not spoken? Like the friends of Job, we stare at an imponderable tragedy as the nation unravels from all sides. The government has slid into hibernation mode. It is hard to know whether the problem is that those in power do not hear, see, feel, know, or just don’t care.

“Either way, from this crossroad, we must make a choice, to go forward, turn left or right or return home. None of these choices are easy, yet, guided by the light of the risen Christ, we can reclaim our country from its impending slide to anarchy.

“The greatest challenge now is how to begin a process of reconstructing our nation hoping that we can hang on and survive the 2023 elections. The real challenge before us now is to look beyond politics and face the challenge of forming character and faith in our country. Here, leaders of religion, Christianity and Islam, need to truthfully face the role of religion in the survival of our country.

“The Nigerian Constitution has very clearly delineated the fine boundaries between religion and politics. Yet many politicians continue to behave as if they are presiding over both the political and the spiritual realms in their states rather than governing in a Democracy.

“2023 beckons and the stage is set. The challenge is whether we have learnt any lessons from the tragedy that has afflicted us in the last few years. The Presidency of Nigeria is not a human right based on ethnic, religious or regional sentiments. The next President of Nigeria must be a man or woman with a heart, a sense of empathy and a soul on fire that can set limits to what human indignities visited on citizens that he or she can tolerate. We have no need for any further empty messianic rhetoric laced with deceitful and grandiose religiosity.

“We need someone who can fix our broken nation, rid our people of the looming dangers of hunger and destitution. Our Presidential aspirants must show evidence from their legacies and antecedents that they know the country well enough and its severe wounds.

“Whoever wants to govern us must illustrate that he or she understands what has turned our nation into a national hospital and show us plans for our discharge from this horror. Support for INEC and its infrastructure is fundamental to a free and fair election and we condemn in very strong terms all those criminals who continue to threaten the society with violence. They should meet the full force of the law.”

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