Economy: Stop Blaming Jonathan, Kukah Tells Buhari
The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Matthew Kukah, has President Muhammadu Buhari and his officials to stop agonising the past administration and take full responsibility for the task of retrieving the economy from the recession it has slipped into under his watch.
Speaking at a dinner organised by the Ondo State Government after the 2016 Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria which held in Akure, the state capital on Wednesday, Kukah said Nigerians did not vote for him to complain about previous government but to perform better than his predecessor.
The clergymen said the president ought to prevail on his aides to stop passing the buck over the prevailing economic challenges and pay more attention to telling the people what his administration was doing to pull the economy out of recession.
He said, “We didn’t vote a government to complain about yesterday, if we wanted yesterday the new government would not be there. The previous government didn’t only do bad things; he did a lot of good things.
“I think the business of government is not our business; our business is, the previous government did bad, that is why we voted a new government. It is really about taking responsibility. No matter how much you praise or abuse (former President Goodluck) Jonathan, he is no more the President of Nigeria. I think that people must understand that you take power to solve problems not to agonise.
“We are not asking you to change the whole world, but Jonathan created problems: we are now riding a train between Abuja and Kaduna now; the train wasn’t there before. Things that Jonathan did that can help Nigeria, let’s continue with them. The bad things that Jonathan did and those who deserve to go to prison should go to prison. “
Kukah added that the only way the current administration could succeed in fighting corruption was to first solve the problem of poverty and inequality in the country.
“I still believe that unless we get to the root cause of poverty and inequality, which are really the evidences and symptoms of corruption; you can talk of fighting corruption all the rest of your life and very little is going to happen.
“Sending people to prison will only be useful if it puts bread on the table of the people, “ the Catholic cleric said.
In his remarks at the dinner, the Ondo State Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, reiterated his call for the restructuring of Nigeria to reflect the needed true federalism as the only panacea for the development of the country.
Mimiko expressed worries that the Federal Government was biting more than it could chew with the larger percentage of the resources at its disposal to the detriment of the federating units.
The governor posited that the problem of corruption facing Nigeria could be addressed with the right policy.
He called for the prayers of the religious leaders in the country to tackle inter-religious conflicts, noting that the (conflicts) might lead the country to more danger that might be difficult to overcome.
“Government has the responsibility of bringing these bigots to book. We are not comfortable with what the bigots are doing. What they are doing is most worrisome in Nigeria. The Church has a major role to play by praying for Nigeria,” the governor added.