EXPLOSlVE: Under Buhari, Nigeria witnessed the ugliest phase of corruption —Bishop Kukah | READ MORE
EXPLOSlVE: Under Buhari, Nigeria witnessed the ugliest phase of corruption —Bishop Kukah
The Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Matthew Kukah, has said that Nigerians witnessed the worst phase of corruption under the last administration led by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said this while delivering a keynote speech at the 60th call to bar anniversary celebration of legal icon, Aare Afe Babalola, in Ado Ekiti, the capital of Ekiti State on Monday.
Bishop Kukah noted that even though corruption did not start under the last administration, they amplified it in moral, financial and other terms.
“We have seen the worst phase of corruption in Nigeria, Femi Falana, my friend here will speak about that because he has published a series of articles talking about what happened under the Buhari administration.
“They were not the ones who caused corruption but I think in the last administration, we saw the ugliest phase of corruption whether in moral terms, financial terms and other terms,” Kukah said.
The clergyman lamented that Nigeria is sharing its sovereignty, which is guaranteed in the constitution with bandits and other terrorists.
He said that nobody is excited now about being a Nigerian even if they are President or Senators, as the country is literally being held hostage by people who threaten the very existence of our democracy and country.
Kukah noted that a lot of Nigerians have lost faith in the judiciary but added that he considers the judiciary a victim the same way every other institution in Nigeria is suffering a crisis.
According to him, Nigeria should not yet assume that it is a democracy but instead assume that it is matching towards democracy, which means rebuilding Nigeria “after the kind of mess the last administration has left the country.”
The Bishop said it is time to rebuild the country, adding that no matter what happens at the Supreme Court concerning the election, he is convinced that Nigerians have put the “ugly past” behind them.
The event celebrating 60 years at the bar of the founder of the Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti, attracted a host of dignitaries, including former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Femi Falana (SAN), former Commonwealth Secretary-General Emeka Anyaoku among others.
Obasanjo attacks NASS on proposed huge salary package
Meanwhile, former President, Olusegun Obasanjo has faulted the alleged huge salaries being enjoy by the members of the National Assembly.
He spoke in Ado-Ekiti during the Colloquium held in commemoration of the 60th Anniversary of the foremost Senior Advocate of Nigeria(SAN) Afe Babalola at the bar.
Speaking on the remuneration of the members of the members of the Nigerian parliament Obasanjo alleged that the legislators did not allow the insitution constitutionally saddled with the responsibility to determine it but decided to fix it themselves.
He argued that nobody would appreciate democracy until it impacts positively on the lives of the ordinary man.
“By the Nigerian Constitution, the revenue mobilisation and fiscal commission supposed to fix the salaries and emoluments of the members of the National Assembly but the set the constitution aside and decided to fix their salaries .Even,if is constitutional, it is not moral but it is neither constitutional nor moral ” he said.
Obasanjo stated that the democracy of a nation is very important, noting that it is a journey and not a destination.
He explained that democracy can only be strengthened if the players respect and ensure implementation of the constitution to the latter.
“Democracy doesn’t mean anything to anybody who is hungry, anybody whose life is in danger or whose property is being destroyed.” Obasanjo said
According to him, democracy, good governance must lead to the welfare and wellbeing of the people, particularly the common people.
“In the American constitution, every person is born equal not every citizen, and they enjoy the constitutional right. But with us, the constitution is breached.
“We have no democracy that delivers the dividends of democracy. And if your democracy does not deliver, anything goes.
“Most of the people who are supposed to manage the constitution are the ones who undermine the constitution. Your democracy must deliver the dividends of democracy. I believe that constitutionalism, democracy must be for the welfare and wellbeing of the people. Leadership at all level requires certain things character, understanding knowledge, sacrifice and if these are not there, we are deceiving ourselves.
“All these must lead to the welfare , prosperity , security of the people and if we cannot manage it doesn’t matter what we talk about constitution, democracy.”
Obasanjo described the legal icon as a titan at the bar, astute litigator, bar leader both nationaly and internationally. added that he is a rare breed who combines comeliness with brilliance as he rose to become a Senior Advocate of Nigeria.
In his remarks, the Ekiti State Governor Bioduun Oyebanji who joined other eminent Nigerians, including former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, former Commonwealth Secretary, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, among others to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Babalola’s call to bar, thanked the ABUAD Founder for providing platforms for many Nigerians who were once hopeless to realise their dreams.
Oyebanji who reminisced on Afe Babalola’s prominent roles in the struggle and eventual creation of Ekiti State, said the actualization of the creation of the state was what provided an opportunity for him and all previous governors to become Governors in the State at different time.
Oyebanji who set aside his prepared speech, also regaled the audience with the story of how he utilized Babalola’s facilities at his Emmanuel Chamber, in Ibadan, Oyo State Capital for his master’s degree programme at the University of Ibadan in the early nineties.
The Governor added that he was always getting his papers typed and photocopied at the chamber through a friend who was a lawyer at the chamber at that time, adding that when he asked what would be Babalola’s reaction if he got to know an outsider was using his facilities, his friend replied him that he (Babalola) would be happy to hear that his resources was being used to assist someone in need of it.
He also narrated how he was happy carrying Aare Afe Babalola’s books during the presentation on Ekiti State creation at the panel set up by the then military government as well as the legal luminary’s demonstrated humility and brilliance during the presentation and the meetings that preceded the main presentation.
Speaking further, the Governor who described Afe Babalola as his father, said the ANUAD Founder remains a rare gem and a gift to Ekiti, Nigeria and mankind.
“Daddy I congratulate you, thank you so much for what you are for humanity, thank you so much for providing platform for those that are hopeless to have hope, thank you daddy because I can stand here today as Governor of Ekiti State because of people like you.
“When I picked up a lecturing job at University of Ado Ekiti and then started the struggle for the creation of State, I joined the committee as a member and I later became the secretary of the committee. I was the youngest and I was shocked at Daddy’s level of humility and commitment to that cause.
“One picture that always runs through my mind is the day we were going for a panel at Akure to defend our request for the creation of Ekiti state, a night before the presentation, daddy drove in from Ibadan, we were at Ewi’s palace and daddy insisted that we do a mock presentation and took comment from everybody.
“When we got to Akure the following day, daddy’s performance was unforgettable and that singular act of patriotism and commitment to your people have us Ekiti State.
“If we don’t have this State, I and all others that have been governors of this state will not have a platform to stand-in” the Governor asserted. So, on behalf of myself and all the Governors before me, I say thank you sir.
.Stop taking Nigerians for granted, Onaiyekan warns political class
Similarly, the Emeritus Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, Cardinal John Onaiyekan, has warned Nigeria’s political class to stop taking the patience and resilience of Nigerians for granted.
Onaiyekan gave the warning in Abuja on Monday when he received a delegation of members of the Initiative for Fostering Unity in Diversity, Youths and Nation Building (IFFUIDYANB) at his home in Abuja.
He expressed worry over what he described as the non-challance of Nigerian leaders to current issues in the country, especially in matters concerning the younger segment of the population.
The cardinal noted that the elite should desist from believing that Nigerians were resilient and could be taken advantage of anytime, anywhere.
“The best expression I have for what is happening in Nigeria is that we are dancing on the brink of chaos.
“Sometimes, we take two steps forward and four steps backward. But, it is a game that we should not be counting on.’’
Onaiyekan said that the thinking of some people about the resilience and patience of Nigerians to absorb all kinds of difficulties might in fact, be wrong.
“There is so much that is being said about the resilience of Nigerians that we have unlimited capacity to absorb shocks. But this may not be the case forever.
“I have for more than 30 years been preaching all over the world that Nigeria is a special country where Muslims and Christians live together.
“But the belief by some elites that Nigerians had elastic capacity to absorb every form of difficulty is a dangerous gamble.”
According to the cleric, those fomenting trouble in the country use the resilience of Nigerians to continue to deprive them of their rights.
He called for urgent measures by political leaders to chart a new path for youths to discourage the increasing rate of brain drain, popularly known as “Japa Syndrome”.
Onaiyekan said: “the question is, how long shall we continue on this path. The youths are anxious to work.
“They are not happy to be unemployed, underemployed or mis-employed.
“When I see able-bodied young men and women hawking groundnut, I tell myself: this is wastage. They should be producing.’’
The cardinal said that it was worrisome that people who should act to make the difference for the people, especially youths were keeping quiet and doing nothing.
He pleaded with well-meaning Nigerians to make investment in youths a priority to engender a better future for Nigeria.
Onaiyekan, however, commended IFFUIDYANB members for making visible efforts at ensuring the unity of Nigeria by aspiring to bring youths together to forge a common future.
“We now have “Naija Unity House’’ where we plan to bring youths across religions and across tribes all over the country to discuss Nigeria.
“We have had series of governments that seemed not to be so concerned about youths and the explanation for this is simple — selfishness and wickedness. It has nothing to do with tribe or religion.
“There is no lack of initiatives and I am sure IFFUIDYANB is not the only kind of NGO with this kind of initiative.
“One would have expected the political class to drive this kind of initiative,’’ Onaiyekan stated.
The leader of the delegation, Mr Steve Ebo, said that the group was concluding plans to hold a reality show for youths in the country in the near future.
He said the aim of the show was to bring a number of Nigerian youths together under one roof for a serious discussion on the future of youths in the country.
Ebo said that the show, which would commence soon, would last for more than 30 days and that it would feature eminent personalities, who would take housemates through salient national issues.
According to him, the show is aimed at fostering unity, promoting peace and supporting good leadership as well as peaceful co-existence among youths.
“What are the aspirations and intentions of our founding fathers? What is the way to get this country united?
“Can we go above where we are today, how can we unite as youths to make this country a better place?’’
Ebo said that the event would afford youths an opportunity to air their views on what they wanted from Nigeria, adding that it would showcase 37 youths, selected from the 36 states of the federation and the FCT.