Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Matthew Hassan-Kukah said no Nigerian president or Head of State was ever prepared for the job of leaning the country in the 62-year history of Nigeria, spanning democratic and military governments.
Kukah made this known in an interview on Channels Television’s Roadmap 2023 at the weekend.
He said, “You can go all the way down in Nigeria, you’re not going to find one single person who has been president or head of state in Nigeria that came prepared for the job.”
According to Kukah, since attaining independence on October 1, 1960, Nigeria has had 16 leaders – eight civilian presidents/prime ministers and eight military heads of state.
Kukah likened the relationship between Nigeria and its political leaders to a bad marriage.
He said, “I always say to people as a priest that the solution to a bad marriage is not a new marriage. It’s often an attempt to look at what has gone wrong. And if you jump to a new marriage very quickly, after some time, you become nostalgic about the first marriage.
“Metaphorically, you can say the same thing about Nigeria. A lot of these changes that we have seen in Nigeria are largely unprogrammed.”
Kukah noted that, going back as far as the 1960s running through the entire leadership history from prime minister or president to beneficiaries of military coups, there has been no “linearity.”
“There’s been nothing linear,” he explained. “In the sense that military coups by themselves that stretch over a 20-year period were just glorified banditry and armed robbery because you pull the gun and became a head of state,” he said.