The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Matthew Hassan Kukah, has said that Nigeria is one of the most dangerous countries in the world to live even as he lamented that quacks have taken over every institution in the country, including the country’s political space.
The cleric, who spoke at the National Conference and Annual General Meeting of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), said that the quest to achieve a united Nigeria, devoid of rationalization and fictionalization, will only be an illusion.
“The quest for national cohesion remains an illusion and the result, therefore, is that marketing Nigeria becomes an act of frustration. In part because too many issues have still not been resolved. Tragically as the population has increased we have not been able to craft a narrative.
“Is there any institution in Nigeria that has not been taken over by quacks, including our politics?
“There is no institution you can blame in this country, everywhere. That is why it is even so dangerous and so important to think about how to advertise Nigeria. I mean, where do you start?
“I think that the problems in Nigeria have very little to do with the things that we ascribe, but is everything to do with our inability, sheer incapacity to manage diversity. Managing diversity is a science.
“If we do not have a sense of direction and purpose; a nation that does not have a clarity of vision as to where it is going, and what the tools that are required.
“When you live in a country like Nigeria, where people are safer with their nephews, cousins, brothers, sisters, as special assistants, personal assistants, then we are in trouble.
“How we manage diversity in Nigeria then becomes an issue.”
Continuing, he said, “The question then is if you want to market Nigeria, where do you start from. We are practising politics of a very poor quality.
“Our politics have become so regionalised, fractionalised. Whenever I look at the map of the last elections, I do not feel proud as a Nigerian. That you will have an election where very clearly, the country is divided into two and the lines are precise.
“If this is the kind of country that we have, how do we develop the capacity to manage diversity. When a president is travelling, the governors are struggling to go with him.
“And yet in reality, for those journeys, like when the president is going to China, there must be an academic expert who understands China, who should be able to brief the President.
“This is the only country where the only experts are those manufactured by those in power. Does it not surprise you? The country has become averse to expertise, to intellectual contribution.
“The incredible capacity of our people is in suspended animation. It is really frightening what is happening in Nigeria. With the kidnapping in Katsina yesterday, there are no more sacred spaces in the country.
“it is a mortal sin and a massive scared on Nigeria’s face the millions of young people who are moving around and have turned to crime. It is totally unacceptable that we would live with so much and so many of our people are objects of humiliation around the world.”