14 October 2011

Nigeria: 'The Nation Ruled By Unwilling Presidents Since Independence'

Ado-Ekiti — Since independence, Nigeria has been ruled by "unwilling" presidents and heads of state, Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese Most Rev. Mathew Hassan Kukah, has said.

Kukah said this yesterday in Ado-Ekiti, the capital of Ekiti State, while delivering a lecture titled "Identity Politics in Nigeria" during the one year anniversary of Governor Kayode Fayemi.

He argued that Nigeria had never been lucky to have prepared presidents in the last 51 years of its existence; the situation which, according to him, had hindered the nation's progress.

"Right from Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa to President Shehu Shagari, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, the late President Umaru Yar'Adua and President Goodluck Jonathan, none of them actually prepared for the position, but they were conscripted into it", he said.

He also maintained that unless there is a mechanism to checkmate tribal and ethnic consciousness, the nation would continue to witness crises and disunity.

He said countries like Liberia, Rwanda and Zambia that were once assisted by Nigeria to come out of the woods had since resolved their identity problems and socio economic challenges.

According to him, the security chllenges being posed by the Boko Haram sect will continue until the country identifies the politicians behind them.

Kukah, who also described "the present legal books" inherited from the military as

defective to address the Nigeria question, however, urged Nigerians to be patient with their leaders and the government to tolerate the opposition.

In his remarks, Governor Fayemi commended the people of the state for the peace the state

had witnessed in the last one year of his administration.

The event also witnessed the launching of a book, 'Long Walk To A New Dawn', an account of the struggle and liberation of Ekiti people, co-authored by Yemi Adaramodu and Hakeem Jamiu.

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