By Ononye VC
The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese,Most Rev. Matthew Kukah, has said until the challenge of a ‘bread and butter’ mentality was resolved, Nigeria’s democracy could continue to look like a lottery without rules.
Kukah said many people in the country do not appreciate democratic practice due to lack of fundamentals that should be on the ground.
The bishop stated this while delivering a keynote speech at the third annual national public lecture of the First News Newspaper themed, “The Nigerian Question: Survival of the Federation in The Throes of Increasing Economic Challenges”, which was held at the weekend, in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
He said, “The good thing about Nigeria is that everybody knows what the problems are, and the people who are responsible for the problems are not also safe, they too do not know peace.
“Nigerians talk about other countries. I feel sorry for many Nigerians who, because of many troubles, hardly travel out of their immediate environments not to talk about traveling to other parts of Africa or other parts of the world.
“Though, every country has its problems, the challenge before us in Nigeria is that, what do we want, obviously, can we democratise and develop our nation? It is a very difficult question to answer because what we call the civilised world today is the last 200 years of exploitation of Africa that helped to build these nations.
“So we are imagining it ourselves, why are we not like other people? We are not like others because every nation has to find its navigational truth for development. It is not as if we cannot use democracy to develop Nigeria, but certain fundamental things must be on the ground before people can appreciate democracy.
“Unless Nigeria settles the issue of ‘bread and butter mentality’, democracy can actually look like a lottery.”
Also speaking, the state governor, Douye Diri, urged Nigerians to embrace their heritage and channel their concerns into a resolute commitment to develop the nation.
Diri, who was represented by the Secretary to the state government, Gideon Ekeuwei, noted that the promise lying ahead of the country was that the youths have the key to unlocking the potential for its growth and development.
Speaking on the topic, “Digital Revolutions: How AI, Blockchain, Digital Currency Will Impact Your Business”, Chris Imafidon, said that Nigeria could have a brighter future where technology could empower individuals beyond imagination.
Imafidon encouraged people to leverage technology to elevate their financial status.
The publisher of the First News, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, explained that the essence of the public lecture was to create a platform where Nigeria’s social and economic challenges would be dissected and solutions proffered.