3rd October, 2021
Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah of Catholic Diocese of Sokoto has drawn attention once again to the perilous state of Nigeria, declaring that the nation is decomposing from within.
“Nigeria is a broken country. It is decomposing from within. Our heart is broken and lives are hemorrhaging by the day”, he said.
Kukah spoke in a sermon on 23 September at the Priestly Ordination of Five Deacons at the Holy Family Cathedral.
The church made available the text of the sermon to coincide with Nigeria’s 61st anniversary as an independent country.
Kukah wondered why the Buhari government has refused to release the names of Boko Haram sponsors.
“We cannot go on like this”, he said.
The priest, who is known for always telling truth to power noted that
the country and people have become so traumatised and sedated by horrible news, that have now become comfortable in “this swamp of evil”.
“No number of horrific deaths, murders, sexual violence and kidnapping of children or adults can make us stop our life of debauchery. Life goes in Nigeria! We become experts at burying the dead, but refuse to ask why the killings continue.
“Morally, we cannot tell what time it is. We cannot overstate the reality. It is clear that neither politics nor economic models can fix the country.
“The political class is in the state of inebriation with the drug of power and loot.
“We neither know what is wrong nor who is wrong. We are hiding under the belief that the proponents or the apostles of this culture of death that has turned our country into an inferno have neither name or address.
“The federal government has told us it is not ready to publicise the names of those funding Boko Haram. We cannot go on like this.
“Interrogating, questioning these existential threats to our common humanity is the apostolate that we Priests are called to.
“We know that this road is dangerous, it is rocky, it is treacherous, it takes lives, but it is all too familiar.
“We Christians know its name: it is metaphorically called Golgotha. If Golgotha was a footpath, the resurrection blasted a high way to redemption on it”.
Just as he declared Nigeria broken, Kukah said the people are also broken.
Everywhere we turn, the bodies and the emotions of men and women are irretrievably broken.
“Our people, fleeing their homes after over ten years have now turned Refugee camps into their habitats.
“Our identity as citizens is being traded for the status of migrants and refugees.
“The civic space is slowly closing as citizens are losing ordinary freedoms to the crippling hands of totalitarianism.
Kukah urged priests to offer a clearer path for the nation, ensuring that even when the Lord sleeps, He is awake and that the boat will not sink. We only need to banish our fears and trust in Him.
“Let us reaffirm our commitment to the fact that, as the holy book says, There is a time for everything under the sun. A time for corona and a time for ending corona.
“A time for kidnapping and a time for stopping kidnapping. A time for living and a time for dying. It is for a time like this that the priesthood was instituted.
“Times like these compel us to rethink why the Lord instituted the priesthood. We then pause and thank Him for this wonderful gift.
“We must encourage our people to return to the silent sacredness of the Blessed Sacrament and avoid the BetNaija mentality that believes that everything simply depends on magic and luck.
“Faith is not based on luck. It is, as the Catechism says, “a gift of God which enables us to believe”.
READ the full sermon here