It is unacceptable that Nigerian Universities are still closed after so many months, said the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Mathew Kukah.
Bishop Kukah who stated this on Wednesday at the signing of a peace accord ahead of the Osun State gubernatorial election, asserted that the prolonged strike does not speak well of the democracy we profess to be practicing.
“This is unacceptable especially as these things are happening in a democracy,” Kukah insisted.
The cleric said it is quite sad that the strike has lasted this long particularly because democracy has always given the people a platform for negotiation, consensus and several other means for solving such issues as exist between the government and the authorities of the various universities.
He said Nigeria must come to understand that without the universities giving opportunities for academic energy, analysis, and theorizing; it is impossible for the nation’s democracy to grow.
The bishop asserted that the most important thing for political actors at this moment, is to take their responsibilities sufficiently serious.
He say all Nigerians must join hands in trying to make the nation’s democracy work, adding that it is troubling that the people are increasingly witnessing the transition of the democratic rule into a plutocracy.
Bishop Kukah lamented that “the share amount of money that is being spent not only in campaign but just picking up a piece of paper to declare intention to participate is not acceptable”.
“Majority of our people remain hungry and sick and we cannot be flaunting this wealth in a democracy, because if that is the system we wanted, we will call it a plutocracy” the clergyman admonished.
He further asserted that political actors must address the need to expand the frontier of freedom to participate in the processes concerning the country.
Bishop Kukah called on Nigerians to go out and vote when the elections get underway, stressing that the urgency of fixing the country is tied to the democratic process.
While noting that whereas the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) can provide a level playing field, it is the conduct and behaviour of the players that determine how the game is played.
On this premise, the bishop urged politicians in Nigeria to make it possible for the citizens to trust them and to show that choosing democracy is a choice to stay alive.
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