AFRICA/NIGERIA - "It is necessary to create national unity by managing diversity", says the Bishop of Sokoto

Monday, 6 May 2019 bishops   development  

Abuja (Agenzia Fides) - "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", said His Exc. Mgr. Matthew Hassan Kukah, Bishop of Sokoto, in northern Nigeria, in his speech at the annual meeting of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR).
In Nigeria, at least 250 ethnic groups live together, for a total of over 200 million inhabitants. According to Mgr. Kukah "Tragically as the population has increased we have not been able to craft a narrative. Thus "the search for national cohesion remains an illusion". Nigerians therefore tend to seek support and protection in the family, in the clan and in the ethnic group to which they belong. "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", says the Bishop, pointing out how the rulers also rely on personalistic and ethnic criteria to select their own collaborators. Consequently Nigeria is a country "where the only experts are those manufactured by those in power. The country has become averse to expertise, to intellectual contribution".
Faced with the scarce prospects of life in their Country, Nigerian youth is trying to migrate, but often end up in the hands of criminal organizations. "It is a mortal sin that millions of young people emigrate and then commit crimes", says Mgr. Kukah. "It is totally unacceptable that we would live with so much and so many of our people are objects of humiliation around the world". (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 6/5/2019)