The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Matthew Kukah, has emphasized the urgency of resolving Nigeria’s ‘bread and butter’ mentality for a strengthened democracy during the Third Annual National Public Lecture of the First News Newspaper.
He highlighted the need for fundamental changes to underpin democratic practices, noting the lack of these essentials within the country.
Kukah stressed that Nigeria’s future development and democratization required these foundational elements before true appreciation of democracy could prevail.
Kukah further pointed out that Nigeria, like every other nation, must discover its unique path to development. He expressed concerns about the citizenry’s limited exposure due to domestic challenges, urging a shift in mindset.
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.”
Additionally, Bayelsa State Governor Douye Diri highlighted the importance of embracing Nigeria’s heritage for national development, particularly emphasizing the role of the youth in driving the country’s growth.
During the event, Chris Imafidon discussed the “Digital Revolutions: How AI, Blockchain, Digital Currency Will Impact Your Business”.
He advocated leveraging these advancements to bolster financial status, while the publisher, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, clarified the aim of the public lecture: to address and solve the social and economic challenges prevailing in Nigeria.