Jonathan, Tinubu, others attend Kukah’s Birthday Celebration
The former President Goodluck Jonathan, Tinubu and other statesman, attended the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Matthew Kukah 70th birthday party, in Abuja on Wednesday.
The leaders spoke at a dinner to celebrate Kukah’s 70th birthday anniversary.
According to Jonathan remarks, Kukah is a priest who craved for peace and oneness of Nigeria; who would go to any length to ensure unity and justice.
He noted that no matter the level of his friendship with leaders, Kukah “bashed’’ them when he felt they were not doing the right thing.
He further explained that, it is not surprising that the theme of the conversation is focusing on what the organisers identified as “Nigeria’s unfinished greatness: Next steps’’.
“Nigeria is indeed a work-in-progress.”
“Until that work is done people like Bishop Kukah who God has positioned as the conscience of the nation will continue to be around to constantly hold the mirror of our progression to our national face.”
“In the course of the last few years since I left government, I have been involved in the work of promoting democracy, credible elections and peaceful transitions across Africa.”he said.
The former president said that from his travels and interactions, he found that experiences and struggles for development were similar in many parts of Africa.
According to him, Nigeria may not be where everyone wants it to be, but everyone should not give up or lose hope by focusing on only the negatives.
“Judging from where we are coming from since independence in 1960, we may have been moving slowly in our journey of nationhood, but it is a journey of progress, all the same.”
“Our greatness is still work-in-progress because we have not been able to adequately deploy the enviable human and natural resources that God gave us, to full advantage.
“It is a task we will continue to work on and improve upon,’’ he said.
Jonathan noted that many people, especially youths were becoming increasingly disillusioned about the nation’s politics and its democracy.
“We must remain on the democratic path, however, because it is the only practical way of effectively managing our diversity, developing sustainably and recording progress as a nation.”
“The task before all of us is not to lower our guard, lest the democracy we cherish today succumbs to threats and recedes into fascism tomorrow.”
“Towards this goal, we are again faced with a good opportunity of choosing our leaders as the nation prepares to go to the polls next year.”
“Let us choose those that will take us to the desired destination and the promise land,’’ he stressed.
The former president expressed joy that Nigerian youths are participating actively in the politics of 2023.
He noted that according to the latest figures from INEC, youths constitute the majority of the 96.2 million registered voters.
“That is a good sign. My charge to all youths that have registered ahead of the 2023 elections is to endeavour to walk their talk by making sure they come out to vote on Election Day.”
“They should, by all means resist the machinations of unscrupulous politicians who would wish to exploit them by luring them to commit acts of violence or disrupt the process of free and fair elections.”
“Our recent experience with the heightened youth interest in politics shows how desirous they are of participating directly in the governance process.”
In addition Jonathan said, “they now know better not to lend their youthful energy to unpatriotic acts during elections.”