Amid agitations for secession across the country, the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Matthew Kukah, has said the government must give Nigerians a reason to want Nigeria to stay as one.
Speaking at ‘The Platform’ on Saturday, Bishop Kukah stated that those seeking to secede from Nigeria might be right regarding their concerns. But it is cheaper for Nigeria to remain as one country than break up into smaller units.
At the annual programme organised by Covenant Christian Centre, the cleric said the government must, through its body language, convince people that Nigeria’s unity is worth it.
“It may be right for everybody to want to go. Yes, it may be right for people to want to feel so dissatisfied that they wish an end to what we have today. But the cost of staying together is far cheaper than the cost of everybody going his way.
“The most important thing here is that the government must give us a reason, the body language – we need to be inspired as a country to inspire ourselves that this country is worth the psychological, the spiritual and the cultural engagements,” he said.
Kukah further said the government must develop a sense of empathy for the victims of the rising insecurity in Nigeria.
He condemned the incessant killings across the country, adding that it is unclear whether those in power understand the pain of many Nigerians.
He added, “The government must develop a sense of empathy. I have said this on several occasions; I do not mean anything negative, and everywhere you turn to, this is what Nigerians say.
“People are dying, and we do not get a sense that those who govern us understand and see our pain because we have not seen them at funerals nor on condolence visits.
“We have not seen them, whether by telephone call or whatever. Empathy is not sympathy. Empathy is at the heart of who we are as human beings.”