No Nigerian elected president came to office prepared – Bishop Kukah


The Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Matthew Hassan Kukah, has said that the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), former presidents Goodluck Jonathan and Olusegun Obasanjo, among others that led Nigeria, became presidents unprepared.

According to the bishop, no President or Head of State in the history of Nigeria ever came prepared for the job of the number one citizen of the country.

Speaking in an interview with Channels Television, in a broadcast aired Sunday night, Kukah said, “You can go all the way down in Nigeria, you’re not going to find one single person who has been President or Head of State in Nigeria that came prepared for the job.”

Using the analogy of a “bad marriage” to explain the relationship between Nigeria and its political leaders, the cleric said, “I always say to people, as a priest, that the solution to a bad marriage is not a new marriage. It’s often an attempt to look at what has gone wrong. And if you jump into a new marriage very quickly, after some time, you become nostalgic about the first marriage.”

He said one could say the same thing about Nigeria, adding, “A lot of these changes that we have seen in Nigeria are largely unprogrammed.”

The cleric, who also referenced the military era, added, “Military coups by themselves that stretched over 20 years were just glorified banditry and armed robbery because you pull the gun and became a Head of State.”

He noted that Nigeria had yet to produce an executive head who is really prepared for office.

“If I take you back, we have President Buhari now. Buhari already in 2011 had said, ‘I don’t want to be President again, I’m tired.’ He was literally pulled out screaming to be President in 2015.

“He took over from (Goodluck) Jonathan. Jonathan himself, you know the circumstances that brought him to power. (Umar) Yar’Adua before him; Yar’Adua was already saying, ‘I’m done, I want to go back to teach in the university,” Kukah said.

Kukah noted that the unpreparedness was also evident in Yar’Adua’s predecessor, former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

“Obasanjo was in prison hoping that one day, he would walk out of prison, and if he’s strong enough, he’d go back to his farm. You can go on and on,” he said.

“Abdulsalami was about to be retired from the military when (General Sani) Abacha died and he became Head of State. If we’re to return to the scene of the crime, that’s where you have to go back to,” he added.



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