The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto, Mathew Kukah, on Wednesday said Nigerians had never suffered psychological trauma like they are currently experiencing under this current government.
He said this at the inaugural lecture and Gold Prize award ceremony organised by Nigerian newspaper, ‘ThisNigeria Media Limited’.
Earlier, the Director-General, Michael Imoudu National Institute for Labour Studies, Issa Aremu, had accused Kukah and other Nigerians of causing division in the country, describing the priest as a divisive figure.
Responding, however, Kukah said the state had created the division and not Nigerians who are the victims.
He said, “You are sitting here in Nigeria, are you going to pretend that you don’t know that there is iniquity in this country, that we have never suffered psychological trauma like we are suffering now?
“I don’t think anybody is ever going to govern this country with this kind of blatant, unacceptable, literally criminal partisanship. So, when you talk about Bishop Kukah making divisive comments in what sense? I understand that you are now holding a government position; you have a seat at the table that is understandable.
“Suddenly, we have now ended up with a country when you talk about divisiveness. It is the state that has created the division, not us the victims. You’re blaming the victim, everywhere you turn in Nigeria today what are people telling you? We are living with injustice. How do we wake up a sleeping giant, first we must admit that the country is sleeping.”
Also speaking, the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, Kayode Fayemi, said a lot was wrong with the country at the moment.
He added that no development could take place in the country if there is no unity.
Fayemi said, “The Nigeria state is not in its most healthy state, there is no debate about that and regardless of political affiliation, ethic considerations and economic opportunity available to individuals our country is in the doldrums.
“We can talk about unity and national integration and lionise patriotism as much as we like but you cannot build the country on the basis of iniquity, injustice and the lack of fairness and expect unity to prevail”
In his remarks, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, said the only way to ensure credible leaders emerge is to ensure that there are free and fair elections.
He, therefore, commended the Independent National Electoral Commission for organising a credible election in Anambra State.
Wike also faulted the arbitrary deduction of state allocations by the Federal Government, adding that he had no regret suing the government over the Value Added Tax issue and Police Trust Fund.