Noah Ebije, Kaduna
Archbishop of Kaduna Catholic Diocese, Most Rev. Mathew Manoso Ndagoso on Tuesday bluntly told President Muhammadu Buhari to quit office if he doesn’t have the capacity to preside over affairs the country, considering the level of hunger and insecurity in the country.
Bishop Ndagoso fielded questions from journalists at the ongoing Annual General Meeting of the Nigeria Catholic Diocesan Priests’ Association taking place at the Catholic Social Centre, Kaduna.
The cleric said since his ordination into priesthood 33 years ago, he had yet to know any regime as bad as the current All Progressives Congress (APC) government led by President Buhari.
He said since the present government came to power, people from all walks of life had been trouping into his office to beg for money and food to feed their families.
The clergyman argued that it was unacceptable for Nigeria blessed with abundant human and natural resources to wallow in abject poverty.
According to him, Nigeria as a population of 200 million has no business to overtake India as the poverty capital of the world with her enormous resources.
The cleric said: “You see, in governance or democratic government, if you know you don’t have the capacity to even rule a local government, don’t put yourself forward. The very fact that you put yourself forward you are telling the people that you have the capacity and the know-how.
“Even if you don’t have the know-how I think in leadership, you don’t need to have the know-how. I think you should have the intelligence to get people who know to be able to do the job. Nobody, no matter how intelligent you are, you cannot do it alone.
“Now talking about the present government, I think the simple question that every Nigerian should ask is – my life today and my life before this government came in, what is the difference? Go on the streets and ask Nigerians, four years on, how is your life compared to before?
“I can tell you I am 33 years in priesthood, I have never seen Nigerians come to my office in tears looking for ordinary food. You see them dressed up in Agbada (flowing gown), but if they tell you what they are going through – that they are not able to feed their families. It has never been this bad in our country.
“We have the resources; I think our leaders should get off their back and do what they need to do, using our resources. We are not poor; we have no business overtaking India as the poorest country in the world.
“Officially, our population has hit 200 million, and India has over 1.2 billion people, but the resources we have India does not have, yet we have overtaken them in terms of poverty. I think it is shameful.
“For those of us who travel out, when we go out and see countries that have nothing, the little they have, they are able to manage it well. And we go there to enjoy. And here, we are with all the resources. Talking about the brain, talking about the land, we have it. What do we lack? Our problem is inability to harness our resources.
“To your question, go to the Senate and ask Nigerians to compare their lives to four, to five years ago
You get the answer to your question.”
Speaking earlier, Kaduna State governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, commended the Catholic priests for their prayers for the successful general elections.
El-Rufai who was represented by the Director of Religious Affairs at Bureau of Inter-faith, Kaduna, Mr Seth Magaji-Aliyu, said the prayers worked magic for the peaceful conduct of the general election.
On the theme of the AGM “The imperative of good governance for a secure and prosperous nation,” the governor said this could only be achieved where citizens were guaranteed of their lives and property.
He noted that his administration was not unmindful of its primary responsibility of securing the lives and welfare of the people.
“In view of the above, good governance for a secure and prosperous nation is a huge task on all and sundry. It is a collective responsibility for both government and the governed.
“Good governance can only be achieved in an atmosphere where lives and property of citizens are secure and peace and harmony exist.
“I urge you to emulate our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ by preaching the gospel of peaceful coexistence, tolerance, love, and unity,” the governor said.
Also in his goodwill message, the Agom Atyap (traditional ruler), Chief Dominic Yahaya cautioned the priests preaching against poverty in the church.
Yahaya said rather their preaching should encourage their followers to venture into legitimate business in order to fend for themselves.