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Kukah: Democracy and dictatorship can’t coexist — one has to cancel out the other

Matthew Kukah, Catholic bishop of Sokoto diocese, says democracy and dictatorship cannot coexist, adding that Nigeria is treading a dangerous path.

Kukah spoke on Wednesday in Abuja at an event with the theme ‘Civic Space: Pathway to Social Cohesion and Integration in Nigeria.’

The event was organised by The Kukah Centre and Open Society Initiative For West Africa (OSIWA).

The bishop said the country is treading a dangerous path because the young people are feeling disempowered.

“This is a dangerous path we are treading. Our young people are feeling disempowered. We are faced with a nation that is consuming its own children, we are faced with the prospects of an uncertain future. It is impossible, even the worst enemy of Nigeria would never have contemplated that this is where we will be,” he said.

Kukah said the 2023 elections will give Nigerians another opportunity “to think of the mistake we made”.

“Democracy is not an exercise undertaken by good men and women which is what Nigerians have always fallen victim to – that we are looking for holy men, men of integrity, men of dignity to govern us and we assume that managing a diverse Nigeria does not require some level of deep intellectual reflection and understanding on the complexity in managing a society so energetic,” he said.