Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Kpotun Idris and President Mohammed Buhari


The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto, Matthew Hassan-Kukah, on Tuesday said the government was fighting the symptoms of corruption and not the disease.

Mr. Hassan-Kukah made the disclosure at a programme organised by the Book Readers’ Club of Ibadan School of Government and Public Policy (ISGPP) in Ibadan on Tuesday.

According to him, government is only fighting corrupt people and not corruption because corruption can only be fought if the nation’s institutions are strengthened.

“Government should begin the fight against corruption from the institution, so that we will not continue to have the same result,’’ he said.

He said that the fight against corruption would be meaningful if it could be tied to governance, noting that corruption was the product of a malfunctioning system.

Mr. Hassan-Kukah thereafter read from his 519-page book `Witness to Justice: An Insider’s Account of Nigeria’s Truth Commission (2011).’

Revealing his memoirs of Oputa Panel, the bishop said reconciliation required probing and interrogation of the past.

He said that Nigerians have failed to understand that they were all wounded, irrespective of ethnicity, religion or political parties.

“Almost all bad things in Nigeria have validation and a lot of Nigerians have gone through several harsh treatments without charges.

“Many of those ethnic leaders are ethnic entrepreneur, who use their people to get what they want.”

Mr. Hassan-Kukah said the book also revealed the miscarriage of justice on Bagauda Kato, Dele Giwa and MKO Abiola.

He said the nation could not get reconciliation without putting in place mechanism of distributive justice.

“There is need for mechanism that will guarantee justice for victim, perpetrator and larger society, likewise seeking God.

“Nigerians like blaming the nation’s woes on some persons and are always obsessed of a messiah.

“We need to create elasticity to be able to accommodate the various agitations across the country,’’ he said.

Mr. Hassan-Kukah stressed the need for Nigerians to always respect their leaders, adding that the solution was not to denigrate President Muhammad Buhari.

The cleric called on the media to set agenda for the leaders, while also reminding them of their electoral promises.

Earlier, Tunji Olaopa, the Executive Vice-Chancellor of ISGPP, said the school was an independent think-tank that undertake research on issues of governance.

“We focus on problem-saving around issues on governance, democracy and development through executive education, seminar, conferences and policy dialogue.

“We create platform for community engagement with a view to getting government to work better and to raise bar of discourse on issues of development,’’ he said.

Prof. Akin Mabogunje, Prof Bolanle Awe, Archbishop Gabriel Abegunrina among others attended the event.


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