Mathew Kukah, Catholic Bishop of Sokoto has told youths to always feel the need to return to develop Nigeria after travelling out of the country.
Kukah who made the appeal at an inauguration lecture on Saturday, May 27, noted that Nigerians are not suffering because they are Muslims or Christians but because they are in a country that is malfunctioning.
“I will also end by saying right now that 133 million Nigerians are suffering from various levels of multi-dimensional poverty.
“I have not put up the light and see the part where Muslims are living that they have light, while others for not. I have not seen the part of the country where Muslims are eating and the rest of us are not. So we must come to terms with the fact that we are not bleeding.
“We are not suffering because we are Christians or Muslims, but we are in a country that is malfunctioning. How to make that country work, for the rich, for the poor, for the aged, and for everybody is a challenge.
“I would like to just end by saying and I have made the point very clearly, in the struggle with the problems of Nigeria, I remain exceptionally optimistic.
“I traveled the world. People say to me, well, where do you find this courage to say that Nigeria is working? Okay, it may not be working, but this is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. I am not being flippant.
“When I went to the United States of America to study, I preached in a church but the parish priest said to me, listen to me, you speak with such eloquence and I like you, we will get you a green card, you can settle here in America. I looked at him, I said, you know, this God is a wonderful God. You are giving me a green card and my passport is actually a green passport.
“The challenge for us as Africans is to think the way the Asians have thought that you can go to Europe, you can go to America with a purpose. But the purpose of course means coming back to develop your country but it also means that that country must create an environment in which you can feel confident to come and present the gift that God has given you.
“I have two young men in America they just finished from a prestigious university, I say when are you coming home? They say Bishop coming home to do what? We do not have an uncle who is a senator, we don’t have anybody, so coming to Nigeria to do what?
“Vice-President-elect, the challenge for you is to make this country believable, livable, credible, so that all of us together can serve and build a great nation.”