Matthew Hassan Kukah, Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, has attributed the current lack of good governance in Nigeria to poor of knowledge among the political elite.
Bishop Kukah who spoke when he paid a courtesy call on the Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University Dutsinma (FUDMA), Katsina State on Tuesday, noted that the late Umaru Musa Ya’Adua was the first Nigerian president who had a university degree.
The Catholic clergy decried the prevalence of tribal and religious discrimination in the academic circle and called for understanding among the academics.
He said, “I want to end by making a point. If the Universities do not sit up and the respect and respectability do not come back to the universities, which are the highest level of education and knowledge, nothing will happen in Nigeria.
“I don’t mean disrespect, but we know that only with the late Yar’adua may his soul rest in peace, was the first Nigerian President with a university certificate, to tell you how serious our situation is.
“So whenever I have the opportunity, I like to encourage members of the university community because they are engaged in a long-suffering job that the country itself does not recognise and appreciate.”
Bishop Kukah noted that academia has a major role to play in the development of the country, while expressing the hope that current state of education in the country will soon be a thing of the past.
“We will continue to hope and pray that sooner than later, the whole problem about the relationship between federal and state government and the university community will be a thing of the past. Because frankly if this does not happen, politics will not change our country, it is only knowledge that can change our society” he stated.
The Vice-Chancellor, in his own address, explained that there are no incidences of discrimination in the university as everyone is treated equally irrespective of his tribe or religion.
“In FUDMA we give equal opportunity to all irrespective of their inclinations so that one can be useful to himself and his community.
“By doing this we have found students that are highly responsible and disciplined,” he said.