… overrides replay predictions

Nigeria has nothing to beat its chest and claim as an achievement in 2022, the Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Sokoto, Fr. Mateo Hassan Kukah, has said.

He also called on Nigerians to work for free, fair, credible and violence-free elections where votes count.

Kukah, who said this in an interview with The PUNCH, dismissed the political permutations that the 2023 election would end in a replay, saying: “Let’s run first before we talk about a replay.”

He said: “The incoming government is yet to come but I think all Nigerians now have to look in the mirror and ask themselves if we are better off now than before.

“As we enter the new year, we must look back at one of the greatest moments not only in world history but also when it comes to Nigeria. I mean, how many phases of our national life (in 2022) can we want to proudly look back on with a lot of joy and celebration?

“The people of Morocco, for example, will see how they beat Brazil in the World Cup. So Nigerians must ask themselves how they feel about the year gone but the future is now in our hands.

“Hopefully, and prayerfully, we will have another round of elections and our hope is that we will have elections free of violence and free of manipulation. The process is now a bit clearer from what we are hearing from INEC.

“I think the biggest challenge for us now is that we have free, fair and credible elections and we can live with the results they produce.

“Let’s run first before we talk about running again. We only hope that the elections are free, fair and credible, so that a winner emerges.

“I don’t think we should start talking about the possibility of a replay or whatever because we’re just warming up the system. I think we should assume that we are going to have an election and a winner will emerge.”