He articulated his thoughts during a keynote address at the 3rd annual national public lecture, centered around "The Nigerian Question: Survival of the Federation in the Throes of Increasing Economic Challenges," held in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State on Friday.
In his words, "Nigerians often discuss other nations, but I sympathize with those compatriots who, due to numerous challenges, seldom venture beyond their immediate surroundings, let alone contemplate traveling to other parts of Africa or the wider world."
“Though every country has its own problems, the challenge before us in Nigeria is that, what do we want, obviously, can we democratize and develop our nation?
“It is a very difficult question to answer because what we call the civilized world today is the last 200 years of exploitation of Africa that helped build these nations.
“So we are imagining it ourselves; why are we not like other people? We are not like others because every nation has to find its own navigational truth for development.
“It is not as if we cannot use democracy to develop Nigeria, but there are certain fundamental things that must be on the ground before people can appreciate democracy.
“Unless Nigeria settles the issue of ‘bread and butter mentality,’ the democracy can actually look like a lottery,” he said.
Meanwhile, Kukah said the people responsible for Nigeria’s problems are not safe, just like the masses.
“The good thing about Nigeria is that everybody knows what the problems are, and the people who are responsible for the problems are not also safe; they too do not know peace,” he said.
The cleric, however, stated that every country in the world also has its own problems, noting that it takes citizens and purposeful leaders to address such problems.