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Democracy and dictatorship can not co-exist, says Kukah

Catholic bishop of Sokoto diocese, Matthew Kukah has stated that democracy and dictatorship cannot coexist.

He added that Nigeria is treading a dangerous path.

This was stated on Wednesday by Kukah at an event with the theme ‘Civic Space: Pathway to Social Cohesion and Integration in Nigeria.’

The event was organised by The Kukah Centre and Open Society Initiative For West Africa (OSIWA).

The bishop said the country is treading a dangerous path because the young people are feeling disempowered.

“In 1998, I tried to write an article on civil society out of curiosity, that article turned into a book ‘Democracy and Civil Society in Nigeria’ and a lot of people commended the book – it is no longer in circulation. One of the things I concluded was that democracy and dictatorship cannot co-exist, one has to cancel out the other.

“The tragedy that has now afflicted our country is no excuse for us to become despondent, 2023 whether it happens or whatever the case may be, we prayerfully hope it happens, it gives us another opportunity to think of the mistake we made.

“Using the agents of state, those in power have also sought to close the (civic) space. Democracy is a work in progress, all of us engaged in Democracy and opening up the civic space must realize that it is a long journey.”

Also speaking, Idayat Hassan, director of the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), said in the last six years, the civic space has shrunk.

“In the last six years, the civic space has shrunk. For the fact that I can’t go on Twitter without a VPN has impacted on my right,” she said.

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