…says Catholic cleric must apologise to Muslims
A group, Muslim Solidarity Forum, has asked the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Mathew Hassan Kukah, to “quickly and quietly leave the seat of Caliphate” or immediately put an end to his malicious vituperations against Islam and Muslims.
The group also said Kukah must tender unreserved apology to the Muslim Ummah.
MSF made this call in a press statement as the Department of State Services raised the alarm of a plot to incite religious violence in some states by some elements working with external forces.
MSF acting Chairman, Professor Isa Maishanu, in his reaction to Kukah’s Christmas message, stated that the cleric, with his unbecoming callous statement, was trying to break the age-long peaceful coexistence between the predominantly Muslim population and their Christian guests.
It also urged Muslim leaders, who out of magnanimity had been showing goodwill to Bishop Kukah, to realise that he was taking their kindness for granted and that he (Kukah) did not appreciate the gesture, rather he fiercely attack them at any given opportunity.
The MSF statement read, “In February 2020, he (Kukah) shamelessly staged a demonstration in the heart of Sokoto over the killing of a single Christian priest, presumably, by the Boko Haram insurgents, but did not consider hundreds of Muslims, Fulani herders that were mercilessly killed by the Christian militia in Taraba State in 2018.”
The statement went further to asked the fiery clergy what he thought would happen if the peace-loving Muslims of the seat of Caliphate, responded to his incessant provocative attacks on them and their religion like what happened in Kafanchan in 1987, Zango Kataf in 1992, Tafawa Balewa in 1991, 1993, 1995 and 2001, Yelwa Shandam in 2004, Zonkwa and Jarkasa in 2011?”
Chairman of CAN in Kaduna State and its National Vice Chairman (19 Northern States and Abuja), Rev. Joseph John Hayab, and Executive Director of FJPD, Kwamkur Samuel, in their reactions, said both the Christian Association of Nigeria and the Foundation for Justice Peace Development faulted the quit notice served Bishop Kukah by the forum.
Hayab said, “We have tolerated them so that we can continue together and build a nation of respect for others opinion. We, therefore, see this call for apology from Bishop Kukah by this group as a show of disrespect and a display of complex attitude to abuse our tolerant spirit and our desire for a peaceful Nigeria.
“We see this group as agents of blackmail and intimidation who want to infringe on the right and freedom of expression of citizens, which our constitution guarantees.”
In the same vein, Samuel said, “Those terrorising Nigerians daily are so strong that they are rewarded almost on daily basis with ransom even in foreign currency under the supervision of authority while those crying on pages of papers like Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah, due to losses, experience and excruciating pains and love for the nation, are easily identified, intimidated and vilified by the same authority that are not able to secure the lives and property of Nigerians.
“I will advise this group of young and energetic Nigerians who are calling for the head of Kukah to join the families of victims of terrorists, kidnapers and bandits in Katsina, Maiduguri, Zamfara and other parts of Nigeria to get to the source and sponsors of killers of Nigerians.”