Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Matthew Kukah, has been called upon to “quickly and quietly leave the seat of Caliphate” or immediately abandon his “malicious vituperations against Islam and Muslims” and tender unreserved apology to the Muslim Ummah.
A press release included a call from the Muslim Solidarity Forum, Sokoto. It came in the wake of claims by the State Services Department of a scheme to encourage religious strife in some states by some elements working with outside powers.
While reacting to the Christmas message of Kukah, the acting President of MSF, Prof Isa Maishanu, claimed that Kukah, with his comments, was trying to break the age-long peaceful coexistence between the predominantly Muslim population and their Christian guests.
According to the statement, “In February 2020, he (Kukah) 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 on to ask the fiery clergy what he thought would happen if the peace-loving Muslims of the Seat of the Caliphate were to react to his incessantly aggressive attacks on them and their faith, as happened in Kafanchan 1987, Zango Kataf 1992, Tafawa Balewa in 1991, 1993, 1995 and 2001, Yelwa Shandam 2004, Zunkwa and Jarkasa in 2011? ”
Reacting, the President of the CAN in Kaduna State and its National Vice-President (19 Northern States and Abuja), Rev. Joseph John Hayab, and the Executive Director of the FJPD, Kwamkur Samuel, said that the Christian Association of Nigeria and the Foundation for Justice and Peace Development had 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 an apology from Bishop Kukah by this group as a show of disrespect and a display of complex attitude to abuse our tolerance 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.”
Samuel buttress that, “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 is 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, kidnappers and bandits in Katsina, Maiduguri, Zamfara and other parts of Nigeria to get to the source and sponsors of killers of Nigerians.”