Christmas message: Apologise now or quietly leave Sokoto — Muslim group warns Kukah
NEWSMAN, Sokoto – Muslim Solidarity Forum, Sokoto, has advised the Bishop of Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Matthew Hassan Kukah, to quickly and quietly leave Sokoto or stop what the group called “his malicious vituperations against Islam and Muslims”.
The group also enjoined Bishop Kukah to tender unreserved apology to the Muslim Ummah.
Bishop Kukah had in his Christmas message stated that Nigeria was on the verge of becoming a failed state under President Muhammadu Buhari but denied calling for a coup in the country.
Kukah, in the message, accused President Buhari of nepotism, saying there could have been a coup if a southerner and non-Muslim was the president and had done a quarter of what the president had done.
The Presidency had however, described Kukah’s statement as an attempt to stoke the embers of hatred, sectarian strife and national disunity while the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) termed it as “reckless, inflammatory and unguarded.”
Acting chairman of the group, Professor Isa Maishanu, in a statement, noted that Kukah with his unbecoming callous statement, was trying to break the age-long peaceful coexistence between the predominantly Muslims and Christians.
“These callous statements are becoming of someone who parades himself a secretary to the National Peace Committee and a member of Nigeria Inter-religious Council. As such, we call on Kukah to immediately stop his malicious vituperation against Islam and Muslims and tender unreserved apology to the Muslim Ummah or else quickly quietly leave the seat of Caliphate, as he is trying to break the age- long peaceful coexistence between the predominantly Muslim population and their Christian guests,” Maishanu said.
The statement came amidst allegations by the Department of State Services of a plot to incite religious violence in some states by some elements working with external forces.
“Our intention at Muslim Solidarity Forum is not to hold brief for the President, as he has those who are paid to do that; instead, our concern is the image and reputation of Muslims, which Mr Kukah finds pleasure in attacking without an iota of caution, and by referring to him [the president] as a Muslim, that automatically brings all Muslims [into] the issue. The Bishop has a penchant for speaking in parables and innuendos,” he added.
The group directed Muslim leaders, who out of magnanimity had been showing goodwill to the Bishop of Catholic Diocese of Sokoto to realise that he (Bishop Kukah) is taking their kindness for granted, stressing that Kukah doesn’t appreciate the gesture but fiercely attacks them at any given opportunity.
“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 read.
The group asked Bishop Kukah what he thought would have happened “if the peace-loving Muslims in Sokoto had responded to his provocative attacks on them and their religion like what happened in Kafanchan 1987, Zangon Kataf 1992, Tafawa Balewa in 1987, 1993, 1995 and 2001, Yelwa Shandam 2004, Zonkwa and Jarkasa in 2011.”
CAN Kicks as Islamic Group Tells Kukah to Apologise or Leave Sokoto
Also, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) kicked against the call by the Muslim Solidarity Forum on the Bishop of Sokoto Catholic Diocese, Bishop Matthew Kukah, to apologise for his alleged attack on Islam and Muslims or leave the Caliphate.
“Let them go and read his message. What do they want to do to him? Are they going to prosecute him? Are they suing him to court? Why would he apologise? Do they have the monopoly of right? How can they ask a whole consecrated Catholic bishop for that matter to come apologise for airing his opinion?”, General Secretary of CAN, Rev. Joseph Daramola said
“Why do we have Section 4 of the Constitution that provides for freedom of expression? If what he said is against the law, then arrest him. They are asking him to apologise for what? Because they would flog him or what?”