A group, Muslim Solidarity Forum, has demanded the exit of the Bishop, Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Rev Matthew Kukah from the state or he immediately stop his malicious vituperations against Islam and Muslims.
The group’s quit notice which is contained in a statement signed by its acting Chairman, Professor Isa Maishanu, in Sokoto on Tuesday, came on the heels of Kukah’s Christmas message.
It called on the priest to tender unreserved apology to the Muslim Ummah.
Maishanu accused Kukah of trying to break the age-long peaceful coexistence between the predominantly Muslim population and their Christian guests with his “unbecoming callous statement.”
The group called on Muslim leaders, who it said out of magnanimity had been showing goodwill Kukah, to realise that he was taking their kindness for granted and that he (Kukah) did not appreciate the gesture, rather he 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 group said.
Meanwhile, in a response to a separate statement by another Islamic group, JNI which also knocked him for his Christmas message, Kukah said he will not hesitate to apologise if he is shown any part of his homily that insulted Islam.
The group’s secretary, Dr Aliyu had described Kukah as an enemy of Islam, noting that Kukah had been accorded respect and accommodated in Sokoto and he had turned around to bite a finger that has fed him.
The fiery cleric who accused JNI of trying to set him up against the Muslim ummah challenged the Islamic group to show him where he insulted Islam or Muslims.
Kukah said; “The relevant paragraphs in my sermon focused on the two painful themes of nepotism and the hemoraging of lives in our country, a fact that as I said, most religious leaders and statesmen and women have alluded to.
“How a critique of government policies suddenly becomes hatred of Islam and the north, beggars belief.
“I am therefore calling on Dr Aliyu to clarify and validate his accusations against me and advance the reasons why he should incite violence against me.
“I am unaware of anyone in Sokoto who has accused me of any misdemeanour or actions aimed at undermining the state or anyone, no least the faith of Islam.”
“I believe that today, nepotism poses a serious threat to our country,” he said.
“The second point was the issue of the insecurity and how the north has become so affected. My belief was to add my voice to the voices of millions of Nigerians, Muslims, Christians, Traditional rulers, Statesmen and all who have shown genuine concern.”
“It will be a great pity and a disservice to our efforts at national cohesion if we resort to the kind of diversionary threats that Dr Aliyu has embarked on. It only makes the job of insurgents easier if we become enemies to one another.”