A society, Muslim Solidarity Forum (MSF), has asked Bishop Mattew Hassan Kukah to “quickly and quietly leave” Sokoto, the seat of the caliphate, over “inciting comment.”
In a new twist to the criticism of the respected cleric on the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, the group issued the threats on Tuesday, January 12, describing the Bishop’s statement as “provocative.”
Recall that in his Christmas message on Friday, December 25, the Bishop of Sokoto Catholic Diocese had submitted that “there is no non-Muslim leader who could have done a fraction of what President Buhari has done by his nepotism and gotten away with it.”
Kukah’s criticism came amid backlashes that trailed the president’s political appointment and the security situation in the country.
The cleric’s position has since been generating massive reactions and polarised opinions across religious and political belts, though he insisted that he was misquoted in the portion of the message about coup.
He further maintained that “he is more interested in how religion can be used to foster unity” as he challenged Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) to “as a matter of honour” show where he attacked Islam or Muslims in his statement.
But during a press conference in Sokoto, the acting chairman of MSF, Sokoto chapter, Isa Muhammad Maishanu, said the message of the cleric was a direct attack on Islam, then asked him to leave, The Nation reports.
Meanwhile, the Christians Association of Nigeria (CAN) has reacted to the call for Kukah to apologise for his statement, describing the threats of MSF as laughable.
The general secretary of CAN, Rev. Joseph Daramola, said the respected cleric spoke within the limits of his fundamental human rights, This Day reports.
“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?”
Ortom backs Kukah
Governor Samuel Ortom has backed the position of Bishop Mattew Kukah, saying Nigeria is not well.
The Benue state governor warned that attempts by the federal government to “whip into silence” speakers of truth will not take Nigeria to a greater height.
Ortom commended the bishop for speaking the mind of Nigerians, adding that he is not the first person to nail the truth by the edge.