By Ismail Auwal
A group Muslim Solidarity Forum in Sokoto has called upon the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Matthew Kukah, to “quickly and quietly leave the seat of Caliphate” or immediately stop his “malicious vituperations against Islam and Muslims”
The group in a statement signed by Prof Isa Maishanu accused Kuka of 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 forum said it wondered “how Kukah, who lives peacefully and comfortably in the heart of the Sokoto Caliphate, can make such a callous and senseless statement”.
The forum said while it does not speak for Buhari, Kukah’s reference to the president’s religion is an attack on all Muslims.
“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,” Maishanu said.
“The Bishop has a penchant for speaking in parables and innuendos. His reference to a people who possess ‘a pool of violence to draw from’ no doubt is a reference to those he has always characterised with violence – the Muslims. This is a serious provocation.
“He even has the guts to say the killings we are witnessing in Nigeria are part of a grand religious design! Religious? Who are the victims of the killings? What religion do they profess? Is it not a fact that over 90 per cent of those being killed are Muslims? Who is behind the so-called design?
“These callous statements are unbecoming of someone who parades himself as secretary to the National Peace Committee and a member of Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC).
“As such, we call on Kukah to immediately stop his malicious vituperations against Islam and Muslims and tender unreserved apology to the Muslim Ummah or else quickly and quietly leave the seat of the Caliphate, as he is trying to break the age-long peaceful coexistence between the predominantly Muslim population and their Christian guests.”