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Coup Comment: Apologize Or Leave Sokoto – Muslim Forum Tell Bishop Kukah

Valentine Chinyem

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The Muslim Solidarity Forum has asked Mathew Kukah, the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, to apologize to Muslims or vacate the state.

This was in reaction to Kukah’s Christmas message where he accused President Muhammadu Buhari of nepotism.

The cleric, in his Christmas message, had said there could have been a coup if a non-northern Muslim president did a fraction of what Buhari has done.

In a press conference on Tuesday, the forum through Isa Maishanu, its acting chairman, said Kukah’s statements could break the peaceful coexistence between Christians and Muslims in the state.

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.”