Group asks Kukah to vacate Sokoto over coup comment

NEWS DIGEST – The Muslim Solidarity Forum has asked Bishop Matthew Kukah, of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, to stop his ‘malicious’ statements against Islam and tender an apology or leave the seat of the Caliphate.

The group further stated that the clergyman is trying to break the peaceful coexistence between Muslims and Christians in the state.

Bishop Kukah, in his Christmas accused President Muhammadu Buhari of nepotism, and that there could have been a coup if the non-northern Muslim president did a fraction of what the president has done.

While responding to the cleric’s statement, Isa Maishanu, the acting chairman of the forum, said the forum is not willing to defend the President, but it is concerned about the image and reputation of 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?”

The group further stated that the ‘callous statements’ should not be coming from Kukah, as he holds a position in the peace committee and inter-religious council in Nigeria.

“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).”

The forum then asked the cleric to ‘immediately’ stop his comments against Islam and tender an unreserved apology to the Muslims or vacate the seat of the Caliphate in Sokoto.

“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.”