By Idowu Bankole
A Muslim group based in Sokoto, Muslim Solidarity Forum, has called on the Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Mathew Kukah to tender an unreserved apology to the entire Muslim Ummah over his recent “malicious comments” against Islam or quietly and quickly leave the state.
Addressing newsmen on Tuesday, the acting chairman of the Forum, Professor Isa Muhammad Maishanu. stated that Kukah’s statements were capable of breaking the age-long peaceful coexistence among the religious faithful in the country.
Professor Isa Muhammad said, “Our intention at Muslim Solidarity Forum is not to hold brief for the President, as he has those who are paid to do that; rather 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.
Daily Trust had reported that Professor Isa Muhammad Maishanu believed Kukah’s statement was seriously provocative.
“His reference to a people who possess ‘a pool of violence to draw from’ no doubt is a reference to those he has always characterized with violence – the Muslims. This is a serious provocation.” Isa Muhammad Maishanu maintained.
“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?” he asked.
“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.”
The forum added that “The sensible and objective world knows the truth!
“We wonder how Kukah, who lives peacefully and comfortably in the heart of the Sokoto Caliphate, can make such a callous and senseless statement.” Isa Muhammad Maishanu stated.
Bishop Kukah had since denied calling for a coup.
Recall that Vanguard had reported how Bishop Kukah had, in the Christmas message, accused the Nigerian President of nepotism, saying there could have been a coup if a southerner and non-Muslim was the president and had done a quarter of what the president had done.
Recall the minister of information and culture, Alhaji Lai Muhammed had described Kukah’s statement as an attempt to stoke the embers of hatred, sectarian strife and national disunity while the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) termed it as “reckless, inflammatory and unguarded.”
But addressing newsmen, Kukah said: “If you call for a coup, it means it is something that is not here. It is something that will happen in the future. So is grammar.
“So if I call for it, it means it is not ready. But if I say had it been so, so and so it would have, the tenses are completely different and I may be probably wrong, if you know better, let me know.
“So it is unfair for any journalist or newspapers to say that I called for a military coup,” he stated.