• Northern elders caution against religious incitement
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has cautioned those threatening Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Matthew Kukah to put a stop to that, urging security agencies to ensure his safety.
It observed that the cleric was posted by the Pope to serve in the northern state, noting that his eviction threat was a global danger to Christianity.
The Catholic priest has been on the receiving end of Muslim groups and enthusiasts following his Christmas message where he said Nigeria was becoming a failed state.
Just this Tuesday, the Muslim Solidarity Forum asked the bishop to apologise for his alleged attack on Islam and faithful or leave the Caliphate.
The forum, which described itself as an umbrella body for Islamic organisations, scholars and clerics, yesterday insisted that Kukah’s sermon was capable of triggering religious violence in the country.
However, in a statement yesterday in Abuja, CAN’s General Secretary, Joseph Daramola, enjoined President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that no harm befalls the clergy.
He said as far as CAN was concerned, what Kukah said in his homily fell within the ambience of the law, adding that it is high time those hiding under religious sentiments to promote violence and crisis stopped for the country to make progress.
The scribe noted: “In this same country, we have a Catholic bishop whose name is synonymous with President Muhammadu Buhari, yet the Catholic Church has not deemed it fit to sanction him because freedom of speech and association is not only a constitutional matter, but also godly.”
Daramola added: “If criticism against a Muslim President today is an incitement to violence against Islam, it then means those who were criticising the duo of former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan when they were in power were actually attacking Christianity.”
IN a related development, the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has advised Nigerians to be wary of mischief-makers.
It deplored the overheating of the polity by prominent Nigerians through comments with religious undertone. In a statement by the Director, Publicity and Advocacy, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, the elders implored the citizens not to ignore the report by the Department of State Services (DSS) that some elements were working with external forces to incite religious crisis across the federation.