Abbas Jimoh, Daily Trust
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has cautioned those threatening the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto, Matthew Hassan Kukah, to stop their unlawful action.
It also urged security agencies to ensure the safety and security of the cleric.
CAN General Secretary, Joseph Bade Daramola, gave the warning in a statement Thursday, saying the group had been watching the unfolding scenario since Bishop Kukah spoke his mind on the state of the nation in his Christmas homily and how some groups of people had been threatening him with ﬁre and brimstone.
“We wonder if those threatening the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto are above the law or if they are sacred cows in the country”, he said.
Mr Daramola also alleged that all relevant security agencies were pretending as if nothing unusual was happening.
‘Nothing wrong in homily’
“We have studied the whole Christmas message of Dr. Kukah and we are yet to see any incitement against Islam or non-Christians.
“We see nothing wrong in his message to the nation that has been under the siege of terrorists, herdsmen killers, bandits and kidnappers as if there was no government in place.
“We see nothing wrong in telling a government whose lopsided appointments are against Christians the whole truth.
“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.
“When did the police and the Directorate of the State Security Services lose their power to miscreants and lawless people who are making boast of their lawlessness without a challenge?
“We wonder if those Muslim groups who are threatening to deal with Kukah got equal response from their Christian counterparts, are we not setting up the country on ﬁre?” he asked.
‘Threat to Christianity’
He said Kukah was posted to serve in Sokoto by the papacy and threatening him to leave “is a global threat to Christianity.”
“There is a Catholic priest 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 godly”.
A Sokoto based Muslim group had asked Kukah to apologise to the Muslim Ummah or quickly and quietly leave the city.
In a statement, however, Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari, condemned the call, saying Nigerians had the constitutional right to live anywhere in the country.