The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) on Thursday warned against attacking the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah.
CAN warned the Muslim Solidarity Forum, to stop their actions against Bishop Kukah.
The apex Christian body further called on security agencies to ensure the safety and security of Bishop Kukah, saying that the body had been watching the scenario unfold since December 25 when the bishop spoke his mind on the state of the nation and “and how some groups of people have been threatening him with ﬁre and brimstone, while all relevant security agencies are pretending as if nothing unusual is happening.”.
CAN in its statement titled, ‘No harm should befall Bishop Kukah’, issued by its General Secretary, Joseph Daramola, said; “We call on President Muhammadu Buhari and all the security agencies to ensure that no harm befalls the Catholic Bishop of the Sokoto Diocese, Matthew Hassan Kukah. As far as CAN is concerned, what he said in his Christmas message was still within the ambience of the law.
“It is high time those hiding under religious sentiments to promote violence and crises stopped doing so if we want this country to progress. We have had enough of bloodshed in the country and we call on the security agencies to rise up to their constitutional responsibilities. Nothing must happen to Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah. Enough is enough!
“We wonder if those threatening the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto are above the law or if they are sacred cows in the country. 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, killer herdsmen, bandits and kidnappers, as if there is 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.”
CAN added, “When has it become an offence to speak the truth to power? When has it become a crime to criticise a government in the country? When did the lawful fundamental human rights suspended in the country? When were some sections of the Constitution suspended without the awareness of the public?
“When did the police and the Department of State Services lose their power to miscreants and lawless people, who are making a boast of their lawlessness without a challenge? We wonder if those Muslim groups, which are threatening to deal with Kukah, got equal response from their Christian counterparts, are we not setting the country on ﬁre?
“Bishop Kukah was posted to serve in Sokoto by the Papacy and threatening him to leave is a global threat to Christianity. In this same country, we have 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.”
Ibrahim Kenneth Suleiman is the Chief Political Editor at Naija Buzz News Network. He is a graduate of political science from the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Kaduna State. He specializes in preparing/approving of political news contents before publication. He currently heads Naija Buzz News team of political correspondents. From Nasarawa State, North-Central Nigeria, Ibrahim is a strong supporter of Manchester United Football Club England.