By our reporter| The Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) on Wednesday condemned the Christmas message of Bishop Matthew Kukah, describing it as a “calculated attempt to insult” Islam and Muslims in the country.
In a statement by Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, its secretary-general, JNI said Kukah’s homily was a “poisoned arrow fired at the heart of Islam and Muslims in Nigeria”, noting
that the insinuation that Muslims have a “pool of violence” to draw, evident in the homily, is disgusting and condemnable.
The statement read, “The attention of the Jama’atu Nasril Islam has been drawn to an irresponsible and seditious Christmas message issued by the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Matthew Hassan Kukah.”
“Though the message is disguised as a political hogwash to deceive the innocent, there is no doubt that it was a poisoned arrow fired at the heart of Islam and Muslims in Nigeria, hence the need for this intervention.
“The Bishop statement was a prepared address considering the occasion and the audience, one cannot but agree that it was a calculated attempt to insult Islam which is typical of him.”
The group said while Kukah was “warmly welcomed and accepted” at the seat of the Sokoto caliphate, he threw caution to the wind through “invective salvos” fired at Muslims without justification.
“Kukah is the Bishop of the Sokoto diocese located at the seat of the Caliphate and the heart of Islam and Islamic scholarship, culture, and practices in sub-Saharan Africa,” the statement read.
“Despite the status of Sokoto to the Muslims and Islamic history, Bishop Kukah was warmly welcomed, accepted, accommodated, and accorded respect deserving of his position as a religious leader.
“Across the length and breadth of the Northern Nigeria, Kukah has friends and associates among the Muslim society. Without fear of any contradiction, he is most accepted and accommodated Christian clergy to the leaders of the Muslims in the north.
“They accorded him all the support he needed, despite some reservations from some quarters about his tendencies to bite the fingers that feed him.
“In spite of the liberality, congeniality, and the camaraderie extended to Bishop Kukah in Sokoto and all over the Muslim north, he throws all sense of decorum and common sense to the wind.”
Alabingo.com reported that Kukah in a statement on Christmas Day, accused President Muhammadu Buhari of nepotism, saying there could have been a coup if another president acted in a similar manner.
“Every honest Nigerian knows that there is no way any non-Northern Muslim President could have done a fraction of what President Buhari has done by his nepotism and gotten away with it,” Kukah had said.