The presidential spokesman Garba shehu has cautioned the sokoto base Muslim Solidarity Forum, over the conditionality given to Bishop Hassan Kukah either to apologies or quit sokoto state, this threat is coming as a result of last Christmas massage the bishop gave out.
In the massage, he accused President Muhammadu Buhari of promoting northern hegemony, and interpreted by some Islamic interests as attacking Islam and Muslims.
The northern elders forum, also expressed concern over what it described as disturbing comments with religious undertones, which it said were causing anger and fear in the public domain.
In kukar massage where he said if it were a non-muslim president and had done a friction of what the president Buhari did, coup would’ve happened.
The massage drew a lot of censures from Jama’atu Islam (JNI) led by the sultan of sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, and the federal government, which attacked bishop kukar for allegedly denigrating Islam and muslims.
On Tuesday, the Muslim Solidarity Forum joined in leading their voice in condemning the bishop, with a call to him to either apologise for his alleged attack’s on Islam and Muslim, they went further, to asking him to leave the caliphate if he refuses to apologise.
The forum, which labelled itself as an umbrella body for Islamic organisations, scholars and clerics, said Kukah’s Christmas massage was capable of triggering religious violence in the country.
Prof. Isa Maishanu, the Acting Chairman of the forum, Sokoto chapter said the message of the cleric was a direct attack on Islam, adding that that was not the first time Kukah was attacking Islam and Muslims, especially those from the northern part of the country.
He faulted the message of Kukah in which he said if a fraction of the nepotism committed by Buhari, a Muslim and a Northerner, was committed by “any non-northern president,” there would have been a coup in the country.”
Kukar said he will be more than happy to apologise if any one can show him where he attacked the Islam in his massage, he accused the JNI Secretary-General, Dr. Khalid Aliyu of inciting violent against him, he said this on Monday.
The special assistance to the president on media and publicity, condemned the call by the muslim forum for kukar to quit sokoto, he said that under the Nigeria constitution, no group is allowed to issue such threat, that bishop kukar should be left allow to move about his daily activities. The right for all religion to co-exit is enshrine in the nation’s constitution.
“The duty of the government, more so, this democratic government, is to ensure that the constitution is respected. But all must respect the rights and sensitivities of their fellow Nigerians.”
The presidency added that although Kukah had offended many with his controversial remarks against the government and the person of the president, with some even accusing him of voicing anti-Islamic rhetoric, “on matters such as these, responsible leadership in any society must exercise restraint.”
“Knee-jerk reactions will not only cause the fraying of enduring relationships, but also the evisceration of peaceful communities such as Sokoto, the headquarters of the Muslim community as a beacon of pluralism and tolerance. The Sultanate has historically had good relations with followers of all faiths. That is why Father Kukah was received on his arrival in Sokoto with friendship and tolerance,” it stated.