The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, on Wednesday, January 7, condemned the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Matthew Kukah, over his Christmas message during which he accused President Muhammadu Buhari of nepotism.
According to a statement issued by the Sultan and signed by Jama’atu Nasril Islam JNI, Secretary-General, Dr Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, in Kaduna, titled ‘Press release on Reverend Kukah’s Christmas homily’, the group described Bishop Kukah’s message as “irresponsible and seditious and targeted at Islam with the aim of denigrating the religion.”
The Sultan added that Kukah’s homily was a “poisoned arrow fired at the heart of Islam and Muslims across the country.”
The statement reads: “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’s 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.
“His veiled insinuation that Muslims have a pool of violence to draw from is disgusting, disheartening, as well as condemnable.
“Responsibly, Christmas homilies should come with messages of hope, unity, mercy, the forgiveness of the Supreme Being, and resilience through prayers, especially in this trying time.
“The Bishop’s message was, however, a clear deviation from the well-established norm across the globe. 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.
“Despite the status of Sokoto to the Muslims and Islamic history, Bishop Kukah was warmly welcomed; accepted; accommodated; and also accorded respect deserving of his position as a religious leader.
“Across the length and breadth of Northern Nigeria, Kukah has friends and associates among the Muslim society. Without fear of any contradiction; he is most the 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.
“Despite 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 also common sense to the wind; and fired invective and salvos on the Muslims and Islam without any justification.
“By this and his several similar inane attacks against Islam and the Muslims; the Bishop has lost the friendship; as well as the hospitality of the entire Muslim populace.
“How can the Muslims ever trust a man who smiles at their faces in the day; and hold a dagger against them in the night?
“The Bishop cannot pretend to be attacking President Buhari; and end up punching Islam and the Muslims. We will never accept to be used as a punching bag of the vindictive Bishop.
“It is mind-boggling to imagine why Bishop Kukah is always keen on pushing at the national fault lines: religion; tribe; as well as north-south divide.”