Sultan’s JNI attacks Kukah

Muslims on Wednsday attacked Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese Mathew Hassan Kukah over his Christmas Day message.

They accused him of “a calculated attempt to insult Islamic which is typical of him.”

In a statement, the apex Islamic body in the North – Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) described the Bishop’s “veiled insinuation that Muslims “have a pool of violence to draw from, is disgusting, disheartening, as well as condemnable”.

The JNI’s statement signed by its Secretary General Dr. Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, also faulted the cleric, who is a member of the National Peace Committee, for “always keen in pushing at the national fault lines, religion, tribe and North-South divide.”

The JNI is headed by the Sultan of Sokoto Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar.

Yesterday’s reaction is the latest of attacks on the outspoken cleric over the Christmas message.

The aspect of the message where Bishop Kukah said were President Buhari not from the North, his coup would have removed him from office because of nepotism, attracted the most knocks.

But the Priest denied calling for a coup, adding that his message was misconstrued.

But he vowed to continue speaking out against the ills of the society.

The JNI, which described Bishop Kukah as a “conflict entrepreneur disguised as a clergy”, admonished him that Christmas homilies should come with messages of hope, unity, mercy, forgiveness of the Supreme Being and resilience through prayers, especially in this trying time.

It noted that the Bishop’s message was a clear deviation from 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 accorded respect deserving of his position as a religious leader.

“Bishop Kukah should not take Muslms kindness for timidity or foolishness. In being accommodative and kind, the Muslims are adhering to the teaching of the Glorious Quran that even in times of war the Muslims should offer assistance to those who seek their protection. Quran chapter 9 verse 6 is categorical on this:

“Therefore, the Muslims kind nature should not be taken for granted, because our Prophet (Peace be upon him) has warned that a Muslim should not allow himself to be ridiculed where he said believer should not be stung twice in the same hole {Hadith}.

The statement added that: “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 and fired invective 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 and 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 dagger against them in the night? How can the Muslims continue to be hospitable to the one who proves to be ingrate many times over? How can the Muslims be comfortable in associating with a bitterly vindictive person disguised in the garb of religious clergy?

“Muslims in Nigeria cannot be charged and be held responsible or accountable for the actions or inactions of Government just because it is headed by a Muslim. 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 punching bag of the vindictive Bishop”

The JNI however called on all Muslims to continue to remain calm in the face of these provocations in order to deny conflict entrepreneurs disguised as clergies the avenue to market their stock. Muslims are enjoined to continuously uphold the teachings of Islam, especially in regards to accommodativeness, conviviality and hospitality. Let’s continue to relate well with our peace loving Christian neighbors and colleagues regardless of the vituperations of some misguided elements among them,” JNI said.

(The Nation)