Father Kukah Must Be Allowed To Practise His Faith And Politics – Garba Shehu

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Father Kukah Must Be Allowed To Practise His Faith And Politics – Garba Shehu
Obiajulu Joel Nwolu

Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity has faulted the quit notice handed down to Catholic Bishop of Sokoto, Mathew Kukah by the Muslim Solidarity Forum.

The Sokoto-based group had earlier asked Kukah to quickly and quietly leave the seat of the Caliphate or immediately stop what it termed his malicious vituperations against Islam and Muslims and tender apology to the Muslim Ummah.  

Reacting, Shehu in a statement issued on Wednesday said the forum’s stance was wrong because it was not in tandem with the country’s constitution.

He said, “Under our constitution, every citizen has the right to, among others, freedom of speech and expression, the right to own property and reside in any part of the country, and the right to move freely without any inhibitions.”

According to Shehu, Kukah had offended many with his remarks against the government, adding that groups such as the Muslim Solidarity Forum must, however, uphold the country’s multi-religious principles while individuals like Kukah must respect the feelings of other Nigerians in his utterances

He went further to state, “Father Kukah has greatly 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.

“Under our laws, groups or factions must not give quit notices, neither should they unilaterally sanction any perceived breaches. Where they occur, it is the courts of law that should adjudicate. Unilateral action is not the way to go.

“Groups such as the Muslim Solidarity Forum must be seen to share and uphold the country’s multi-religious principles. And individuals like Father Kukah must respect the feelings of his fellow Nigerians in his private and public utterances.”

This post was written by Obiajulu Joel Nwolu.

The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.

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