By Yinka Odumakin
IT was the very day protesters violated Capitol Hill in America over allegation of rigged polls that the JNI in Nigeria pronounced death sentence over the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto, Bishop Hassan Kukah, who has a double jeopardy of being a prominent indigene of Southern Kaduna, a community that has been at the receiving end of terror for years now.
The Jama’atu Nasril Islam, JNI, the apex Muslim organisation in Nigeria, proclaimed a fatwa on Bishop Hassan Kukah, over his 2020 Christmas Day homily, wherein he accused President Muhammadu Buhari of sacrificing the dreams of Nigerians on the altar of nepotism by allegedly pursuing Northern hegemony.
JNI described Kukah’s message as “a calculated attempt to insult Islam which is typical of him” and that the “veiled insinuation that Muslims have a pool of violence to draw from, is disgusting, disheartening, as well as condemnable.” It further described the message which had unsettled the Presidency “as a poisoned arrow fired at the heart of Islam and Muslims in Nigeria”, hence its intervention.
Based on the foregoing, the JNI proclaimed: “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.” It wondered: “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?”
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The JNI’s proclamation was captured in a statement signed by Dr. Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, Secretary-General, and issued to journalists in Kaduna on Wednesday January 6. The Muslim umbrella body said its attention was drawn to “an irresponsible and seditious Christmas message” issued by Rev. Kukah.
JNI argued that 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. But they can pass death sentence on a fellow Nigerian in the new year without being a law court and without reference to similar virtues from their Holy Book?
My friends in the innermost rooms in America told of the frantic calls coming from Nigerian senior officials as events were unfolding at the Capitol complaining about the Republican supporters who were rioting just as some Nigerians under the guise of religion were passing a death verdict on a Bishop of another faith.
One of the leaders of the faith who must be watching this with interest while possibly shedding some crocodile tears at the American event where they are happy that their judgement day at the ICC has been postponed indefinitely is the governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El Rufai, the one whose pastime was abusing and poking jokes at Jesus Christ with no consequence till date.
The same governor made a very shocking confession on December 3, 2016 on how he had been settling foreign Fulani killers of Southern kaduna people with tax payers money. He said: “For southern Kaduna, we didn’t understand what was going on and we decided to set up a committee under Gen. Martin Luther Agwai (retd) to find out what was going on there.
“What was established was that the root of the problem has a history starting from the 2011 post-election violence. Fulani herdsmen from across Africa bring their cattle down towards Middle Belt and Southern Nigeria. The moment the rains start around March, April, they start moving them up to go back to their various communities and countries.”
To be concluded…