By Luminous Jannamike, ABUJA
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and the Kukah Centre, on Tuesday, faulted the call for the sacking of Bishop Matthew Kukah of Sokoto Catholic diocese as the Secretary of the National Peace Committee.
They said MURIC’s call came from a position of ignorance as the NPC is a non-governmental group convened by Bishop Kukah himself.
CAN and the Kukah Centre, therefore, advised the Muslim group to carry out adequate research next time before making such public demands.
The leaders of the two organizations spoke in separate interviews with Vanguard, on Tuesday, while reacting to claims by MURIC that Bishop Kukah was too-controversial-a-personality to play such a sensitive role in the national peacebuilding efforts.
The Executive Director of MURIC, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, had earlier also urged Muslims to boycott (or stage a walkout from) any event in which Bishop Kukah was involved either as the chairman, secretary, member, guest or speaker unless he showed remorse for allegedly attacking Islam in his 2020 Christmas Day message on the state-of-the-nation.
Reacting, CAN’s Vice Chairman (Northern Region), Rev. John Hayab, described the position of the Muslim group as laughable, asking: “Is the National Peace Committee paid appointment? When will this foolishness stop in Nigeria? Shame on them and their sponsors.
“We suspect some characters are angry with Kukah’s popularity, and that is why they are twisting everything he said and instigating people against him.
“How on earth will you say a man should be removed from the house he builds?
“Very soon they will also tell him (Kukah) to withdraw all his beautiful articles on national development which he has been writing as a columnist, since the days of the now-defunct New Nigerian Newspaper, and apologize for his perspectives on national issues over several decades.”
Similarly, the Director of Kukah Centre, Rev. Fr. Atta Barkindo (PhD), said: “Bishop Kukah is the convener of the Peace Committee. The committee is not a government agency.”
He, however, said it was only former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, who chairs the National Peace Committee, headquartered in the Kukah Centre that can adequately y address the call for the Bishop’s sacking as the scribe of the NPC.
“I can’t release a statement or directly speak on behalf of the Peace Committee (concerning the demand by MURIC) without the approval of the chairman, General Abdulsalami, because I am not authorized to do so.
“Besides, we cannot glorify a group like MURIC who have no authority to speak for Muslims,” Fr. Barkindo said.