Elder statesman, Chief Frank Kokori, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State to intervene in the ongoing face-off between the Archbishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah and Jama’atul Nasril Islam (JNI).
The chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Delta State, also urged them to stop the secretary-general of JNI, Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, PhD, from inciting Muslims against Bishop Kukah to avert a religious war.
Kokori, in a chat with newsmen, warned against a seeming gradual descent of the country to avoidable religious war over the face-off.
The former general secretary of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) described, as treacherous, the deliberate misinterpretation and misrepresentation of Bishop Kukah’s Christmas homily by the JNI’s scribe.
He said having read the message of the Sokoto Bishop, he could not find any portion where the cleric disparaged Islam or Muslims, urging Buhari and Tambuwal to rein on Dr Aliyu not to cause a religious war in the country.
“Buhari and Tambuwal should call Dr Aliyu to order as he’s trying to cause a religious war in the country which is very dangerous.
“There was no portion where Bishop Kukah abused Islam or Muslims in his Christmas homily. Aliyu is an Islamic fundamentalist and should be treated as such.
“Aliyu should not drag Nigeria into his parochial ideology and if he’s worth his PhD degree, he should know that Bishop Kukah never attacked Islam or Muslims.
“Buhari and Tambuwal should rein on Aliyu not to create a religious war in the country. We’ve passed that stage. Religious war will bring the country to a zero level.
“It’s treacherous for JNI to misinterpret Bishop Kuku’s obvious message. There’s nothing anti-Islam or anti-Muslim in what Kukah said. Aliyu should desist from religious bigotry,” the septuagenarian admonished.
The Ovu-born former labour leader called on President Buhari and Governor Tambuwal to ensure Bishop Kukah’s security and safety is not compromised, adding that Dr Aliyu should be held responsible should Nigerians take up arms against themselves over religion.
Recall that Bishop Kukah of the Sokoto Catholic Diocese in his 2020 Christmas day message accused President Buhari of nepotism and other misdemeanours which have attracted several reactions across the country.