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Christmas Homily: Don’t demonize Kukah-NCGF

Adeze Ojukwu

Prof Eboka, NCGF President

Nigeria Christian Graduate Fellowship (NCGF) has called on Federal Government, AREWA youths and other Muslim organizations not to demonize the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Archbishop Matthew Kukah, over his Christmas homily.

‘Rather than demonize Bishop Kukah, he ought rather to be congratulated for bringing the dire security situation in Nigeria to the fore,’ the Christian group stressed.

NCGF expressed ‘great concern and utter disappointment, at the responses of the Federal Government and some Muslim organizations notably Muslim Rights Concern(MURIC), Arewa Youths, to the Christmas sermon by the cleric.

NCGF National President, Prof Chuks Eboka, in a statement said ‘these groups have issued statements falsely accusing Bishop Kukah of insulting Islam and promoting the idea of a coup against the Buhari administration.’

The statement reads: ‘The NCGF wishes to state unequivocally, and without any fear of contradiction, that after a careful reading of the full text of the Christmas homily of Bishop Kukah, we did not find in it anything that suggests a call for a coup against the Government of President Buhari or that was denigrating to Islam.’

The homily, entitled ‘A Nation in Search of Vindication,’ contains absolutely nothing that could be considered as an affront to Islam or even vaguely suggestive of a call that a coup be staged against the Buhari-led government.’

‘What Bishop Kukah did was to once again bring to the attention of Nigerians, the alarming and deteriorating state of insecurity in Nigeria under the watch of President Buhari, and the apparent abdication of the responsibility to protect the lives and property of Nigerians as enshrined in the military-imposed 1999 Constitution (as amended).’

‘We recall that only a few days ago, the President was reported to have said that only God could secure Nigeria’s border with Niger Republic. NCGF is in full support of Bishop Kukah’s position and considers what he did a worthy duty to perform as a responsible and concerned citizen of Nigeria who is never afraid to speak truth to power.’

‘The NCGF regrets that, rather than pay attention to the serious issues consistently raised by Bishop Kukah, the Federal Government, MURIC, Arewa Youths and their cohorts have chosen instead to demonize Bishop Kukah and suggest that he be charged with treason.’

‘This is in stark contrast to the response to other individuals and bodies, including from the North, that have equally expressed serious concerns about the state of the nation, with some of them going as far as calling for the resignation of President Buhari.’

‘None of these has been accused of committing a treasonable offence – including members of Miyetti Allah that have openly and brazenly threatened the Nigerian State and its citizens!’

‘It is not necessary to again chronicle all the incidents of violence and insecurity against Nigerians by Boko Haram, armed Fulani herdsmen and other bandits, incidents which have earned Nigeria the unenviable status of being a failed state and one of the most dangerous places to live in the world today.’

‘All these instances of kidnapping, abduction, murder, rape, destruction of churches and razing of entire villages have been reported both by national and international organizations.’

‘It is therefore the strong belief of NCGF that rather than demonize Bishop Kukah, he ought rather to be congratulated for bringing the dire security situation in Nigeria to the fore, especially now that many within and outside Nigeria are seeing Nigeria under President Buhari as a failed state.’

‘NCGF therefore says unequivocally that Bishop Hassan Kukah in his Christmas message, did not call for a coup or deride Islam; instead he has boldly spoken truth to power as he normally does, and made known to the world on behalf of millions of Nigerians some of the very many glaring failings and shortcomings of the Buhari administration.’

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