By Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja
The Order of The Knights of Saint Mulumba Nigeria (KSM) has condemned the stance of the Federal Government on the ‘Apologize or quit Sokoto’ threat issued to the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Hassan Kukah, by the Muslim Solidarity Forum.
KSM argued that the statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu is but “a sleight underhand rebuke of the Catholic Cleric instead of his traducers.” The Christian body insisted that the statement was a slap on the wrist for Bishop Kukah’s: “traducers whose ill-advised and unfortunate threat negates the spirit of the Nigerian constitution and unity of the nation”.
According to a statement signed on Saturday in Abuja by its Supreme Knight, Sir Diamond Ovueraye, KSM a revered association of distinguished Catholic men and ladies, noted that the security of lives and properties is a prime responsibility of the government. He noted with dismay that while Shehu’s statement riled on the Bishop it was deftly apologetic and patronising to a group that apparently demonstrated scant regards to the nation’s grundnum which guarantees freedom of movement and the inalienable right of every Nigerian to live in any part of the country without let or hindrance.
Ovueraye noted that few days earlier the Federal Government had through the Minister of information and National Orientation, Alhaji Lai Muhammed, reacted: “vigorously to Kukah’s Christmas day Homily warranting further elucidation from the revered Bishop.” He therefore implored the government to always be dispassionate in assessing what it considers criticism and to always take in good faith: “constructive criticisms of its stewardship”.
“In the light of the needless furore that the Federal government reaction to Bishop Kukah’s Christmas day Homily had generated, Ovueraye tasked the government to ensure that nothing untoward happens to Bishop Kukah and all others who because of their love for Nigeria speak up when they see things going wrong. Let us demonstrate that irrespective of differences in tribe, religion and culture, we are all Nigerians. We must all look out for one another and contribute to building a virile nation which we will be proud of”, KSM added.
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