The Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar III, has called for the arrest and prosecution of Bishop Godfrey Onah of Nsukka Catholic Diocese for inciting violence against Muslims in the South East and South South.
Abubakar, who is the President of Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, NSCIA, said he has evidence indicting Bishop Onah over the recent attack on Muslims in Nsukka, Enugu State.
He stated this in a petition to the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Mohammed Adamu and the Department of State Services, DSS.
The petition was signed by the NSCIA’s Deputy Secretary-General, Prof. Salisu Shehu.
According to the petition: “On Saturday, October 31, 2020, some Christian bigots unleashed violent and virulent attack on Muslims in Nsukka and burnt their Mosques as a result of a hateful and inciting sermon, full of lies and fallacies, delivered by one Bishop Reverend Father, Godfrey Igwebuike Onah.
“In the sermon, it was clear that the Bishop instigated the worshipers against Mosques and Muslims. It would, therefore, require any disagreement, no matter how minute, to execute the premeditated havoc wreaked on the Muslims in the two zones.
“Specifically, we also implore you, as a matter of urgency to interrogate Reverend Father (Bishop) Godfrey Igwebuike Onah of his hate speech, inciting sermon of lies, fabricated to provoke hatred for Muslims.”
Recall that a media aide of Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje had also called for the arrest of Bishop Onah over his inciting messages against Muslims
Reacting to the development, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, urged the Sultan and those it termed as religious bigots to stop overheating the country’s polity.
HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko condemned the petition against Bishop Onah.
Onwubiko accused the Sultan of inciting and threatening Christianity by his “unholy petition.”
The media space has been agog with the news of the petition by the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) asking the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Mohammed Adamu, and the Department of State Services, to as a matter of urgency interrogate the Most Rev. Dr. Godfrey Onah; Catholic Bishop of Nsukka Diocese in Enugu State over what it described as hate speech, inciting sermon of lies, fabricated to provoke hatred for Muslims.
But HURIWA urged the IGP to dismiss the petition against the clergyman.
A statement by Onwubiko reads partly: “The Sultan is inciting and threatening Christianity by trying to play god and must not be allowed to achieve his unholy plans. If we sit back and fold our arms whilst this perceived discrimination is allowed to fester, then we will be shooting ourselves in the foot and destroying the essence of constitutional democracy.
“We are by this Media Statement demanding that the Inspector General of Police and the Director General of the State Security Service should dismiss the unholy petition else we will not fail to consider the option of seeking legal redress in a Court of competent jurisdiction.
“We also urge the President; His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari to save what is left of the unity of this country. In the last five years, his administration has planted animosity between different Ethnic and religious nationalities than even the civil war created, so much that it will take the Grace of God and the will to overpower our differences for Nigeria to rebuild the bridge of unity that the discriminatory administrative style of President Muhammadu Buhari has destroyed in the last five years.”