By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), an Islamic human rights organisation, has called on Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Dr Mathew Hasan Kukah to recuse himself from the General Abdul Salaam-led Peace Committee.
The organization made the call in a statement yesterday by its Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola in Abuja.
Bishop Kukah, it will be recalled, had in his Christmas message to Nigerians accused President Muhammadu Buhari of being a sectional leader and referred to Islam as a violent religion.
MURIC expressed the strongly belief that those pronouncements are inconsistent with the bishop’s status particularly as the secretary of Nigeria’s Peace Committee.
The organization, in the statement, emphatically said, “How did such a belligerent combatant emerge as the secretary of Nigeria’s Peace Committee?
“What good can come from a man who is filled with hate and bias for a large section of the country?
“He called for a coup against a democratically elected government. He stigmatized Islam as a violent religion. He derides the North.
“We demand that Kukah should honourably recuse himself from the Peace Committee. Failure to do so will have a devastating effect of discrediting that committee.
“It will mean that the committee was set up in the first place for a partisan purpose.
“This Peace Committee has a credibility crisis on its hands unless it can remove Kukah as secretary and as a member if the bishop fails to recuse himself. Nigerian Muslims no longer have any confidence in the Peace Committee. It may as well disband while the members go home to sleep.
“This is the honourable thing for the Bishop of Sokoto Diocese to do in view of the humongous allegation levelled against him.
“A national peace committee needs wide acceptance from the general populace in order to function effectively. Unfortunately this does not appear to be the true situation on ground at present.
“The silence of the Peace Committee since the Kukah controversy began is also disturbing.
“A peace committee whose secretary comes out with blazing guns firing from all cylinders at a section of the country and calls for a coup while its members keep mute gives cause for concern.
“It gives the impression that the secretary is holding members of the committee to ransom. He calls the shots”, it said.
The organisation made it clear that Nigerian Muslims have no confidence in the Peace Committee as long as Kukah remains its secretary and member.
The Bishop, MURIC declared, has failed to remain neutral, while his bias against Muslims has been openly displayed.
“Rev. Fr. Kukah should recuse himself, otherwise the committee has to disband”, it said.