The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has demanded the immediate arrest of President Muhammadu Buhari’s Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, for daring to incite violence against the Bishop of Sokoto Catholic Archdiocese, Matthew Kukah.
This was contained in a joint statement issued on Thursday by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf, which also demanded the arrest of one Professor Isa Muhammedu Maishenu of the Muslim Solidarity Forum Sokoto, the lead signatory of the direct threat on the life of Bishop Kukah.
In the statement, HURIWA recalled that the Muslim Solidarity Forum had asked Bishop Kukah to apologise or leave Sokoto over his Christmas message allegedly against Muslims but in a swift reaction, Shehu said Bishop Kukah should be allowed to practice his faith in Sokoto.
HURIWA thus accused the government of pampering individuals inciting violence which is the reason Nigeria is overwhelmingly violent and the lives of citizens are wasted even as the violent perpetrators are left to walk free.
The statement by HURIWA reads thus in part; “The decision to “pamper individuals inciting violence such as the duo is the reason Nigeria is overwhelmingly violent and the lives of citizens are wasted even as the perpetrators of violence and their sponsors are left to walk free.
“It was inconceivable that a Presidential spokesman can descend to the arena of religious extremism by ascribing wrong meanings and interpretations to statements made by the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese.
“Why is the Spokesperson of the Nigerian President directly asserting that the constructive criticism of some bad policies of the Federal government as made in the exercise of his fundamental Human Rights by Bishop Kukah, amounts to an insult against a respected Islamic religion, Is Garba Shehu implying that President Muhammedu Buhari is the chief Imam of Nigeria or is he above criticism?
“The irrational, insensitive, senseless and pathetic statement in the media credited to Garba Shehu amounts to a call on religious fundamentalists to attack the person of Bishop Bukah and this is definitely a clear incitement to violence which should attract the attention of security services unless these security services have also been transformed into Islamic religious security forces.
“We call on the relevant heads of the security forces to immediately arrest, investigate and prosecute Garba Shehu and one professor Maishanu inter-religious conflicts in Nigeria,” the statement concluded.
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