The Presidency has void the death threat to the Bishop of Sokoto Diocese of the Catholic church, Reverend Matthew Hassan Kukah by “Muslim Solidarity Forum”.
Garba Shehu, Media aide to president Muhammadu Buhari said this on Wednesday in a statement in which he clarified that responsible leadership in any society must exercise restraint.
Garba was reacting to ultimatum handed down by the group to the Christian Cleric or tender unreserved apology to the entire Muslim Ummah over his recent comments or leave Sokoto State.
He stated however that the Catholic Priest has “greatly offended many with his controversial remarks against the government and the person of the President, with some even accusing him of voicing anti-Islamic rhetoric”.
He noted that the Nigerian Constitution expressly States that, every citizen has the right to, among others, freedom of speech and expression, the right to own property and reside in any part of the country, and the right to move freely without any inhibitions.
The statement explained that Nigeria’s strength lies in its diversity and the right for all religions to co-exist is enshrined in this country’s Constitution.
According to Garba, the Knee-jerk reactions will not only cause the fraying of enduring relationships, but also the evisceration of peaceful Communities such as Sokoto, the headquarters of the Muslim Community as beacon of pluralism and tolerance.
The statement concludes that groups such as the Muslim Solidarity Forum must be seen to share and uphold the Country’s multi-religious principles and advised that individuals like Father Kukah must respect the feelings of his fellow Nigerians in his private and public utterances.
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