The Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Bishop Matthew Kukah, has been asked to resign from the General Abdul Salaam-led National Peace Committee.
This call was made by the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), in a statement signed by the director of the organization, Professor Ishaq Akintola.
Bishop Kukah had in his Christmas message to Nigerians stated that President Muhammadu Buhari’s government owes Nigerians an explanation over the killings of innocent people in the country.
Kukah said the spilling of blood across the country must be related to a more sinister plot that is beyond the people’s comprehension.
Reacting to these statements, MURIC asked the cleric to recuse himself from the Abdul Salaam-led Peace Committee, arguing that Kukah’s pronouncements are inconsistent with the Bishop’s status particularly as the secretary of Nigeria’s Peace Committee.
“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 calls 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 is because many see Bishop Kukah as the de facto leader of the Committee. The Peace Committee must clarify some issues surrounding its formation and modus operandi. Whose idea was the whole thing from the beginning? Where is the committee’s secretariat? Is it true that the whole committee was Kukah’s initiative ab initio? Is it also true that its secretariat is headed and managed by the director of the Kukah Center? If that is so, General Abdulsalam must have been persuaded to come on board and serve as the chairman just to give legitimacy and credibility to the idea.
“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 the ground at present.
“There is no gainsaying the fact that the secretary of any organization is its livewire. He keeps their records and writes their reports. A man who is heavily biased against one faith cannot be trusted to prepare a fair report on interfaith issues. That position is too sensitive to be left in the office of a firebrand missionary known for his emotional outbursts.
“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. Afterall, any statement to be issued by the committee, ceteris paribus, is expected to be prepared by the same secretary. Here comes the hard nut.
“Nigerian Muslims have no confidence in the Peace Committee as long as Kukah remains its secretary and member. He has failed to remain neutral. His bias against Muslims has been openly displayed. Rev. Fr. Kukah should recuse himself, otherwise, the committee has to disband.
“This has become necessary in view of the jaundiced position taken by the Catholic mission yesterday in an official statement. Nigerian Catholics declared their full backing of the preposterous pronouncements of Bishop Kukah. In that situation, it is no longer acceptable to leave the destiny of the Peace Committee in the hands of the Catholic Bishop.
“The question must be asked: who is the secretary of the Peace Committee? Kukah or the Catholic Diocese? A situation whereby Kukah issues a highly combustible statement and the Nigerian Catholic Mission backs him calls for caution.
“MURIC suggests an immediate review of the composition and operation of the Peace Committee. The secretariat of the Peace Committee must be moved out of the Kukah Centre. A neutral place must be found. In addition, a neutral person who is not head or official of any religious group or a person known for making volatile statements must be made head of its secretariat. The Peace Committee may also consider coopting a co-chairman who must be a Christian since the current chairman is a Muslim. This will engender balance.
“We call on the Chairman and members of the Peace Committee to take these suggestions seriously in order to retain the respect it currently enjoys. A stitch in time saves nine. Immediate consultations and proper advice will save the committee from any embarrassment in future,” MURIC’s statement read in part.
Kano State Government Orders Immediate Closure Of 4 Tertiary Institutions
Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, has ordered the immediate closure of four tertiary institutions in the state.
The closure comes a day after he ordered the closure of ten boarding schools in the state following the abduction of over 300 schoolgirls in neighbouring Zamfara State.
A statement released by the state Commissioner for Higher Education, Dr Mariya Mahmoud Bunkure, reads
“The Kano State Government under the able leadership of His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Kano State, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, has directed the closure of some tertiary institutions in the state with immediate effect,”
The tertiary institutions ordered to be closed include RMK College of Advanced and Remedial Studies, T/Wada; School of Environmental Studies Gwarzo; School of Rural Technology and Entrepreneurship Dev (SORTED), Rano and ABCOAD, Dambatta.
All students of the affected schools were also advised to vacate the campuses as soon as possible.
PHOTOS: Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, Meets Freed Kagara Schoolboys
The Governor of Niger State, Abubakar Bello met with the recently freed Kagara schoolboys and their teachers at the state government house in Minna, the state capital.
The state governor said the state government is working to identify the root cause of banditry in the state.
He also disclosed that one of the abductees is in the hospital being treated for excessive exhaustion.
Armed Bandits Kill 4 Persons In Fresh Attacks In Kagara
At least four persons were reportedly killed during fresh attacks by suspected bandits in Kagara community in Niger State.
The attack comes after the 27 students and three teachers of the Government Science College in Kagara abducted by suspected bandits last Wednesday, February 17, regained their freedom in the early hours of today, February 27.
According to a report by DailyTrust, the bandits attacked Gidan Adamu, near Yakila, headquarters of Gunna district and Gidan Wamban Karaku community where 11 persons which include seven women were abducted.
The bandits were said to have rustled a large number of cows and also kidnapped the Imam of Madaka district in Rubo village.
EFCC Arraigns Insurance Broker Over Diversion of N26b PHCN Pension Fund
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Thursday, February 25 arraigned an insurance broker named Abiodun Waheed Hassan, alongside his firm, Bestworth Insurance Brokers Limited, on a five-count charge of misappropriating over N26billion PHCN pension fund.
Hassan was arraigned before Justice S.C Oriji of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Apo, Abuja.
Abiodun allegedly diverted huge sums of money earmarked for the payment of outstanding insurance premiums and claims of deceased and incapacitated staff of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), into the corporate account of entities.
In one count of the charge, the insurance broker diverted N26 billion paid into the insurance firm account into another bank account on January 25, 2015. Count five of the charge alleged that Abiodun misappropriated six billion naira.
He, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Justice Oriji adjourned the matter till March 4, 2021 for hearing on the bail application and remanded defendant in EFCC custody.
Kano State Government Closes 10 Boarding Schools Following Zamfara School Abduction
In reaction to the recent abduction of over 300 schoolgirls in Zamfara State by armedmen , the Kano state government has ordered the immediate closure of 10 boarding schools located at the outskirt of the state.
A statement released by the state Commissioner of Education Muhammad Sunusi Kiru, listed the affected schools as Girls Secondary School at Sumaila, Girls Secondary School Jogana, Girls Secondary School Gezawa, and Government Secondary School, Kafin Maiyaki (Male),
Others are Maitama Sule Secondary School, Gaya; Girls Secondary School Kachako; Girls Secondary School, Kunchi; Unity College Karaye; Girls Arabic College Albasu; Girls Secondary School Tudun Wada and Danzabuwa.
“This decision is part of our resolve to protect our children from any unforeseen circumstances.”the statement read
The Commissioner urged parents to bear with the state government over the painful decision, saying it is for the good of the children.
He said schools will resume once the security situation is brought under control.
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