The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, has called for the arrest of President Muhammadu Buhari’s Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, for allegedly inciting violence against Matthew Kukah, the Bishop of Sokoto Catholic Archdiocese.
HURIWA said Shehu’s statement was a direct incitement of violence against Kukah.
The rights group wondered why neither the Department of State Services, DSS, or the Nigeria Police Force, NPF, has not arrested Shehu and the lead signatory of the direct threat on the life of Bishop Kukah, one professor Isa Muhammedu Maishenu of the Muslim Solidarity Forum Sokoto.
Recall that the Muslim Solidarity Forum had asked Bishop Kukah to apologise or leave Sokoto over his message allegedly against Muslims.
Kukah, however, promised to apologise if he is shown evidence of why inciting violence against Muslim.
Reacting, Shehu said Bishop Kukah should be allowed to practice his faith.
A statement by the National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf said 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.”
The Rights group said the Country may not survive for too long should heads of security forces be picking and choosing who to arrest or not no matter their levels of lawlessness and threats to public peace.
HURIWA said the Bishop of Sokoto Diocese has done nothing wrong other than to exercise his fundamental human rights by criticising failings of government.
The statement reads: “It was inconceivable that a Presidential spokesman can descend to the arena of religious extremism by ascribing wrong meanings and interpretation to statement 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”.
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