The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, has drawn up 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 , NPF, has not arrested Shehu and also 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’s 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 also the National Media affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf said the choice to “pamper individuals inciting violence like the duo is the reason Nigeria is overwhelmingly violent and the lives of citizens are wasted whilst the perpetrators of violence and their sponsors are left to steer free.”
The Rights group said the Country might not survive for too long should heads of security forces be picking and selecting who to arrest or not regardless of their levels of lawlessness and threats to public peace.
HURIWA said the Bishop of Sokoto Diocese has done nothing wrong aside from to exercise his fundamental human rights by criticising failings of state .
The statement reads: “It was inconceivable that a Presidential spokesman can descend to stage of religious extremism by ascribing wrong meanings and interpretation to statement made by the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese.
“Why is that the Spokesperson of the Nigerian President directly asserting that the constructive criticism of some bad policies of the federal government as made within 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 turn religious fundamentalists to attack the person of Bishop Bukah and this is often definitely a transparent incitement to violence which should attract the eye 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 right away arrest, investigate and prosecute Garba Shehu and one professor Maishanu inter-religious conflicts in Nigeria”.
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