Nobel Laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka and the Southern Kaduna People’s Union (SOKAPU) have urged the federal government to arrest those threatening the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Matthew Hassan Kukah of Sokoto.
According to Soyinka, no part of the comment made by Kukah denigrated Islam, saying that calls by some ‘extremists’ that he should apologise or leave Sokoto were unacceptable.
Soyinka, in a statement, said it should not come as a surprise that a section of the Islamic community, not only claimed to have found offence in Kukah’s New Year address, “what is bothersome, even unwholesome, is the embedded threat to storm his ‘Capitol’ and eject him, simply for ‘speaking in tongues.”
“Any pluralistic society must emphatically declare such a response unacceptable. On a personal note, I have studied the transcript as reported in the media and found nothing in it that denigrates Islam but then, I must confess, I am not among the most religion besotted inhabitants of the globe. That, I have been told, disqualifies me from even commenting on the subject and, quite frankly, I wish that were indeed the case.
Also, addressing a world press conference in Kaduna yesterday, the President of SOKAPU, Hon Jonathan Asake said: “Those who have threatened Bishop Kukah ought to be arrested and be made to face the full wrath of the law.”
“For the Islamic group that issued out a threat and an ultimatum to the Bishop, we must warn here that nobody has a monopoly of violence and nothing should happen to Bishop Kukah. Those who call on the government to rise up and do their jobs are not criminals. They are
patriots who are genuinely interested in the unity and wellbeing of citizens.”