The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) has asked the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Adamu, and the Department of State Services (DSS) to interrogate Bishop Godfrey Onah of Nsukka Catholic Diocese over the recent attacks on Muslims in the South-East and South-South.
Onah had decried alleged discrimination in handling of security cases in the north and in the south. He backed up this claim by recounting the clash between IPOB members and DSS operatives in Enugu state.
The Catholic bishop also alleged that mosques are springing up in the east, while it is allegedly difficult to get lands to build churches in some states and the northern region of the country.
The Sultan of Sokoto, Alh. Sa’ad Abubakar III, who is the leader of the NSCIA, in a petition to the IGP stated that evidence in his possession indicated the Catholic Bishop was complicit in last Saturday’s assault on Muslims in Nsukka, Enugu State.
The petition, signed on behalf of the Sultan by NSCIA’s Deputy Secretary-General, Prof. Salisu Shehu, reads in part: “On Saturday, October 31, 2020, some Christian bigots unleashed violent and virulent attack on Muslims in Nsukka and burnt their Mosques as a result of a hateful and inciting sermon, full of lies and fallacies, delivered by one Bishop Reverend Father Godfrey Igwebuike Onah.
“In the sermon, it was clear that the Bishop instigated the worshippers against Mosques and Muslims. It would therefore require any disagreement, no matter how minute, to execute the premeditated havoc wreaked on the Muslims in the two zones.
“You may recall our letter dated 6 Rabiul-Awwal 1442 AH (23 October, 2020) wherein we implored the Nigeria Police Force to specially protect the lives, property and places of worship for Muslims living in the South-East and South-South.
“In the said letter, we informed you about the violent assaults being unleashed on the Muslims in some parts of the zones. Some were killed and their property worth billions of Naira were looted, vandalised or set on fire. Mosques including very ancient ones built by indigenous Igbo Muslims were burnt.
“Rather than abating, the persecution and violence against Muslims in the said two zones have persisted with greater intensity.”
“It has therefore become imperatively urgent to proactively bring an end to this criminality.
“In view of the above, the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, on behalf of the entire Muslim Ummah, hereby reiterate our call to you, Sir, to rise up to this challenge and protect the lives and property of Muslims in the South-East and South-South as bonafide citizens of Nigeria who should live peacefully in any part of the country.
“Specifically, we also implore you, as a matter of urgency interrogate, Reverend Father (Bishop) Godfrey Igwebuike Onah of his hate speech, inciting sermon of lies, fabricated to provoke hatred for Muslims,” the petition stressed.