By Abdallah el-Kurebe
The Da’wah Coordination Council of Nigeria, an umbrella body of 47 different Islamic organisations in Sokoto on Monday reacted to the claim of Prelate Samuel Uche that the Fulani/Kanuri that are desperate to get power were behind the Boko Haram insurgency in the North.
Addressing Journalists at the office of Sokoto state Zakkat and Endowment Committee, the President of the Council, Muhammad Lawal Maidoki described the entire claim contained in a national daily as “full of contradictions, false allegations and ethnic bigotry.”
According to him, as Islamic organisations that preach religious harmony and peaceful coexistence in Nigeria, “It is imperative on us to draw the attention of the good citizens of Nigeria on the dangers of the allegations made by Samuel Uche and the need for people who claim to be religious leaders to guard their utterances in a trying period of this nature in our country.”
The Council alleged quoted Prelate Uche to have said in the daily that, “Let me reveal to you this evening and at this important service at this juncture that some of our soldiers, because you know we Bishops have impact in the society; we relate with soldiers and all manner of people. And some of the people in war front have confided in us that, apart from some mercenaries from Chad, Libya as well as Somalia, 95 percent of those fighting our country are of Fulani and Kanuri origin. The second is that they want to Islamatise Nigeria and build a parallel Caliphate different from the one we know in Sokoto.”
The Council therefore asked to know the soldiers that confided in the Bishops; to know the composition of the other Bishops and where the location of the “war front” that he alleged the Bishops visited.
“Does Bishop Samuel really understand the meanings of “Islamise Nigeria” and “Parallel caliphate” and it is part of your religious preaching to use provocative words such as “enemies of Nigeria,” “shameless individuals,” and “disgruntled elements?” The Council asked.
The statement also registered apprehension that the Bishop was bold enough to make such claims before President Jonathan. “What influence has the Bishop to have made such statement in the presence of President Jonathan, David Mark and military top-brass?” It asked.
Maidoki said that the Council was aware of statements by government officials and community and opinion leaders against the Muslims and Hausa Fulani but were only being tolerant.
“We wish to categorically state that it is not out of cowardice or helplessness that northerners are accommodating all sorts of rubbish said against us. It is rather out of our religious tolerance and belief for peaceful coexistence and unity of this country,” the Council stated.
Maidoki referred Bishop Uche to verse 12 of chapter 49 of the Qur’an which states: “O you who believe, avoid much suspicions, indeed some suspicions are sins and spy not, neither backbite one another. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would hate it (so hate backbiting). And fear Allah. Verily, Allah is the one who accepts repentance, most merciful.”