A Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has asked the Department of State Services to arrest the Chief Imam of Bayero University, Kano, Sheikh Abubakar Jibril, for allegedly inciting Muslims against the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Matthew Hassan-Kukah.
HURIWA, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, said Jibril was captured in a viral video allegedly telling many Muslim followers to get the home address of Kukah and possibly attack the bishop.
The Nation had reported that some Islamic extremists last Thursday stoned and burnt a 200-level Home Economics student of the Shehu Shagari College of Education in Sokoto, Deborah Samuel, over alleged blasphemy of Prophet Muhammad.
The police arrested two suspects linked to the gruesome murder of Deborah but protesters demanded their release. The demonstrators vandalised, looted and burnt traders’ shops, churches and residential apartments perceived to be owned by Christians.
The rampaging hoodlums also vandalised at least two parishes presided over by Kukah.
It took the swift response of security operatives to stop any attack on the bishop’s personal residence.
Onwubiko said: “By this statement, HURIWA is putting the Department of State Services on notice to hold Sheikh Abubakar Jibril accountable for the fatal mob attack on Kukah’s parishes on Saturday.
“In fact, we think the constant bashing of spokespersons for President Muhammadu Buhari against Bishop Kukah for being outspoken against anti-democratic practices of the government encouraged haters of truth and objectivity to target the bishop last Saturday.
“Jibril, in a trending video, erroneously accused Bishop Kukah of motivating Deborah to commit alleged blasphemy, threatening to deal with Bishop Kukah. Jibril then asked if his followers knew Kukah’s house and the listeners shouted, ‘Yes we do’. He is inciting them to attack Bishop Kukah.
“HURIWA charges the DSS to arrest Jibril immediately for questioning as the secret police had probed and persecuted the late deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Obadiah Mailafia; and other vocal Christian leaders like Kukah himself.
“Anything short of the arrest of Jibril is sentimental and condemnable. Nothing must happen to Kukah. Nigerians are watching and are not fools.”