The Order of The Knights of Saint Mulumba Nigeria (KSM) has condemned the Presidency over its position on the threat issued to the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah, by a Muslim group.
In a statement on Saturday by the Supreme Knight in Nigeria, Sir Diamond Ovueraye, the statement issued by the Presidential Spokesman, Garba Shehu, was to rebuke Bishop Kukah instead of the Islamic group.
The statement reads, “The statement was a slap on the wrist for Bishop Kukah’s traducers, whose ill-advised and unfortunate threat negates the spirit of the Nigerian Constitution and unity of the nation.
“The security of lives and properties was the prime responsibility of the government while lamenting that the tongue-in-cheek slant of the statement was capable of emboldening the group to perpetrate acts that could be inimical to public safety.
“We noted with dismay that while Shehu’s statement riled on the Bishop, it was deftly apologetic and patronising to a group that apparently demonstrated scant regards to the nation’s grundnorm, which guarantees freedom of movement and the inalienable rights of every Nigerian to live in any part of the country without let or hindrance.”
He added: “A few days earlier, the federal government had through the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Alhaji Lai Muhammed, reacted vigorously to Kukah’s Christmas day Homily, warranting further elucidation from the revered Bishop.
“We, therefore, implore the government to always be dispassionate in assessing what it considers criticism and to always take in good faith, constructive criticisms of its stewardship.
“In the light of the needless furore that the federal government’s reaction to Bishop Kukah’s Christmas day Homily had generated, the government should ensure that nothing untoward happens to Bishop Kukah and all others, who because of their love for Nigeria speak up when they see things going wrong.
“Let us demonstrate that irrespective of differences in tribe, religion and culture, we are all Nigerians. We must all look out for one another and contribute to building a virile nation, which we will be proud of.”