By Akeem Alao
The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, has accused Rev. Father Godfrey Onah of hateful and incendiary sermon intended to hurt the Muslims in the Southeast and South-South regions of the country.
In a letter signed by the Council’s Deputy Secretary-General, Prof Salisu Shehu, on November 1, 2020, the Council alleged that the Rev. Father was inciting his congregation against the Muslims in these two zones.
The letter, which was addressed to the Inspector General of Police, Ádámù Muhammed, reminded the IG of a letter written earlier where it “implored the Nigeria Police Force to specially protect the lives, property and places of worship of Muslims living in the South-East and South-South”.
It noted that in the said letter, it informed the IG about the violent assaults being unleashed on the Muslims in some parts of the zones.
It added that some were killed and their properties worth billions of naira were looted, vandalized and immolated.
“Mosques including very ancient ones built by Indigenous Igbo Muslims were burnt,” the Council said in the letter.
“Rather than abating, the persecution and violence against Muslims in the said two zones have persisted with greater intensity,” the letter alleges.
It added that “Just yesterday, Saturday, 31 October, 2020, as a result of a hateful and inciteful sermon, full of lies and fallacies, delivered by one Bishop, Reverend Father Godfrey Igwebuike Onah, some Christian bigots unleashed violent and virulent attack on Muslims in Nsukka and burnt their Mosques.
“We are yet to confirm the number of casualties. In the sermon, it was clear that the Bishop instigated the worshippers against Mosques and Muslims.”
The Council stated that recurrence of these kinds of incessant arson and massacre of Muslims in the South-East and South-South if left unchecked could surely ignite reprisals in other parts of the country, especially the North.
It therefore urgently urged the appropriate authorities to proactively bring an end to this criminality.
The NSCIA, on behalf of the entire Nigerian Muslim Ummah also reiterated its call to the IG to rise up to this challenge and protect the lives and property of Muslims in the South-East and South-South as bona-fide citizens of Nigeria who should live peacefully in any part of the country.
“Specifically, we also implore you to as a matter of urgency interrogate Reverend Father Godfrey Igwebuike Onah on his hate speech, inciteful sermon of lies fabricated to provoke hatred for the Muslims,” it concluded.