Fred Ezeh, Abuja
The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) has accused Bishop of Nsukka Catholic Diocese, Godfrey Onah, of a hateful sermon that led to recent attacks on Muslims in the South-East and South-South regions of Nigeria.
The Council said the recent violent assaults also led to the destruction of property worth billions of Naira, vandalisation and burning of Mosques including ancient ones built by Indigenous Igbo Muslims.
The Muslim body, thus petitioned the Inspector General of Police and Director-General, Department of State Security (DSS), demanding speedy actions to halt the hatred actions against Muslims in the South-East and South-South, and possible compensation.
The petitions titled “Complaint on Bishop Godfrey Igwebuike Onah’s hateful sermon and its consequent murder of Muslims and destruction of their property in the south-east and south-south zones of Nigeria” was signed by the Deputy Secretary-General of the NSCIA, Prof. Salisu Shehu.
He recalled that in a letter dated 6 Rabiul-Awwal, 1441 AH (23 October 2020) they urged the organisations to specially protect the lives, property and places of worship of 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, vandalized 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,” the petition said.
It said that on Saturday, October 31 as a result of a hateful and inciteful sermon, full of lies and fallacies, delivered by Bishop Onah, some Christian bigots unleashed violence and terror on Muslims in Nsukka and burnt their Mosques.
Shehu said that the NSCIA was yet to confirm the number of casualties and that in the sermon, it was clear that Bishop Onah instigated the worshippers against mosques and Muslims.
It added: “It would therefore require any disagreement, no matter how minute, to execute the premeditated havoc wreaked on the Muslims in the two zones.”
NSCIA, thus implore the security agencies to as a matter of urgency interrogate Bishop Onah on his hate speech, inciteful sermon of lies fabricated to provoke hatred for the Muslims.