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Islamic council petitions IGP, DSS over alleged pastor’s inciting sermon

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The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), has petitioned the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) and the Director-General, State Security Service on the role allegedly played by Bishop, Reverend Father Godfrey Igwebuike Onah, in the massacre of Muslims in the South-East, South-South zones.

NSCIA, in the petition signed by Deputy Secretary General, Prof. Salisu Shehu and copied the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General, NSCIA, Mohammad Saad Abubakar, alleged that the hateful and inciting sermon, delivered by Bishop, Reverend Father Godfrey Igwebuike Onah, prompted some Christian bigots to unleash violent and virulent attack on Muslims in Nsukka and burnt their mosques.

He stated: “On behalf of the entire Nigerian Muslim Ummah, we hereby reiterate our call on you Sir, to rise up to this challenge and protect the lives and property of Muslims in the South-East and South-South as bonafide citizens of Nigeria who should live peacefully in any part of the country.”

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The petition with reference no: NSCIA/HQ/GA/007/Vol.II​ and 15th Rabiul-Awwal, 1441 AH 1st November, 2020, reads: “The Inspector General may recall our letter dated 6 Rabiul-Awwal, 1441 AH (23 October, 2020) wherein we 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.

“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 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.

“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 (see attached pictures of the burnt Mosques). We are yet to confirm the number of casualties. In the sermon attached, it was clear that the Bishop instigated the worshippers against Mosques and Muslims.

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“It would therefore require any disagreement, no matter how minute, to execute the premeditated havoc wreaked on the Muslims in the two zones.”

“The 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 has therefore become imperatively urgent to proactively bring an end to these criminality.

“In view of the above, the NSCIA, on behalf of the entire Nigerian Muslim Ummah hereby reiterates our call on you Sir, to rise up to this challenge and protect the lives and property of Muslims in the South-East and South-South as bonafide 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, inciting sermon of lies fabricated to provoke hatred for the Muslims” he stated.

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