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Ortom says quit notice to Kukah, recipe for disintegration

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Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has described the apologise-or-quit notice given to Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Dr. Matthew Kukah, by a Muslim group as a recipe for the country’s disintegration.

Ortom, therefore, called on Nigerians, irrespective of religious or political affiliations, to uphold unity, peace and dialogue as panacea to the myriad problems in the country.

The governor’s advice came against the statement credited to Muslim Solidarity Forum (MSF), which asked the bishop to tender an unreserved apology over his Christmas Day message or leave Sokoto State.

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To him, the statement is a contradiction of the constitution, which accords Nigerians the right to live freely in any part of the country. He said the statement was a clear affirmation that “Nigeria is being controlled by forces which are bent on setting the country ablaze if their interests are not guaranteed.”

According to Ortom, Nigerians – both Christians and Muslims – need to set aside religious and other sentiments to come together in humility to fast and pray for peace and unity of the country, rather than a situation where some persons fan embers of disunity and hatred.

What is happening in the country at the moment, he said, is beyond human comprehension and cannot be tackled by President Muhammadu Buhari alone.

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Advising patriots to desist from making inflammatory statements capable of heightening tension and taking the country to the precipice, he added: “Bishop Kukah is not the first to speak out against impunity, injustice and the collapsing security situation witnessed in parts of the country.

“You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free, as captured in the Bible – John 8:32.”

He, however, commended the Federal Government for cautioning the group and reminding its members of provisions of the constitution, which guaranteed Nigerians the right to reside in any part of the country.

“Bishop Kukah remains a true patriot who speaks to give direction and makes recommendations on the way the people should be governed in an equitable and just manner.

“Nigeria belongs to all its citizens and no individual or group has the right to threaten others and whip them into silence. Calls such as the one made by Muslim Solidarity Forum can only lead the country to a state of lawlessness, which does no nation any good,” he added.

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