The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) has accused Godfrey Onah, Catholic bishop of Nsukka, of provoking the recent attack on Muslims in the local government area.
In a petition to Mohammed Adamu, inspector-general of police (IGP), the NSCIA alleged that the cleric delivered a sermon “full of lies and fallacies” which prompted residents in Nsukka to attack Muslims.
NigerianEye had reported how residents in the town razed two mosques and destroyed business places in what was said to be a reprisal.
Witnesses had narrated how a tricyclist was stabbed during a heated argument with a woman he had conveyed to her shop.
In the petition signed by Salisu Shehu, NSCIA deputy secretary general, the Islamic council blamed the bishop for the attack which it said led to the deaths of an unspecified number of Muslims.
It said it had earlier raised an alarm over reported attacks on Muslims in various parts of the south-east and south-south.
“On 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 Christians unleashed violent and virulent attack on Muslims in Nsukka and burnt their Mosques,” the petition read.
“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.
“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 Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (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, inciteful sermon of lies fabricated to provoke hatred for the Muslims.”