An Islamic cleric in Kaduna State is in the eye of the storm after releasing an inciting video against the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Christopher Musa, and the Kataf ethnic nationality in the state.
The cleric In the viral video alleged that France, America and Britain are using the CDS to wage war against Muslims in Niger Republic.
The cleric, who spoke in Hausa language, said in the video: “Do you know where he (the CDS) comes from? He is from Zangon Kataf. He is a Kataf man (Kaduna State).
“According to the history of his grandfathers, they are the ones that have been fighting Muslims. Right from 1990, they have been killing Muslims. And Niger is a Muslim country.
“He has been made the topmost officer in Nigeria. And he has been made the leader of ECOWAS army.
“Today, the opportunity he has been looking for has been gotten. Left to him, he would have started from Zaria…”
The video has attracted condemnation, including by a coalition of some civil society organisations (CSOs) in the state, which yesterday, Tuesday, August 8, 2023, urged security agencies to investigate and arrest the cleric.
Addressing a press conference in Kaduna, Nuhu Bahago, coordinator of the CSOs, said the utterances of the cleric are offensive and calculated to cause grievous harm on the image of the CDS and that of his Kataf people and instigate violence in the country.
He called on the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS) to investigate the inciting video in the interest of peace and national security, and prosecute the cleric.
Bahago said: “As you may be aware, there is a trending video of an Islamic cleric making the rounds in which he made very inciting and malicious allegations against the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Christopher Musa, and also profiled his tribal group.
“In view of the unfortunate allegations, we as responsible, law-abiding Nigerians of fair minds who believe in truth and justice, and must state our position on the issues raised in the video.
“We want to say that the tirade of the cleric is very offensive and clearly calculated to cause grievous harm on the CDS’s image and that of his Kataf people as well as instigate violence in the country.
“We condemned this act of hate and incitement, and we call on relevant authorities to arrest and interrogate the cleric.”
The group described Gen. Musa as a fine military officer who has distinguished himself as a polished and thorough professional.
“As an accomplished, disciplined and loyal soldier, he has submitted himself to civil authority and he is bound by international code of military conduct to obey orders from his Commander-in-Chief.
“We, therefore, rebuke all the false and unguarded allegations thrown at him.
“Gen. Musa was born and bred in Sokoto, the seat of the Caliphate, and is not known to have anything against any ethnic group or religion,” Bahago noted.
The group maintained that “the aim of the video is to bring the CDS to public odium in the face of the Muslim community as one who hates Islam.
“It is also aimed at courting hate at his tribal group which consequences may imperil their security and safety.
“Like all ethnic groups in the North, the Kataf has a record of peaceful co-existence much more than to strive with the Muslim communities.
“Therefore, for the cleric to instigate the Muslim community against the Kataf is most condemnable.”
Bahago called on the CDS not to be distracted by such irresponsible utterances rather he should dedicate himself to the service of the country and humanity in the manner that had seen his meritorious rise to his present position.
“We want to assure him that the celebration and wide acceptance from the broad section of the country that welcomed his appointment is still intact.
“Finally, we call on the IG and the D-G of the DSS not to allow this divisive and inciting video to go uninvestigated.
“We hope the law will be brought to bear if the cleric is found guilty. This will serve as a deterrent to others,” Bahago said.
– Adapted from a THISDAY report