The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has condemned the quit notice issued to the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Mathew Kukah.
Naija News reports that an Islamic group, Muslim Solidarity Forum, had asked Kukah to tender an unreserved apology over his Christmas Day message or leave Sokoto state.
But in a statement signed and issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase, on Thursday, governor Ortom said the quit notice issued to the Bishop contradicts the Constitution which accords Nigerians the right to live freely in any part of the country.
Ortom also said the action of the group is a clear affirmation that Nigeria is being controlled by forces that are bent on setting the country ablaze if their interests are not guaranteed.
The governor said Bishop Kukah remains a true patriot who speaks to give direction and make recommendations on the way the people should be governed appropriately.
He, however, asked both Christians and Muslims to set aside religious and other sentiments and come together rather than fan embers of disunity and hatred.
The statement reads: “The governor maintains that Nigeria belongs to all its citizens and no individual or group has the right to threaten others and whip them into silence.
“He states that 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.
“The governor says what Nigerians ought to be worried about at this time in addition to insecurity is the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the dwindling economy which has seen the naira fall to 500 to one dollar in the open market, a situation that is rendering millions of youths jobless.
“He calls for sober reflection on the projection made by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund that Nigeria may become the poverty capital of the world if nothing is urgently done to improve the productive sector.
“The governor reiterates the need for attention to be given to the productive sector, in order to create jobs for the people to avert the projection that more Nigerians will be destitute in the near future.
“Governor Ortom says democracy is built on the rule of law and freedom of speech is also anchored on the rule of law and to the extent that it does not infringe on the rights of other people.”