- Eminent Nigerians condemned the stabbing of Francis Emmanuel by Muslim youths
- Femi Falana blamed the government for not acting very quickly
- Bishop Kukah said the perpetrators must be apprehended quickly to serve as deterrent
There has been outrage following the stabbing of one Francis Emmanuel by some Muslim youths in the Kakuri area of Kaduna for eating during Ramadan.
It was reported that the carpenter was eating in a canteen on Wednesday, June 8 when he was attacked by the youths.
The Punch reports that the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Rev. Matthew Kukah said the perpetrators of the crime must be apprehended and punished.
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He also condemned the level of religious extremism in the country and cited the similar incident that cost the life of Mrs Bridget Agbahime who was murdered in Kano.
He said: “The ugly things we have seen in the last one week are ungodly and totally unacceptable. Somebody goes out to buy food and you attack him and say, ‘why are you not fasting?’ It is totally unacceptable. The culprits must be arrested, tried and punished. There is no other way you can end this impunity.”
Mr. Femi Falana who is a human rights lawyer said the government should have acted quickly to arrest the perpetrators to serve as a deterrent to others.
“It is already too late now. The perpetrators should have been immediately arrested and arraigned to serve as a deterrent to others.”
“The Federal Government and all the state governments or rather the ruling elite should be blamed for the religious intolerance in the country.
“Some members of the ruling class have, for political reasons, adopted two religions contrary to the provisions of the constitution that the state shall not promote any religion.
“During Christmas and Sallah, government officials buy rice, rams and vegetable oil for the rich people. Government sponsors Muslims to Mecca and Christians to Jerusalem. All these are illegal.
“Some of the religious leaders who are now condemning this kind of violence have also discouraged the state from separating the affairs of the state from religion.
“This is why the people supporting them are becoming extremists. Any political leader, any religious leader that wants us to address this problem must encourage the separation of religion from the affairs of the state.”
Mr. Sunny Oibe who is the director of national issues in the Christian Association of Nigeria described the perpetrators of Kaduna and Kano violence as enemies of the people.
He said: “The people who kill and go into violence and their sponsors are enemies of Nigerians and they are not supposed to live. They are animals, beasts and should be confined to where they belong.
“The attack on the carpenter for allegedly eating when Muslims were fasting goes to show the level of intolerance of some people, particularly some of our Muslims.
“Even if somebody refuses to fast, nobody has the right to embark on such animalistic behaviour of attempting murder.
“We, in CAN, will ask the security agencies to ensure that this matter is not swept under the carpet. The perpetrators should be brought to book to serve as a deterrent to others because the laws of this country forbid taking the lives of another.
“The government should therefore live up to its bidding and bring the perpetrators and their sponsors to book.”
Meanwhile, Governor Nasir El-Rufai condemned the attack on Emmanuel and ordered the police to fish out the attackers.
The governor said this when he visited the victim in the hospital and said he would not tolerate religious violence in the state as religion was not a compulsion.