The Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) has described Matthew Kukah, bishop of Sokoto Catholic diocese, as a patriot and a lover of truth.
Reacting to the outrage over Kukah’s Christmas message to President Muhammadu Buhari, PFN said he spoke the truth to power.
The cleric had accused Buhari of nepotism, saying there could have been a coup if a non-northern Muslim president did a fraction of what Buhari has done.
But the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) called for Kukah’s prosecution, saying his comment is a “treasonable felony against the Nigerian state”.
Speaking on the state of the nation in Benin, capital of Edo, on Wednesday, Felix Omobude, PFN president, said Kukah should not be made a sacrificial lamb for expressing his views.
Omobude said Kukah “spoke on what is in the minds of most Nigerians and should be commended for voicing out when others kept quiet when things were getting out of control”.
The PFN president said as a patriot and an advocate of democracy, the bishop could not have called for an overthrow of government.
“Well, I appreciate Bishop Kukah. I don’t think we have interacted one-on-one but if you follow him, you will know that he is down to earth when it has to do with telling the truth,” he said.
“Bishop Kukah is an advocate of democracy so he could not have been calling for the military overthrow of the government. The issues that he raised are very glaring.
“Now, it is only in this country that you can’t talk against the government and go free. What is the dust for? I know that the minister of information is paid for his job but he should be honest enough to face certain truth.
“People call Mr Trump all kinds of names and never has anybody been sued for insulting him but people have been sued in Nigeria for insulting the president.
“So, Bishop Kukah spoke the minds of genuine Nigerians. And any attempt by anybody to impose a section of the nation upon the other is bound to cause chaos.
“Bishop Kukah should be seen as a patriot and not a sacrificial lamb. He is not a hater of government but he is a lover of truth. I stand wholeheartedly on his views.”
Following a flurry of criticisms over his comment, Kukah had clarified his remark saying he only expressed his personal view “based on evidence” and did not call for a coup.