Deborah: Matthew Kukah Puts Catholic Masses on Hold (VIDEO)

According to The PUNCH, the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Matthew Hassan-Kukah, has suspended all Catholic Masses in Sokoto city.

This was said in a statement issued on Saturday by Rev. Fr Christopher Omotosho, Director of Social Communications for the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto.

Kukah’s home was not targeted, according to Omotosho, but rioting hoodlums vandalized and set fire to two of the fiery preacher’s churches.

‘Current Development in Sokoto,’ according to the statement released for newsmen.

“To help curb the continuing protests by Muslim youth in the state capital today, the Sokoto State Government has issued a 24-hour curfew,” it said.

“During the protest, groups of young people were directed by adults in the background to attack the Holy Family Catholic Cathedral.”

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“During the protest, groups of youths led by some adults in the background attacked the Holy Family Catholic Cathedral at Bello Way, destroying church glass windows, those of the Bishop Lawton Secretariat were also attacked and a community bus parked within the premises vandalised.

“St. Kevin’s Catholic Church Gidan Dere, Eastern By-pass, was also attacked and partly burnt; windows of the new hospital complex under construction, in the same premises were shattered.

“They were promptly dispersed by a team of Mobile policemen before they could do further damage.

“The hoodlums also attacked the Bakhita Centre located along Aliyu Jodi Road and burnt down a bus within the premises.”

The gruesome murder of Deborah Yakubu, a 200-level Home Economics student at Shehu Shagari College of Education in Sokoto, North-West Nigeria, was branded as criminal by Kukah on Thursday.

He further demanded that “those who are culpable of this cruel conduct, whatever of their motivation, be punished in accordance with the existent laws of our land.”

Deborah, who was mauled and burned to death on the school grounds for suspected blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad, was killed by two suspects, according to the authorities (SAW).

The school had been closed indefinitely by the administration.

On Saturday morning in Sokoto, hundreds of Muslim teenagers carrying placards demanding the release of the two suspects.

Muslim protesters battled with security personnel who fired rounds in an attempt to disperse the crowd.

As a result of the escalating tensions, Governor Aminu Tambuwal imposed a curfew on the state.

Tambuwal was praised by Kukah for “moving quickly by proclaiming the 24-hour curfew to put an end to the protests.”

He also praised the security officers for acting quickly to prevent more damage to the church’s infrastructure.

“Contrary to rumours in circulation, we wish to disclaim that there was any kind of attack on Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah’s residence,” the Bishop added.

Kukah urged Christians to follow the law and pray for the restoration of normalcy.

“All Masses in Sokoto have been halted until the curfew is lifted.”

“All Catholic Masses in Sokoto metropolis have been suspended until the curfew is lifted,” the statement added.

Following Tambuwal’s directive, Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai, banned religious protests in Kaduna, saying some “unpatriotic elements” planned to organise a “series of for-and-against protests” related to the unfolding event in Sokoto.

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